Matt & I made a decision very early on as parents. One day, each weekend, would be devoted to kid friendly activities, and the other- well, we wouldn’t feel guilty if it involved house work, hanging around, or nothing of much importance. As time has gone on, this has just become part of our family ritual or lifestyle.
This past weekend, Kid Day involved dragging the boys to NYC for the day. They were not thrilled. But somewhere during the ride to Princeton and grabbing the train into NY, their attitude gradually began to change. They began to enjoy themselves. Once in NY, we headed to the Empire State Building. The line to buy tickets to the observation deck was over an hour long, so we headed over towards Rockefeller Plaza to see Nintendo World. On the way, there was a huge street fair along Avenue of The Americas. There were vendors selling everything imaginable, street food from every nation- it was positively fantastic. The boys loved tasting zeppoli for the first time, and I got a great knock-off handbag. We walked on, eventually locating video game mecca.
After a brief stop at Nintendo world, we went out for a great lunch (also tried another NYC landmark, Serendipity 3, but again, the line was over an hour- i need to learn to one- get an earlier start and 2. make reservations!) We then took a cab up to the American museum of Natural history, and had a fun time there, as well. By 5 pm, we were tired, and headed back to the train station, ending up at home by 8 pm. It was a great was to spend a family day, and the kids had a lot of great memories for such a short trip.
My point about this is that kids really to value adventures and experiences over things, and one of the best things we have ever done as a family is to adopt the weekend kid adventure policy. It keeps us parents fresh, thinking of different things to do, and it exposes our kids to a variety of experiences they may never have had otherwise.
Other great thigns we’ve done:
berry picking and making jam (Yes, I have a once a year Martha Stewart moment)
Canoeing and kayaking on a local river
visiting a pretzle or potato chip factory
Granted, since we live outside Philadelphia, we have equal access to NYC, Baltimore and DC, giving us alot of options for adventures. But even walks in the woods, visiting a farm or factory where they give tours, or taking a drive together has brought us closer as a family, and lets the parents appreciate things from a child’s perspective on a regular basis. It keeps us young, and an important part of our kid’s lives.