We just had some friends do the cross country transplant...Boston to Northern California. Totally new to the area they remembered that my blog had several entries regarding Northern California and thought perhaps we were here and sent an email. A couple of exchanges later and I had sent a list of places and activities to start them and their family that contains three children, 6months, 2.5yrs, and 3.5yrs "go"ing in their new location.
(Funderland 30mi from home-->)
(Funderland 30mi from home-->)
And they have taken the list and are checking things off rather quickly with the wonderful attitude that "We decided if the kids don't make it very long we'll just pack up early but we'd like to try!" They can do this because they are easing their kids into their new surroundings as well as making them change adaptive by doing lots of activities locally.
(<--Rodeo Park, 13mi from home) The first area to look close to home is your local Parks and Recreation Department or Community Services District. For starters this is generally who maintains your parks system and therefore will have a list of parks with addresses and generally descriptions. What kid does not love a park. And generally you will be surprised to find many you did not even know existed. We literally could probably pick a day every week of the summer and go to a different park within a 15mile radius of us and still not visit them all. My to go list for Parks:
> Baby Powder (for drying and brushing off sand from sandboxes)
> Sand Toys (with your family name in permanent marker)
> Hydration & Snack (sack lunches if you want to extend your visit)
> Change of Clothes
> Swim clothes & towel (if park has a water feature)
Other things your local Department or District may offer is classes...from cultural in the arts (dance, theater, media arts, cooking) to sports training or teams (soccer, t-ball, swim, flag football). Some go as far as to offer full blown camps in the summer that may be a mix of classes. And most are very economical especially if you are a resident in their covered territory.
Then there are other local attractions such as zoos, libraries, museums, that if you are good and review their calendars will have special events for kids or even free admission days. These are good ways to get kids on the go and marry that with my favorite quotation which comes from the children's characters Toot & Puddle.."The more you go...the more you know."
(Folsom Zoo, 13mi from home-->)
(<--Amador Co Fair, 30mi from home)
And lastly alway ensure to grab your local paper at least on the day they publish their local calendar of events. In addition to many of the event attractions listed above you will also find local festivals, fairs, and concerts. Or if your community is large enough to have a local magazine it seems as though the focus of the May or June Issue is always the family and summer activities as this is the time kids are getting out of the traditional school year and parents are plotting the summer activities. Another source is the local Visitor's Authority.
So even if your children or even you for that matter are not ready for that road trip quite yet you can slowly work your way there by "go"ing on mini-adventures in your community.
For my local readers here's some of my favorite resources. but for my non-local readers you can pretty much do a search on these same titles, but replace the location with yours: