“Spring Bucket List” – 25 Fun Things to Do

A spring wreath

I think spring is finally here! Better late than never….It is fun to create a “Spring Bucket List” and to come up with activities both you and your kids will enjoy. I have created “Bucket Lists” now for all seasons and I have an overall “Life Bucket List” too.

Here is my “Spring Bucket List”: (Might give you some ideas to create own)

  1. Adventureland (Farmingdale, NY) and/or Dutch Wonderland (Lancaster, PA)
  2. Buy some tulips/daffodils
  3. Get a ride on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle (This is on my personal “Life Bucket List”!)
  4. Go on a scavenger hunt with the kids in NYC (or in your local area)
  5. Enjoy the beauty of Brooklyn Botanical Garden or NY Botanical Garden
  6. Make a trip up to the Cloisters (Fort Tyron Park)
  7. Buy some scented candles and soaps at Bath and Body Works (Love, Fresh, Sunshine, Smile, Love, Happy sound like fun scents to me!)
  8. Have a picnic (weather permitting)
  9. Hiking and/or walk around the lake at Bear Mountain State Park
  10. Plan a NY getaway – Iloveny.com
  11. Stay at a hotel with an indoor pool
  12. Take a walk on the Hi-Line in NYC
  13. Travel out east to the Hamptons and the North Fork, LI in the off-season (Pick up some Rose Wine at Croteaux Vineyards – one of our favorites!)
  14. Go to the local park and play basketball
  15. Go to a baseball game
  16. Drive-in Movie Theater (Link to the 5 closest ones to NYC)
  17. Circle Line Cruise or Double Decker Bus (Who says you can’t be a tourist where you live?)
  18. Walk 10,000 steps a day
  19. Stand outside the Today Show with a sign
  20. Have a “Kaffee und Kuchen” (Coffee and Cake) Playdate
  21. Go to the NY Transit Museum
  22. Fly a Kite and sing “Let’s go Fly a Kite” from Mary Poppins
  23. Go Ziplining (Link to The Adventure Park at Long Island)
  24. Go for family bike rides (with helmets of course!)
  25. Go to doggie park with Max and Bella (our dogs)

Mommy Poppins® also has Top 100 Things to Do with your Kids Before They Grow Up in NYC and Long Island . Good stuff…

What is on your Spring Bucket list?

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Going on a scavenger hunt can be a great way for you and your kids to explore an area.

Through April 7 with scavenger hunt and NOFO 075  Through April 7 with scavenger hunt and NOFO 071Through April 7 with scavenger hunt and NOFO 074

Last week, the girls and I did a scavenger hunt in New York City. I created a list of 50 items I thought we might see. We had a really fun time on our “hunt”and we took pictures of many of the items we saw. I thought I would share the scavenger hunt I created:

NYC Scavenger Hunt for Kids and Adults:

  1. Water Tower
  2. Taxi
  3. Empire State Building
  4. Macy’s
  5. Trash Can
  6. Dog
  7. Tree
  8. Ant/Bug
  9. Food Street Vendor
  10. Statue
  11. Slice of Pizza
  12. Street Musician/Acrobat
  13. Stairs
  14. Street Lamp
  15. Graffiti
  16. Scaffolding
  17. Time/Temperature Sign
  18. Little Bird
  19. Building between five and ten stories tall
  20. Grass
  21. Double Stroller
  22. Fire Truck
  23. Police Car
  24. Mailbox
  25. Family with 3 kids
  26. Park Bench
  27. Yellow Flowers
  28. Person wearing Sunglasses
  29. Person speaking a Foreign Language (not English)
  30. Bus (extra point for Double Decker Bus)
  31. Fruit Stand
  32. No Smoking Sign
  33. Outdoor Table with Chairs
  34. Billboard
  35. Cash Register
  36. Person wearing a Baseball Cap
  37. NYC Souvenir Vendor
  38. Church
  39. Starbucks
  40. Escalator
  41. Bathroom Sign
  42. Red Car
  43. Someone wearing Orange Shirt or Sweater
  44. Suitcase
  45. Subway Sign
  46. Flag (extra point for American Flag)
  47. Bagel Store or Person eating a Bagel
  48. Sign in a Foreign Language (not English)
  49. Person Drinking a Soda
  50. Sign which has the words New York or NYC on it

This past weekend, I created another scavenger hunt for our weekend in NOFO (North Fork, LI).

Through April 7 with scavenger hunt and NOFO 127

NOFO Scavenger Hunt for Kids and Adults: 

  1. Carousel
  2. Croteaux Vineyard
  3. Aldo’s Coffee
  4. Goat
  5. Ferry/Boat
  6. Lavender Farm
  7. Fruit Stand
  8. Firewood for Sale Sign
  9. Seagull
  10. Beach
  11. Ice Cream
  12. NOFO Sign
  13. Playground
  14. Fish (real or picture)
  15. Wine Bottle
  16. Green Car
  17. Gazebo
  18. Real Estate Sign
  19. Map of North Fork
  20. Dog
  21. Oyster (real or picture)
  22. Anchor
  23. Grapes
  24. Flowers
  25. Lighthouse

Some of you may be on spring break and I wanted to share this quick and easy activity you can do with your kids when you’re on vacation or even locally in the area where you live. Have fun exploring!

NOFO (North Fork, NY): Road trips should have fun activities for adults and kids.

nofo

As summer is just around the corner, I am going to stick with the road trip theme and elaborate a bit on a fantastic road trip we took in the spring. It was a perfect mix of fun for adults and the kids… I am a big fan of TripAdvisor and am always gathering tips on my smart phone when people I meet provide recommendations.

Here are the highlights of a perfect day trip with the kids to NOFO:

  • Catapano Dairy Farm– Peconic, NY – This is a goat farm and they make a nice assortment of goat cheese and other gift items also. This was the first stop and was fun for the kids since they could pet and feed the goats.
  • Croteaux Vineyards– Southold, NY  Our next stop was our favorite vineyard in NOFO – When you enter the tasting room area outside, it is magical. It is like taking a mini vacation to Provence. While children are welcome, they are asked to stay close to their party to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. This vineyard specializes in Rose wine which is light and perfect for the summer. Note: Limousines and buses (large parties are not welcome) which provides for more of an intimate setting from the other vineyards.
  • The Lunch Truck – Southold, NY – After our wine tasting, we were hungry and stopped at the food truck located behind the famed James Beard award winning North Fork Table and Inn. We grabbed some yummy pork pulled sandwiches for the adults and the kids enjoyed some fancy hot dogs with fries. We sat outside on a picnic blanket and enjoyed the afternoon sun.
  • By Aldo Coffee – Greenport, NY – By now we needed a little caffeine hit and this coffee house with actual coffee beans roasting in the front of the shop did not disappoint. Delicious coffee and cappuccino and the best biscotti ever .
  • Carousel – Greenport, NY– The kids were looking for some fun again so we visited this old carousel built in the 1920’s located close to the water. You can catch the brass ring and catch a free ride – $2.00/ride
  • R/T Boat Ride to Shelter Island from Greenport, NY – We could see Shelter Island in the distance and decided to take a R/T trip boat ride as foot passengers. $4 R/T per adult for the boat ride and the kids were free. It was a beautiful day and it was just about a ten minute ride with a nice breeze in our hair and the sun starting to set. It was fun for the kids (like a train ride to the city). It was getting a bit late, so we decided to immediately turn back and return to Greenport. Today was more about the boat ride vs exploring Shelter Island.
  • Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices – Greenport, NY Before our trip back home, we loaded up on some Italian ices which were a delightful way to end the day.

PS – Other great places to try: Eriks’ in Southold, NY for breakfast or lunch – tasty food, reasonable prices and kid friendly; Lavender By the Bay, Marion, NY – we picked up an English Lavender plant and it is doing very well in our backyard. They provided great planting and care instructions.

So what is the parenting life lesson? It’s all about balance. Road trips and family vacations are not all about the kids. If the kids want to have fun, the adults need some fun too. YOLO (You Only Live Once)

 

Road trips in our minivan paired with “old school” games create special family memories.

2013 Honda Odyssey Minivan

I truly love our Honda Odyssey minivan which we got last spring. I don’t know what the hang up is with minivans vs SUVs. I knew as soon as I sat in the 3rd row of the Honda Odyssey that this minivan was the way to go…comfortable and lots more legroom…great for family trips.

Our first road trip from New York to Vermont sat 6 adults and 2 children comfortably. We also have had fun trips to the North Fork, LI and hope to have many more this summer. Having room for eight people makes road trips more fun. I am not a fan of extended periods of electronic games/DVD players on road trips, but more about playing games with the family.

These are our 5 favorite road trip games (in no particular order)

1) License plate game – There are many ways to play this game, but our version is as follows:

* Guess the number of license plates we will see on the trip and I track everyone’s guess on my smart phone.

* Then the license plate hunt looking out the window begins, but I summarize them collectively.

* When we reach the destination, I tally up the number of license plates and the person who has the closest guess wins.

* Sometimes there is money involved – $5-$25 for the winner. If you are able to repeat all of the states from memory, the winner receives double the money.

2) Table Topics – set of 135 clever questions cards that ask a different question, from lighthearted fun to thought-provoking. No rules, just great conversations! (I have multiple versions of this game – – it is always lots of fun and you really get to learn wonderful things about family and friends)

For example – What was your favorite all-time vacation? (They even have a Table Topic to Go version for Road Trips)

3) Name Game – You create names with certain nouns that start with a specific letter. You start with the beginning of the alphabet and then go through the entire alphabet.

For example, “ A my name is Ava, I live in Alabama and I sell apples.” The next person starts with B (B my name is Birgitta and I live in Brooklyn and I sell bagels) and the same routine continues until you get to the letter Z.

4) Road Trip Bingo – This is basically a scavenger hunt on the road. You can buy Road Trip Bingo Boards on Amazon or you can just make them up yourself with items you think you may see on the road – (For example: stop signs, railroad crossing, farm, plane, bird on a wire, traffic light, cat, dog, airplane, truck, train, horse, tractor, orange car, etc.

5) ABC Game

* Look for signs on the side of the road or highway

* Start out with the letter “A” and find that letter on the sign somewhere

* Continue with the letter “B” and so forth… (You can make it easier or harder by having the word start with that specific letter or it can just be a letter on the sign. )

Summer vacation is around the corner! Children do grow up so quickly. Let the family road trip planning begin!

It’s never too early to start your Summer Bucket List.

A Summer Bucket List Photo

 

This is going to be the summer of “Less is More”. I am not signing up the kids for activities for most of the summer, but going to keep it open so we can get up and go to accomplish items on our Summer Bucket List. Keep it simple. Be grateful, happy and satisfied. Here is a draft of our list of what we have so far…

  1. Adventureland
  2. Baseball Game
  3. BBQ
  4. Beach
  5. Bowling
  6. Camping
  7. Cape Cod
  8. Central Park Picnic
  9. Circle Line Cruise
  10. Concert – Katy Perry, Jones Beach Theater
  11. Drive-In Movie Theater
  12. Dutch Wonderland
  13. Enjoy our own Backyard (Explore with a Magnifying Glass?)
  14. Lemonade Stand
  15. Local Parks
  16. Mini Golf
  17. Museums
  18. NOFO, LI
  19. Pedal Boot
  20. Play Badminton, Bocce, Frisbee, Tennis
  21. Pool
  22. Read a Good Book
  23. Run through Water Sprinklers in the Backyard
  24. See Family and Friends
  25. Sleepovers
  26. Splish Splash Water Park
  27. Stand outside the Today show with a sign
  28. Walk 10K Steps a Day
  29. Water Balloon Catch

Mommy Poppins® also has Top 100 Things to Do with your Kids Before They Grow Up in NYC and Long Island . Good stuff…

What’s on your Summer Bucket List?