So I love my not-so-celebrated holidays. Pi Day is one of my favorites (but it is right in the middle of the two kids’ birthdays so I often don’t have the time or headspace to do anything about it.) Another favorite of mine is Earth Day. It’s right at that perfect time of year when the Spring is getting springy. And I just love celebrating the Earth period. I try to do that even when it is not Earth Day. Plan something fun to do that day. Here are 10 ideas:
1. Run for Earth Day
My kids and I enjoy doing Fun Runs or 5Ks as a family. I don’t think we are going to this year (hold on while I choke back my tears), but I would loooooove to do an Earth Day run. See if there’s one in a city near you. For example, if you are in the Minnesota/St. Cloud University area, there is the Scheel’s Earth Day Run; if you are in the Philadelphia are, there is the Run for Clean Air; in Seattle, there is the Magnuson Earth Day run. I even found a 3K not too far from me. Could be a good way to spend the morning. (We are debating on whether it makes sense to miss ANOTHER swimming class.)
2. The Arboretum.
I love walking around the arboretum and it’s fun to take kids to see all of the flora. At first they were slightly less than impressed, but when convinced to take out their iPad/iPod and take pictures, suddenly everything was exciting and a potential subject.
3. Go for a hike.
My kids sure can complain about walking and it goes for hiking too often, but we always find interesting things to explore that take their minds off of their oh-so-tired legs.
4. Check out a farm sanctuary.
Seriously, so much fun. We went to one last year and the kids are begging to go back. Find one near you at sanctuaries.org.
5. Go camping.
I love camping. We actually just went camping last weekend (more musings on that to come) but cooking over a fire and being in a small space with my kids with nothing but the basics is pretty close to heaven for me.
I just got a bike trailer because my son outgrew his seat. I know he is old enough to just bike now, but sometimes long rides tire him, having to rush to get to school in the mornings, makes biking less appealing, and last year he hated the feeling of losing control when going downhill so I haven’t even been able to bike the entire way down our block without him insisting upon turning around. There are fairly flat bike trails near us so we may try one of them or I may let him chill in the trailer and soak in the scenery while Mama does all the work. What else is new?
7. Wildlife sanctuary
I happened upon a few of these surprisingly near me. These are similar to farm sanctuaries, but may be smaller or for a more specific set of animals. We found one that has owls and birds of prey who were injured and some will be rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Others who have been there too long or will never be properly able to survive in the wild live there. It’s fun for the kids to see the “regulars.” There is another we found that houses animals from people’s homes – snakes that got bigger than the family bargained for, chickens that were more work than the family initially anticipated. One even had a bobcat that people had thought would make a good pet – til it grew up. So it’s sad for these animals, but educational for us. We learn about animals and also what might happen if you don’t properly prepare yourself for when they aren’t so cute anymore.
8. Clean up your local park/neighborhood
I went on VolunteerMatch.org to find a clean up project near us. And I found one! But you had to be 12 or older. So that means my children would not be able to participate I supposed. Well, I would still do it, but I want to have a family experience so the other option is just to go to the local park/creek/beach and clean it. Why not? You don’t have to be part of a group to enjoy keeping your neighborhool clean.
9. Go to a BioDome/Community Garden
So the coolest place ever may just be the BioDome in Montreal (and it doesn’t give me that creepy animal-jail feeling that some zoos and other unnatural habitats do) But if you don’t happen to be in Montreal for Earth Day, go to a community or butterfly garden. It is fun to see what people grow and what knowledge they are able to share.
10. Monkey Kingdom!
I…must…see…monkeys…must…see…must…see… My kids and I fell in love with these family friendly nature documentaries back when we saw Bears. Ugh. They were so incredibly cute and I think it hit super close to home because I’m a Mama Bear and they are my two cubs. For a couple weeks, my son even insisted on being called my his “bear name” and we played bears instead of house a lot too. Monkey Kingdom is coming out on the 17th! Just in time for Earth Day! I think I need to pre-order my tickets because I seriously CANNOT wait!
**And it’s not a true 11 because, at least in my neck of the woods, nothing is ready for harvest, but check out LocalHarvest.org for when the U-Picks near you open!