Fall is going to quickly turn into Winter. It will be a time where all you want to do is stay snuggled in your warm house and rest. This is exactly what we were made to do. And while I enjoy that time of the year, I want to take advantage of the warmer weather before the cold hits. We did our family outing yesterday since my husband had the day off. The goal here is to plan a Self Care Saturday Challenge Family Outing.
I thought this was about taking care of me.
It is! I know it may not seem like it, but it honest and truly is. There is just something about watching your children’s faces light up when they discover something new. This is not about them, but about YOU. You are discovering once again while you love and enjoy your children.
I know things are HARD, and you go to bed exhausted with the knowledge that you have to get up and do it again tomorrow. It is so easy to get caught up in the everyday training, cleaning, and feeding, that you forget about the living. It is in the living that you find JOY in your life.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
We went to the Zoo yesterday and had a blast. My youngest 2 had never been to the Zoo and I enjoyed watching them enjoy the animals. My older 4 had been several times, but they enjoy seeing their favorite animals.
I could describe this to you, but nothing does it justice like a real picture. Just look through these pictures, and you will see a pure joy. I am truly living in the moment. I am taking the time to be grateful for my rowdy crew.
Not only are these pictures my reminder right now. They are the memories that we will have when they are all grown up and moved on with their lives. These are the things that will keep me warm on the long days when I have an empty nest.
This is going to be stressful.
It could be. Honestly, to pack up my crew of 8 and head out to the Zoo is a little daunting. We do have a Zoo pass, that we haven’t used yet, so that will take out the worry about money. We are also going after lunch, so I don’t have to worry about feeding everyone.
BUT you don’t have to go to the zoo. There are so many other things you can do. I made a list of a few ideas that we have enjoyed in the past.
Go for a drive
This is something we LOVE to do. No one is allowed to play video games. We make sure to have drinks and snacks. We really loved doing this when we lived in Pennsylvania. The mountains are gorgeous and the color can only be matched in Tennessee. It is truly glorious! God and his color palette.
While we are out, we usually find a fun place to stop for ice cream or a fun snack. The trip is memorial and relaxing. My littles may fall asleep, but for a while it is peaceful.
Visit a park
My children love going to a park, even my teenagers. We have a park about 5 minutes from us, but it is always fun to travel to new ones. You don’t have to have a picnic, but it is always best to have a drink and a snack after they have run off all of that energy.
We have a couple of some beautiful forests near us that will still have leaves on their trees. This is another great drive through experience, with maybe a stop at the playground to play.
Visit a museum
We are blessed to live near a city that has some fun museums. This is a great time to check out what they have to offer. My kids have their favorites, but I try to find something new every year.
One year we checked out the Louisville Slugger Museum. We also love living history museums like Conner Prairie. We haven’t been in years, and the kids are looking forward to going again next spring.
Don’t be afraid to drive and make a day trip out of it. Within 2 hours of us is Indianapolis and Cincinnati. Both of these places have great museums, both outside and inside. While not all of them are free, sometimes you have to spend money for amazing things.
Go out for Dessert
We love dessert in this family. Sometimes it is ice cream. Other times we will hit a local bakery for a cupcake or a piece of cake. This is a fun treat. I’m not an a la carte cook. When I make a dessert it is usually only 1. If we go out then there are options and people have choices.
The excitement in this outing is that they get to choose. We have usually set a $ limit per child, but they get to pick. I don’t pick for them. I even try to let my littles pick. It is very empowering for children to have freedom of choice.
Go out for Breakfast
Breakfast is the cheapest meal of the day, especially when feeding a large family. Places like IHOP are
great. We also like Frisch’s and Dennys. If big breakfasts aren’t something you do on a regular basis, then this would be a great option for you.
My older 4 love it when we visit a place that has a buffet. They love having the options and the concept of all you can eat. I won’t tell you about all they try to eat, but they can really pack the food away. We certainly get our money’s worth when they eat.
Self Care Saturday Challenge Family Outing
I know this is daunting, and may seem like the opposite of self-care. I promise it is worth it. The time spent will never be regretted. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of time or all day.
These are the things your children will still be talking about when they get older. Mine still talk about when we drove through the mountains in Pennsylvania. They talk about the big breakfast they ate that made them sick. My middle boy asks when we are going out to his favorite bakery again.
Take some time to tie strings with your children. It will be worth it. Besides, you could also grab a coffee from a local coffee shop while you are out to help you make it through the day. I know I did.