What do you look forward to on the weekend? Running from one sport to the next? Is it quiet time to relax and renew, perhaps a nap? Well, in our house — we look forward to “Adventure Saturday.”
I know what you are thinking — “What the heck is Adventure Saturday?” Well, quite honestly it is whatever direction the wind takes us … that’s right, no plans, no schedules, a complete surprise.
I am the mother to two boys, 8 and 3 years old. They are both very active and I will admit, I don’t like to sit still very often either. I am trying to be the “put your money where your mouth is mother” — in other words, if I tell my sons to wear their bike helmet, I will be wearing one too.
Over the past year, I have been talking to my oldest son about trust and learning to “go with the flow.” I wanted him to realize how important it is to trust one another — especially the people you love. I also wanted both boys to have spontaneous adventures, to learn that not every minute of the day needs to be scheduled.
So, as a fun way to show trust and spontaneity, I started Adventure Saturdays. This is a day where the boys get up in the morning, eat a quick breakfast and get dressed, ready to go on an adventure. This is the typical conversation with my 8-year-old:
Son: “Where are we going today?”
Mom: “What is the word of the day?”
Mom: “Do you trust that mommy will take you somewhere fun?”
Mom: “Let’s just see what direction the wind takes us today.”
Then he usually starts laughing about past adventures or we turn the music loud in the truck and sing.
So what are some of our typical adventures?
1. We have gone to garage sales (not my favorite thing — but we usually find books or a game — which is fun).
2. Taking both boys for a bike ride in the trailer — also quite a workout for mommy since combined they are over 70 pounds.
3. Hiking — bring a bag for all the great rocks and sticks you might find along the way. Bring along snacks to eat, stop to rest and talk about the plants around you.
4. Breakfast at the park followed by playing at the playground.
5. Splash pad at the park.
6. Going out for donuts or bagels.
7. Taking a drive just to enjoy the scenery. Stop occasionally to take goofy pictures.
8. Go fishing — either at an urban lake or drive up to the mountains and fish up on the rim.
9. Shopping at Goodwill because every other Saturday is 50 percent everything.
10. Take the light rail and go out for lunch.
11. Go to the library or museum.
12. Go to the Farmers Market.
13. Go to a movie.
14. Go to a baseball game.
15. Take the dog to the dog park.
16. Mountain biking.
17. Load up the bikes, head to Kiwanis Park and ride the canal trails.
18. Bring a board game to the park, enjoy the sunshine and play a game.
19. Go to the driving range at the Ahwatukee Country Club and hit golf balls.
20. Go to the Pecos Community Center and play air hockey.
21. Playing Frisbee or football in the greenbelt.
22. Get a blanket, lie in the grass and look at the clouds, trying to create animals, etc.
23. Camping in the backyard — or a nearby campground.
24. Hummingbird Habitat at Desert Breeze Park.
25. Concert — these are later in the afternoon, but a great time for a picnic, great music and plenty of fresh air.
One Saturday we went to Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler where the boys learned how to care for and give a bath to a Guinea Pig and they had an absolute blast. The education center at the park also has a few snakes and spiders to look at as well as a lake; we spent a few hours exploring everything before heading out for lunch.
Do our adventures always turn out great? Absolutely not, but we still laugh about it and say maybe next time it will be better. Sometimes our Saturdays are jam packed with other activities, but we always try to fit in an adventure, even on a different day.
We love Adventure Saturday because it is time together, we laugh lots, the boys enjoy that they never know where we will be going and what we will be doing. I love that they are learning to trust, have fun and not live on a schedule. Where will your next adventure be?
• Leah Derewicz is a 15-year Ahwatukee Foothills resident. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.