Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Free Memories and Adventures!

We live in a small town.  When I started homeschooling my boys, I was worried that since we did not live in a big city that there would not be many learning activities we could do outside of the home. I also worried that even if there occasionally was something fun to do, then we would have to pay a lot to participate. Once I started searching, I was surprised by the amount of fun, free stuff in our area.

We have several state parks in a 45 mile radius of our home. Most of them offer great free programs. Even without the programs it has been fun for us to walk on the different walking trails and observe nature. We have also found a fun new hobby to do as a family—bird watching.  We have had so much fun with all the different programs we have found in our state parks. I encourage you to look for the state parks in your area to see what yours offer.

We have a favorite state park that is a few miles from our home http://www.historicwashingtonstatepark.com/. It is an historic village. This is a wonderful place for our family to go. We try to go to everything they offer because it is so close and it never gets boring.  We learn something new every time we visit. Since we go there so often, we get to explore the park in much greater depth. We recently signed up to volunteer for Civil War weekend at this state park. We get to dress in costume and re- live lives of people who lived in that era. What an exciting, wonderful way to learn about history!  This is going to be one place that I know will live in my children’s memories forever.  One day after a fun visit, we were sitting on the front porch of the restaurant eating ice cream.  My 8 year old son said to me, “Mom, this is our place. When I get bigger I hope it is still here so I can bring my kids.”  I encourage you to keep visiting places even if you have visited them before.  You never know what other exciting things you might find on future visits.


Our town has a news web page. This has been a great resource for us because the reporter will let us know if there is anything unusual in town. These events are usually fun and interesting things that my family has never seen. In my house we call them “adventures”.  Some of our “adventures” have included visiting the Weenie Mobile when it came to town. We got our pictures taken for the news web page and took a tour of the Weenie Mobile.  The kids even got a weenie whistle!  We also got to find out all about how a person gets the job of driving the Weenie Mobile.

Another time he posted really late one night that the Met Life Blimp had to stay overnight at our tiny airport. We got up early the next morning and went to the airport to see the blimp up close and get pictures.
This past week the circus came to town. We did not have the time or the money to go to the circus. But they did offer the opportunity to anyone who wished to come see the animals and watch the big tent go up for free. We went and were able to see many interesting animals. There were camels, elephants, hippos, and other exotic animals.  So watch your paper or local web pages for things happening in your community that you otherwise might not give a second thought.

I know that you may not get these exact opportunities; but, just because you live in a small town or don’t have extra money does not mean that you cannot have a lot of memory making “adventures”, too. Happy searching!

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