The famous advice is to do something, every day, that scares you. That’s a bit much for many, so let’s adjust it a bit. Do something, every week, that is out of the ordinary!
It’s Friday! I don’t know about where you are, but around here the weekend promises to be sunny and warm, possibly even hot! As promised, Fridays are all about finding adventures to do on the weekend – things that aren’t astronomically expensive, that get you outside, that perhaps mix things up a bit for you.
Big thing to keep in mind is sun safety. Seriously! Primary defense is not letting sun touch you long enough to burn – wear hats with wide brims, and sunproof fabric. MEC and Milk Factory have great selections. Sunscreen should be secondary, a backup measure. Apply it thickly, and often.
Pack up a picnic of food that’s a little different for you and your family. Roasted red pepper dip? Smoked salmon? Pinwheel sandwiches? Grapes and camembert? Call up friends and have them meet you! Try a park that you don’t normally go to, preferably one you can bus or bike to. Bring bubbles to blow, balls to kick around, bean bags to toss. Try Boules (variations also known as Petanque and Bocce).
Go for a walk in the woods to get out of the sun a bit. Lynn Canyon and Lighthouse Park on the north shore, Mundy Park in Coquitlam, Burnaby Mountain (head up to SFU and walk from there on the paths), and Burns Bog are all great places to try with lots of educational opportunities.
The water park at Granville Island! It’s open, I’m told, and way more fun when the water is on than when it’s off. Splash, run, slide, and squirt away! If you’ve got enough adults, have someone head to the Market to get fresh fruits, breads, and other treats.
Going somewhere with buskers? Vancouver actually holds competitions to hire street entertainers – if they’re in a touristy location, chances are they’ve got some talent. Good places to see them are near beaches, Granville Island, Lonsdale Quay. Take a moment to watch them, and see if you can get the kids involved. Cameron still talks about the time, a half a year ago, that a jazz saxophonist got him involved. Even if they don’t get to work a high hat,, encourage them to dance along. It’s a nice, easy, fun introduction to a musical style, or juggling, or magic. One thing though – if you enjoy the show, do toss some money in the hat.
Children (and adults too) in cities are often far removed from food production. Many urban children Cameron’s age probably think that animals really look like the illustrations in Sandra Boynton’s books. Find a farm or agricultural museum to explore! In North Vancouver there is Maplewood Farm, which looks like a lovely child-friendly introduction to what animals might live on a farm. I’m considering this one for Saturday, but on Sunday they have a sheep festival that might be fabulous!
No time to head anywhere new? Do something different at one of the old standard places. Get a big roll of paper – inexpensive, like the rolls Ikea sells for their art easels – and finger paint. Dress the kids and yourself in old clothes, take off shoes and socks, and let them at it with hands and feet outside.
What are your plans to get out, be active, and play?