Near the start of every summer, I take the kids out for an “Adventure Day”. Usually, I have a loose plan of what to do, but we like to let the day take us where it may. We live in Saratoga Springs, NY which is a great area for adventures, both in and out of town. There are a few “go to” Adventure Day favorite activities.
Breakfast at the race track can be high-end and first class or simple and relaxing. We go with the latter. The day will start out with a visit to the historic Saratoga Race Course to watch the horses working out. The races only happen for 6 weeks every summer, so these days are anticipated year round! I will pack a picnic breakfast, or pick up something on our way. We settle in in the private boxes near the finish line and munch our food, and enjoy the amazing views and the “calm before the storm” that will arrive later in the day.
Not far from the track is East Side Recreation. This park has some playgrounds the kids can play on, but we love the baseball field. It has a truly “old time” feel to it, with an old wooden grandstand.
I pretend to pitch and play the field while the kids swing an imaginary bat and run the bases.
Lunchtime! There are so many choices in Saratoga Springs for a cheap, easy, and kid-friendly lunch, but our favorite is Uncommon Grounds. Bagel sandwiches all around! After we eat, we head over to the Public Library. The kids love the playroom, and we pick out a book or two to borrow.
Usually, we will round out the day at Saratoga Spa State Park. There is so much to do. We can ride our bikes on the paved paths, go for a hike in the woods. Spend time by Geyser Creek, wading in the water and floating homemade milk jug boats. Of course, the kids need more playground time here also!
If our adventure day turns into a rainy day adventure, then I have a few backup plans.
Most malls have an indoor play area, that the kids have loved to go to and climb around on. The kids love to go and window shop at any of the big box stores in the toy aisle. They get a chance to spend time checking out the latest and greatest in Legos, Shopkins, Star Wars, and Hatchimals!
These are days that I look forward to each year as summer approaches.
I hope that when the kids look back on the summers of their youth, these days will be tucked in there with swimming at a friend’s pool, beach vacations, and sports camps.
Cory Houser lives in Saratoga Springs, NY with wife Sabrina and their children. Often joining Anna, 9, and Cole, 6, in the adventures is the family dog, Pearl. Cory works as a physical education teacher, and keeps busy by coaching sports, doing house projects, and making Sunday pancakes.