When I found out I was going to have the opportunity to test drive the Honda Odyssey, I was really excited. My biggest reason being MORE room. With four of us, life can feel a little squishy when out and about, even more so when we want to bring a family member or friend along. And the reality is we usually don’t just want to bring one family member or friend but that’s all our car can hold.
The timing honestly couldn’t have been better. Not only was I on a mission to deliver joy, but I was spending time with a very special visitor — my grammy. She was visiting and hoped to get to spend a lot of time with her great grandchildren during her stay.
Prior to her trip being finalized, my family and I had contemplated heading up north. However, we just couldn’t make it work financially or with our schedules. We absolutely love going on family adventures and try and take them every chance we get. Our dream is to one day go on a real family vacation — when we all board an airplane and wander around a place none of us have been to while looking ever-so touristy. In the meantime, however, we’ve made the most of the few weekend getaways we have been able to take by taking to the highway knowing that whatever we did would be great because we were doing it together.
This holiday season, with the money we saved on gas and hotel lodging, we were still able to go on a few adventures local adventures. The kind that allowed us to pile up in the car even at a moment’s notice and drive no more than an hour away and still find ourselves immersed in the magic of the holidays. The thing about this season is you can feel its wonder no matter where you are. Joy is not limited to area codes or altitude. We carry it in our hearts and we share it. So wherever we are, the joy exists also.
As it would turn out some of the best adventures are the ones that ended with us pulling into the garage and carrying sleepy little ones into the house. The ones that stayed on our minds as we relived them moments before falling asleep or Instagramed them to friends wanting them to experience a bit of the magic.
If you are hoping to go on an adventure during the holidays I’ve got a few ideas to share. These are some of the activities that have filled our week with an extra helping of holiday cheer. They will remind you that you can still have a wonderful holiday season close to home. After all, what makes for the most memorable of adventures isn’t necessarily what you do but who you do it with.
8 Local Adventures to Go on This Holiday Season 1 of 10
â€˜Tis the season for adventures. This year we opted to go on a few local adventures as a family. Here are some ideas for local adventures you may want to go on based on what we did!
Ice skating 2 of 10
Each year we go ice skating as a family. This year my husband and I decided to go on a date night while the girls hung out with their grandparents. We went on a weeknight so it wasn't packed and went around the ring while I dreamed of what it would be like to be a figure skater. There's something fun about gliding (or attempting to glide) around the ice even if it's on a rink on the corner of a mall parking lot.
Go out to eat 3 of 10
Go out for a meal! Visit a new restaurant or a family favorite. And don't discount the drive thru. One of our favorite places is In n Out. When you go, they always ask you if you'll be eating in your car. We went after going to look at Christmas tree lights and since we had plenty of room, we decided to eat in the car. We ate our burgers and fries while listening to Christmas carols on the radio.
Hot cocoa for two (or more!) 4 of 10
People often think of coffee shops as great destinations for a fun romantic date or to get a little work done, but they are also great places to hang out with your little one. My daughter loves going with me to the coffee shop. Since we are able to make hot cocoa at home getting it at the coffee shop along with a sweet treat always feels like a special treat for the both of us. Sometimes we will sit inside; however, during this time of year it always seems crowded. In those instances we will sit in the car, sip our hot cocoa and have girl time. Just the two of us (or three, sometimes baby sister is with us too!).
Drive around and look at Christmas lights 5 of 10
One of our newer traditions is heading to Candy Cane Lane. When I was a little girl I used to go. It is amazing to think about the fact that I now take my own children. Each time we've gone it's been so fun. We drive around a neighborhood filled with houses decked out in holiday cheer. We admire the lights and decorations people have set up in their yards. This year we had enough room for my grammy, my mom and her husband to join us. Since our baby was bigger she could see the lights from her car seat. My grandmother loved seeing the lights and raved about it the entire night. It was fun for all of us to get to experience that together. It was a reminder of how precious the simple joys really are.
Visit a Christmas Tree farm 6 of 10
Each year we contemplate getting a real Christmas tree but we always end up deciding to just use the artificial one we already have. But this year, the Christmas tree farm seemed to be calling our names. So we went. Of course we didn't buy a tree (but who knows, maybe next year?) but we frolicked along the aisles of trees, felt the pine and breathed in the smell of Christmas. We sat by the bonfire and felt the warm glow and we paid a visit to the farm animals. On the way out we stopped in the farm store and got some treats and mistletoe. I had always wanted to get some and after exchanging a few kisses beneath it we decided to buy some.
See a Holiday play 7 of 10
Holiday plays make this time of year feel even more festive. On a whim my mother and I decided to look up a play that a friend of mine told me about over a year ago. As it would turn out it was playing not far from our house. So we got tickets and went to see it, my mom, my oldest daughter and my grandmother. We all loved it and it was a great opportunity for us to make a memory together the four of us.
Go to the North Pole 8 of 10
Sounds a little farfetched? It isn't quite as difficult as you might think. All over the country are train rides headed for the North Pole. We found one in a neighboring county. After spending a little less than an hour on the road (together!) my friend and her two daughters and me and my two boarded a train in our pajamas and went to visit Santa. We had milk and cookies, listened to a story and sang Christmas carols. Afterwards we posed for a picture with Santa himself!
Deliver joy 9 of 10
These adventures where our most favorite. They were the ones where we delivered joy and did things like visiting seniors and bringing them flowers, and visiting our friend and the fire station to drop off toys and take a tour of the fire station. All of these things were fun, touching, humbling and most certainly made our hearts happy.
‘Tis the season for adventures 10 of 10
If traveling isn't really an option, know that there are still tons of things you can do. Things like traveling to the mall and admiring the giant Christmas trees, heading to a special bakery and trying their holiday fair, or going to a Christmas parade can all feel like mini-adventures. Even places like your local zoo or favorite book store may have special events just for the holidays. A quick internet search will help you find out what is happening in your area. There are so many fun things to do and not all of them cost a lot either. For example, going to see Christmas lights really wasn't more than the cost of gas. Now is the time to make special memories that you will carry into the new year and beyond. Today I'm feeling especially grateful to Honda for helping make it possible to make some with our family side by side thanks to the fact that we had a little bit more room for our loved ones this season.
Wishing you a holiday filled with adventures — whether they are local or someplace far away may they fill your heart with joy!