Saturday Morning Adventures

With two active little ones, it’s hard to get everything done. My husband and I work hard to make the regular tasks fun. Some examples are singing with the kids while we clean (complete with snowball fights with socks), saying yes to the grocery cart with the car in front (despite the poor turning radius) and talking up the dum-dums they’ll get after their haircut.

We all need some adventure in life – but as a growing family, some of the dreamt-of exotic trips are temporarily out-of-reach. That doesn’t mean the fun stops. Instead, it means we look at what is around us, finding more than we imagined right in our backyard.

I chuckled the first time my husband brought up how we should start Saturday Morning Adventures with the kids. First, because at the ages of 1 and 3, every moment out of the house was a special kind of adventure. Second, because my first thoughts of adventure included mountains, an airplane, or an ocean – certainly more than we can tackle in one morning. But our first adventure proved to be well worth the title.

We headed to Pick and Pick farm, located in mid-Missouri about halfway between Jefferson City and Columbia. On a beautiful spring morning, my children grabbed their buckets and we headed out into the patch for our red-berried treasure. We were not disappointed in our search, and my daughter got more than her fill of Vitamin C before we finished the first row.  From then, I was convinced. Saturday mornings would be our family time to explore what mid-Missouri had to offer.

Subsequent Saturday-morning adventures have included Rock Bridge State Park, where my son got a chance to put his magnifying glass to work. We’ve enjoyed Coffee Zone in Jefferson City, where every patron is welcomed as a personal friend of owner Taisir Yanis. We’ve explored Runge Nature Center, Leapfrog Fun Center in Holts Summit, and even Central Dairy ice cream for a yummy, albeit less-than-typical breakfast.

Each time has been special, and my children now ask us, “When will it be Saturday? What do we have planned?”

True,  some adventures have involved cleaning the garage or organizing closets. After all, the to-do list never gets any shorter. But Saturday mornings have come to mean a special time for my family – close to home, easy-to-find and adventures a-plenty.

Written by Laura Holloway, former Missouri Division of Tourism website editor and current explorer of all things Mid-Missouri