It’s incredible to see a child’s joy over little things, like sprinkles on ice cream or pine cones.
Going on mini-adventures with my girls has helped me bond with them and learn to enjoy the little things more.
While going out with kids isn’t always easy, it is possible!
There are many places and activities that are local, cheap, interesting, and allow kids to be kids. Here are some of the things we love to do in our area!
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Unusual Farms- You’ve probably been to a pumpkin patch or interacted with goats at a farm. But have you been to a bee farm or a Christmas tree farm? My husband recently discovered a local bamboo farm, and our family took a free tour. There were acres of gorgeous bamboo forests and we learned so much! My three-year-old had a blast as she hid in bamboo and ran around with the farmer’s dog.
Discover Hidden Gems– Stopping at some of the hole-in-the-wall restaurants or shops in your town can be so rewarding! We’ve discovered the most delicious pupusas, paletas, donuts, and hibachi by doing this. You might find good food, a pawn shop with dirt-cheap movies, or a cute boutique.
City Gardens– Many cities have huge, beautiful gardens to walk in! As long as kids know not to pick the flowers, this could be a great activity for your family.
Frostys and Fries- You guys. This is a match made in heaven and a family favorite. We’ll grab Wendy’s frostys and fries often, especially in the summers when a frosty is only 50 cents. A cheap, delicious treat that hits the spot every time.
Specialty or International Markets– My husband just took my oldest on a little daddy-daughter date. They went to a Mexican market and returned with pan de dulce, coconut cookies, and horchata. My daughter loved the experience peeking into another culture and hearing Daddy speak Spanish. We’ll try our city’s new Thai market soon!
Special Kid’s Days at Restaurants- Restaurants can be hit-or-miss experiences, but many places run fun promotions specific to children. We love going to Chik-fil-a’s Cow Appreciation Day, and we might try IHOP’s Create a Scary Face Pancake around Halloween.
Hikes– I’ve mentioned one of my favorite things is hiking. Definitely consider exploring some of your nearby State Parks. Have young children? Grab a hiking backpack. Your back and arms will thank you, especially if you’re going on a longer trail.
Join a Local Kid Club- See if there are any free clubs around you. I joined a Facebook club about rocks! People paint and hide rocks in public areas in the city, and when you find a painted rock, you take a picture and post it on the club’s Facebook page. Then you can keep the rock or re-hide it! We love looking for “the special rocks”. You can make a whole afternoon out of this activity.
Fairs and Festivals– There are so many kinds: county fairs, fish frys, Renaissance and music festivals, you name it. Most of these events have fantastic food and an easygoing atmosphere, which is perfect for families with kids of all ages.
Window Shop (or…maybe buy just one thing…or two)- Some evenings we just need to get out of the house with our squirmy girls. We’ll pick an interesting store, and just walk around! We love stores like Bargain Hunt or Ross that have new and random inventory all the time. Home Depot is a fun one too- you can snag a couple of free paint chips for your kids to look at while you plan your dream home.
Storytime and other Library Events- Your library probably has a weekly or monthly Story Time. Our library has a fantastic program featuring dancing, puppets, crafts, and great stories. They also host other awesome events, like Family Movie Day and Disney Night. Look at your library’s online calendar for their schedule of events.
5ks- Look online for a local race! Many are family-friendly. You can train together with older kids or push little ones in a stroller. I did a 5k with six of my family members on Thanksgiving Day, and it was so fun! Minus me being six weeks pregnant with morning sickness. That was not fun.
Here’s my local bucket list to do with my kids:
Tip: Look at your city’s homepage online for activities and events in your town, especially around a holiday. You’ll find dates and locations for events like farmer’s markets, fireworks, splash pad/pools, parades, and nativity shows.
Stay At Home Fun
(For When You Just Don’t Feel Like Going Out)
Giant Bubbles- Two things may happen if you try this activity. 1) Your kids will be fascinated by these mega-size bubbles and will play for hours. Or/and 2) They will drink the bubble solution and get sick. It’ll probably be #2. But here’s an awesome bubble recipe from Lindsey & Drew, if you’re feeling optimistic.
DIY Slime- I’m not sure who likes this activity more: me, or my 3-year-old. You can make any color you want, and the kids will play forever. Here’s my favorite slime recipe from Twodaloo.
Elaborate hopscotch- We have made some EPIC “hopscotch” games on a nice day outside. I also love the game that Life as a Mama showed us. This unique way of playing will get some giggles going and some energy out.
Make a new food or drink together- I really want to try making scones and lavender lemonade with my family. Kids love to help in the kitchen! Try making this cute kit-kat cake. If you want to take the experience outside, try making a Wolf’em in a firepit!
Tie-dye- Make some fun t-shirts or socks at home! There are so many patterns and colors to choose from, and it’s an activity you can’t mess up easily. Tip: Buy more dye than you think you need. It goes FAST.
Hope you have a blast with your families!
What do you love to do with your family?