As a family, we try to make good use of our free weekend time together. These days, however, with both boys the ages they are and the interests they have in team sports year round, we always seem to have sports games one day of the weekend if not both! But when we can, we’re eager to get out and do something. It might be visiting a new place or a favorite from long ago, or attending a seasonal or cultural activity or special event.
With that said, it is easy to just end up lounging at home. The brothers generally play well together and we enjoy watching them spend time together. What helps us get motivated and out the door are some “family challenges” we have. We find lists of suggested activities and we set out to complete them. Currently, we have three lists that provide tons of inspiration for our excursions:
- 100 Things to Do in LA with Kids by MommyPoppins Los Angeles
This is Mommy Poppins Los Angeles’ bucket list “of must-do activities for LA kids.” It covers just about every kind of activity imaginable: hikes, amusement parks, museums, aquariums, and festivals, just to name a few. And the list also provides inspiration to visit various places in the Los Angeles area: Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu, Griffith Park, Catalina Island, downtown, beaches, and many other places. Some activities are definitely more easily accomplished than others.
- 18 hikes in Best Easy Day Hikes: West Los Angeles by Bryn Fox
This hiking guide provides descriptions and maps for 18 hikes that are easily reachable from the West LA area. It is not specifically meant for kids, but since they are described as “easy”, we thought it would work well as a guide for hiking with kids. One feature I particularly like about the book is that it has a list of best hikes for beach/coast lovers, waterfalls, children, swimming holes, views, geology lovers, and nature lovers. We can choose a hike based on an area we want to visit or the kind of hike we want to experience.
- 6 geocaches in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area ParkCaching Program
We discovered this challenge quite by accident. I had picked out the Solstice Canyon hike from Best Easy Day Hikes: West Los Angeles, but got my canyons mixed up when looking at a satellite map to see if we could add some geocaching to the hike. I thought we were headed to a canyon with tons of geocaches. Once we parked, we quickly learned that the geocache-filled canyon was not Solstice Canyon, but the one right next to it. It ended up being a lovely hike to a waterfall and ruins of an historic home with amazing views, but it only had one geocache for us to find. That geocache, however, turned out to be one of six in a series put out by someone working in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. At each cache, you can pick up a collector’s card; and in the end, all six cards complete a puzzle. The quest for these remaining geocaches will take us to various places in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area: the Visitor Center in Thousand Oaks, Paramount Ranch, Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center, Circle X Ranch, and Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons, all places I’m totally unfamiliar with and eager to explore.
Does your family have any kind of checklist of activities that serves as an inspiration to get out?