What do you think adventure means? If you look in the dictionary (okay, I admit, I used dictionary.com) you’ll see a number of definitions. Does something have to have an element of danger to be an adventure? Of course not. Does it have to be outside? Nope – that’s just my favourite kind.
They way I see it, you can have an adventurous spirit without taking up hang gliding. I’d love to try that some day, though. You can find adventure in your own kitchen. This may or may not involve peril. Only the very adventurous dare to explore the depths of my fridge, and do so at great personal risk.
A few weeks ago I started a weekly feature on adventurous weekends, with suggestions to hopefully inspire you. But I’ve found that I’m listing activities that can LEAD to adventures. You see, they aren’t themselves adventures. I can’t hand you those, all wrapped up with a bow. It’s about doing things out of the ordinary, pushing your comfort limits a bit, trying something new, and being willing to explore where you’re led instead of where you’d planned to go sometimes. Try to see the places and events that I suggest as fun starting places, not destinations.
So, get out there. The first step is stepping out your door. Go on, play, have fun, and maybe you’ll have an adventure!
- Awaken the heavenly dragon! It’s solstice time, and it’s the traditional time for dragonboat festivals. See if your city is having one! Here in Vancouver we have a great Dragonboat festival on False Creek – and great news! It’s free! So you have no excuse. Get down there! In addition to the splashing of water and beating of drums, there’s sure to be yummy asian food, good music, and a wonderful marketplace. Inspired, seeking more culture? You’re then just a few blocks from historic Chinatown. Explore, learn a bit, try some new things.
- Put your Greek on! If exploring Chinese tradition doesn’t tickle your fancy, or if you’re up for more than one culture festival, head for Kitsilano on Sunday. It’s Greek day! It sounds as though this annual festival has been amazingly successful, and they’re trying out some new things too. There’ll be music, food, cooking demos, and a kids zone. Not in Vancouver? Check on Google, or in your local community newspaper, and see if there’s any event going on in your area that might be from a culture you’re not too familiar with.
- Looking for a little adventure that doesn’t involve leaving home? Find it in your kitchen. Flip through that recipe book that’s collecting dust on your shelves, or trade recipe books with a friend. Find something you’ve never made before … and make it! Enlist the help of the kids, too. The youngest can pass things to you and dump what you’ve measured into a bowl. Older can stir and help measure and pour, still older can maybe do a side dish on their own. It’s said that kids will be more likely to try something new if they helped to make it. Not quite feeling up to something entirely new? How about a healthy twist on your old favourites? Beets in chocolate cake make the richest, darkest chocolate you’ve tasted. Trust me. Tired of banana bread? Try zucchini instead. Make oatmeal cookies with whole wheat instead of the regular flour, and toss in lots of dried fruits instead of plain old raisins. Kids not into it? That’s okay – let them go. Give them pots and utensils, see what they pretend all on their own.
- Perhaps you’re looking for adventure in your own back yard or local park? Pack up a few things and head outside! Love butterflies and dragon flies? Make a feeder for them. Bring a few outdoors-themed stories and read to the kids as you eat your lunch outside – then turn the kids loose and watch them play. See if elements of the stories turn up in their unguided, unstructured time. Bring large sheets of paper, bowls and paint trays, rollers, brushes, and kitchen utensils, and let the kids play with washable finger paints. See how long it takes for one of them to use their feet? Have them wear old clothes for this – chances are pretty good that some kid is going to paint with his bum. Get in there and join them too! Uh. Maybe not with your bum. Nose?
There, that’s a few suggestions. Don’t forget in your weekend planning to leave lots of time for just plain old play. We’ll probably head to the Dragonboat festival, and we’ll see what the weather does. I’m leaning towards a picnic in a park, with fingerpaints! How about you? What are your adventure plans for the weekend?