Costco and other adventures

For us, getting out of the house everyday is critical. There is something about being cooped up inside that puts us all on edge and makes it 1000% more likely I will lose my temper at the kids. I try to make stuff fun for them, but I'm also super lazy so some days we just go to Costco and eat all the samples. And they love it. The YMCA has also been good to us, but Costco is bae.

Costco is also a popular choice for days when the weather just won't cooperate. I swear, show up to Costco some Tuesday morning when it's raining out and you will find ALL THE TODDLERS. And every mom in there has a coffee, a glazed look on their face and three random items in the cart - cause we are really just here for the samples. Of course, there is always something to buy at Costco, so they get something out of this too. Symbiosis, friends. 

If it's not a Costco day, then we have lots to choose from. In fact, we are lucky to live in an area that has soooo much nature to offer so close to home. I can pack the kids in the car and be on a trail, in a forest or on the beach in 10 minutes. Having fun outdoors is so easy for kids - literally everything is something to explore or stare at or ask one zillion questions about - too bad their resident trail guide has approximately one Berenstain Bear's book amount of nature knowledge. STILL THO. 

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I call leaving the house everyday our adventure, mostly to entice the 3 year old to put his shoes on. It does not require much, I have watched our kids happily throw 286 rocks into the ocean for an hour. This is the type of low-effort activity that I'm very into. I try to take the kids to places where there aren't a lot of people, where I feel safe and where I am comfortable with Charlie running around on his own - this strategy was borne of one too many harrowing and anxiety-ridden outings. 

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Someone suggested to me once that we should do family activities that I also enjoy doing, so that I don't come to dread doing all of the "kid stuff". Of all the unsolicited parenting advice I've received over the years, this has stuck with me the most. It's also made it easier for me to not feel guilty about not doing crap with the kids that I hate doing. I hate staying home and playing with Play-doh or making crafts so we don't do it, even though the kids like it. I want to enjoy the time I spend with my kids as much as I want them to love what they're doing.

Some of our fave outdoor places to go (not a comprehensive list, there's so much to do here):  

Children's Forest at the Irving Nature Park

Saints Rest Beach

Rockwood Park (better with 2 adults if it's crowded, imo) 

Harbour Passage  

Rainbow Park

City of Saint John Playgrounds