Enjoy the Offbeat
Small children love visiting furry friends, birds, and fish at the pet store. How about a trip to the local nursery, botanical gardens, or arboretum to learn about exotic plants? It doesn't take an amusement park entrance fee to entertain a young child; the world of living creatures captures their attention for free!
What local stories or legends, landmarks, and oddities haven't you shared yet with your kids? Children are open to the offbeat and would appreciate going on an adventure involving local folklore, even if it's just five blocks away.
How do you go on your adventures? Today, most families have two cars and many miss out on journeying by mass transit. Taking a ride on the bus, ferry, or train—if it is a rare event—can be exciting. My first train trip at the age of 10 was the coolest trip I had ever taken (even though it was only a short ride down the tracks to a nearby town).
Turn Back the Clock
Remember the good old days when people baked from scratch, cooked homemade soups and stews, sewed their own clothing, crafted homemade items for gifts, grew plants from seeds indoors in the winter, and canned their own preserves? Well, none of us has time for any of that in this new fast paced world ... or do we?
We certainly don't need to go fishing if we want salmon for dinner, but many people would argue that catching the fish is half the fun! Choose a creative activity that you are most interested in doing—such as macramé, baking homemade bread, or growing herbs in the house—and make it a family project. Children love to eat what they helped make, or watch a seed grow that they planted, or use their own ideas to create a gift for a loved one. Nurture this natural affinity towards creating through initiating fun yet basic tasks.
To get your own creative juices flowing, go back in your mind to a simpler time when you were young and think of the memories you hold dear. My guess is that most were free and all included a sense of connection to family. Being with each other and sharing the moment is your passport to family fun and adventure that everyone can afford. Bon Voyage!