Sports and activity information for the ALL STAR in your house

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All Star Activities Mystery Family Adventures
Fun Outing with Kids


Keeping the kids busy and balancing family time with work can be a full time job, so when you are planning a family outing you need to make it really special.  It does not need to be expensive just exciting.  There are plenty of "free" things to do with your kids, you just need to present it in a way that makes it an adventure. 

Kids love surprises so why not incorporate this into your family outings by creating "Family Mystery Adventures".   It is fun and creative way to get the kids totally involved and excited about your family outing without them knowing where they are going.  It does take a little bit of advance planning but it is worth it when you see how excited the kids will get.

First, select a destination.  It can be as simple or as extravagant as you like.  I like to keep it simple and inexpensive for most of the time but then mix in a few overnight outings and then once a year do something really extravagant.  Once a destination is set by mom and dad, kids are not made aware of any part of the outing, a date and time is set. 

Prior to the outing secretly load your car with any items that you will need. On the day of the outing get the kids up and let them know that it is a "Family Mystery Adventure Day".  As you get ready give a few very generic clues as to your destination to start the dialogue with the kids as to where you could possibly be going.  Continue giving clues, but none that will give away the location, in the car while you are driving.  You will totally enjoy hearing their comments and speculations.  In fact you may even get some ideas for future outings.

You may want to keep a box in the trunk of your car to include some necessities like towels, sunscreen, water bottles, blanket, ball, first-aid kit, jackets and a change of clothes.

To mix up the adventures you can have each child invite a friend to come along, have friends meet you at the destination, ask grand mom and grand pop and/or cousins to join the fun.

Fun Ideas to use for Family Mystery Adventures:

Simple and no cost family outings...

Trip to the beach
Watch fireworks
Visit a park and have a picnic
Fly a kite
Visit a library/bookstore for story time
Go on a hike
Visit a local factory and do the free tour
Take them fishing
Visit a local orchard and pick the fruit that is in season

Take a country drive and enjoy the fall colors.

Take a drive at Christmas and enjoy the lights.  (Vote on the best decorated house)
Visit the local playground and bring some bubbles
Go to an elementary/middle school sponsored event like seasonal concerts, talent shows, or plays
Takes the bikes to go a "new" bike trail
Go to a 4th of July, St Patrick's Day, Halloween or any other parade
Have a mall scavenger hunt
Visit a farm
Go to the city at Christmas window shop and stop for hot chocolate
Go bird watching

Fun but more expensive ...

Visit a nature center
Take them bowling
Visit a museum
Go Ice Skating
Go to a 3D movie
Go to a drive-in movie theater
Take them to see a cave or coal mine
Visit a historical site
Go on a boat ride
Go to a professional sporting event
Go kayaking, rafting or tubing
Visit the circus
Visit a corn maze
Go to a skate park
Take them horseback riding
Go to a college soccer game
Plan a trip to the zoo
Go on a hayride
Attend a high school football game and have a tailgate party
Visit a neighboring community's fall festival
Go to a pumpkin patch and purchase pumpkins to carve
Go to an ice cream shop and have them create their own sundaes
Visit an aquarium
Go out for Chinese Food
Go out for breakfast
Take the local train into the city, have lunch and take it back home

Extravagant but they will love it...

Visit the American Girl Store and/or FAO Schwartz
Plan a trip to Disney World
Take a weekend sailing trip
Go to the beach on vacation
Go the dinner and then the theater
Take them skiing
Go to an amusement park
Go camping for the weekend
Pick a city that is 2 hours away and go visit it for the weekend
Visit  Washington, D.C. to see the monuments and the Smithsonian
Visit "Little Italy" in a large city and get an delicious Italian dessert
Go on a hot air balloon ride
Visit a historic city like Philadelphia or Williamsburg
Take them Snow Tubing
Visit a water park