Classic Spring Family Fun
There are some classic fun things that you can do this Spring with your family that may have fallen off of your radar over the years. This Spring, get back to the basics. So what are these classic things? Read on.
What to do: Get out of the house and fire up the grill. You are now free of the kitchen and can invite the neighbors or friends over for a good old-fashioned BBQ if you like. Make it an outdoor event.
Where to go: The nice this about grilling is that you can choose to do it right in your own backyard. For the more adventurous, head out to a city or county park for a day of calm and grill out there. Bring the lawn chairs though, because a quiet spot under a tree after a nice outdoor meal will be in the cards.
Why to do it: Grilling hamburgers and hot dogs is a great family tradition that gets people around the picnic table and changes up the routine from the normal seating arrangement around the kitchen table. Packing a picnic and heading to a park for your feast is even more festive and social if you invite some friends along to share the day. You've been waiting all Winter to get outside and fire up the grill. Now's your chance. What you grill is up to you, but for the picnic table, a red and white checkered tablecloth is highly recommended.
Take A Hike
What to do: Stretch out your legs with a nice long hike.
Where to go: Find a local trail or head to a county or state park for miles of trails to choose from. This is a great tradition that you can start with your family and repeat every year until you've covered the trails in your area. Check your county or department of natural resources websites for trail information and difficulty.
Why to do it: Because you get to do something active out in nature. The birds are back, the grass is green, and if you head out to the woods now you might spot some Spring flowers or even find a morel mushroom. You'll get exercise without feeling like it and you will feel good afterwards. Out in the woods on a trail people interact differently. There is no electricity and no cars buzzing by. Just you, your fellow hikers, and Mother Nature. You just might be amazed at what beauty lies in a park that you have driven by a hundred times once you head down the trail.
Start A Garden From Seed
What to do: Start some of your own plants from seed this year for your vegetable or flower garden.
Where to go: Go to your local nursery or hardware store and see what seeds they have. Grab some seeds, seed flats, and soil, and get started. If you need to or want more variety, buy your seeds online and have them shipped right to your home.
Why to do it: The garden is a great tradition and provides you and your family with fresh vegetables all Summer long. You can get the satisfaction of getting "in the garden" well before you can actually plant things outside by starting indoors early. By shopping online, you can also pick from countless varieties that you won't find at your local store. If you aren't in to a vegetable garden, perhaps a potted tomato or pepper plant is the way to go. You can always start flowers from seed as well. The reward of doing it yourself is worth it.
What to do: Dig out your tent and sleeping bags, pick a campsite, and take the family out for an overnight adventure camping.
Where to go: Campgrounds are everywhere if you search for them. Popular places include county and state parks, but private campgrounds are great too. State forests may also have more rustic sites deeper in the woods if you like a little privacy.
Why to do it: Sitting around the campfire is magical. This is the definition of quality time. There is something very therapeutic about sitting in a chair with nothing in particular to do staring into the fire. Making coffee over a campfire at 6 in the morning is somehow fun. You are allowed to bring the ipod for background music but please check the cell phone at the entrance to the park. This is about rest and relaxation, not keeping in touch. While your there, you can grill up dinner or take a hike.
Run a 5k
What to do: Find a 5k run in your area, register, and start training for the run.
Where to go: The sites will vary depending on where you live but in Spring the 5k activity heats up so you are sure to find one within driving distance. Check online running sites for calendars by state as well if your town isn't sponsoring a run. You could also make it a different destination every year for fun.
Why to do it: You need a project. You know you want to get into better shape for Summer but you need a little motivation. A 5k is the perfect thing. It's not as taxing as a marathon so anybody can do it. Many 5k runs also accept walkers or strollers so don't think you can't if you can't run or if the baby is pinning you down. Training for a purpose is much more motivating that just running, so figure out a 6-8 week training plan and enter the race. The jubilation you feel when you finish will make it all worth it. Plus, you will get a free t-shirt (most likely) to prove that you made it.
Time To Decide
So, what are you going to make time for this Spring? Will this finally be the year that you hit the campground again? Are you finally going to follow through with the 5k? Wouldn't it be nice to have those peppers in your garden that you can only get in the store?
Get on your feet and get going. Winter will be back before you know it.
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