The New Active Family Outing: Saturday Adventure Days


Summer’s just around the corner. Are you looking for some fun and active family outing ideas? We hear you. That’s why we started doing Saturday Adventure Days!

It’s easy to think you need a whole week off in order to do fun things, and we’ve all got excuses why we can’t go to that downtown attraction or visit that nearby mountain. But your family really can do a lot in a day! It just takes a little planning.

Want to be more active with your family? Here’s why we started our Saturday Adventure Days, plus our top tips for successful family outings.

More Activity, Please!

The idea behind our family outings took shape when our middle son started to crave adventure. And like many parents, we were feeling tied down by diaper bags and home obligations. Even though we felt like our family had a limited existence, in truth, we simply needed to change our mindset from one that felt like we couldn’t go anywhere to one that maximized the free time we do have.

I have lived in the Seattle area for 13 years, while Erin has lived here all of her life. And yet, we’ve really only seen a handful of the really cool things that make this place so great. Realizing that, we decided to take advantage of our close proximity to all of these things, with our three young boys in tow.

We’ve been doing it for nearly four months now and have a pretty good rhythm going about how it works. Our goal is to go somewhere nearby where we’ve never been before and that’s easy to get to, then enjoy exploring it together as a family. So far, our mini adventures have included day trips to places like Seahurst Park, Bainbridge Island and Whidbey Island.

Our kids look forward to our one-day trips all week long, and they love pretending to be in charge of our weekly mission. Our oldest son makes us loosely-drawn maps on construction paper for each destination, which gives him confidence and a sense of control because hey, we’re following this map he made. (Of course, we secretly use our phone’s GPS to help us navigate the way there!)

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Adventure Day Success Tips

  • Start small and ease your kids into it, especially if they’re younger. This gives you a chance to see how your kids will handle different kinds of trips, like hiking short trails and riding a ferry boat.
  • Get your little explorers involved by asking them where they would like to explore and having them make the “official” map. When you involve your kids in the planning process, they get a chance to try something new, be really adventurous, and feel accomplished. Plus, it keeps them off the screen all day long!
  • Don’t make a super-detailed itinerary with lots of scheduling and structure. You can’t always plan for what’s going to happen, and besides, sometimes it’s more fun to wing it a bit!
  • Pack a survival kit. Bring towels, extra shoes and a change of clothes if you’re going someplace where it might be wet or muddy. We learned that one the hard way as beach time and hikes can get messy! Also be sure to include water and healthy snacks for everyone because you never know what time lunch will really happen while out on your adventure.

Where Will Your Family Explore?

We’d love to hear about the mini adventures your family has in the works. Follow our antics on Instagram #saturdayadventureday and share your must-visit places and must-do activities with us in the comments. If we’re lucky, our family may just run into yours!


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