The 2022 Spring Fun List

I’ve made seasonal fun lists for a long time. But I am a more recent convert to the spring fun list. I guess it’s pretty easy to enjoy spring as the days get longer and the flowers bloom. Today should be utterly beautiful. Sunny and 70 degrees!

However, beautiful as everything will be, there are still ways to make more memories from this fleeting season.

A few weeks ago, there was a question in the comments of how my family finds local events and activities to do. Some of this is just a function of living in a place for a long time. People tell you about places. You read about them. A kid goes to a birthday party somewhere. If you find two new activities you like each year, after ten years, this is 20 things — quite a lot to choose from!

So for instance in 2021 I learned about the downtown ice skating rink, Hawk Mountain (with its River of Rocks hike), and I learned about Holland Ridge Farms. All of those are now in the rotation. In 2020, I learned about the Philadelphia Auto Show (going just a few weeks before the world shut down…) and about Weaver’s Orchard. Certainly pick-your-own farms have been on my radar for a while, but we’ve explored a number and I tend to like the Weaver’s vibe.

We are or have been members at a lot of local institutions/museums, and as a result we’re on a lot of mailing lists. So when a place has an event or festival coming up, we hear about it. If it sounds good, my inclination is to try it. Some things are better than others (see the animatronic dinosaurs…probably not my favorite, though it was fine for 20 minutes). But you get out of the house in any case, and if it’s great it can go on the long-term list. This inclination to try stuff is nudged along by my “One big adventure, one little adventure” rule. It doesn’t happen every week, but the goal is more weeks than not!

With that in mind, here are this year’s Spring Fun List ideas:

See the cherry blossoms. The intention is going to Washington DC, which we did in 2019 and really enjoyed. If that doesn’t work (tricky timing with weekends and weather and such) there is a row of cherry trees in my new yard! They bloom later in the spring (closer to May) but are going to make me feel like I’m living in a wedding magazine photo spread for a few days.

See the tulips at Holland Ridge Farms. I bought the “anytime” tickets for the family so we can choose our day for nice weather and peak blooms. This year they apparently expanded their fields and their parking, so if we aren’t going to the Netherlands (truly lovely, by the way), this might be the next best thing.

Take an adventurous spring break trip. For superstitious reasons, I tend not to talk about my travel until it’s over, so this list entry is a bit vague. But fingers crossed this trip is going to happen.

Visit NYC. I have an overnight trip planned in late April, which should be during peak blooms. I’m looking forward to doing some walking around.

Listen to spring music. I really enjoyed doing this last year, listening to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, and so forth. This will upgrade my in-the-car music experience.

Go on a family bike ride.

Take photos of flowers and print some up. I really like botanical art in general, so this is a nudge to create some myself.

Read a spring-themed book. I welcome suggestions. Could be non-fiction or fiction, as long as it’s not depressing or intense fiction (I just…can’t right now).

Go outside after dinner. Since none of my children sleep anyway, we may as well go ride bikes and pogo sticks and dig in the dirt. There may be a new swing set coming too…

Turn my Instagram feed into a flower show. I had a lot of fun last night following copious flower farm accounts. If I’m going to scroll mindlessly, may as well make it a lovely experience!

What’s on your spring fun list?

Photo: I no longer live at the house with this magnolia tree, though I might drive by to pay it a visit. I’m hoping to find a new favorite tree in the new yard this spring. 

19 thoughts on “The 2022 Spring Fun List

    1. I was just about to post the exact same thing. Or even maybe just post a full list of the spring music you listen to so we can make our own playlists? It’s such a lovely way to mark the season.

    2. @KDR – I don’t even use Spotify! I have an apple music account. No play lists – I just search for a piece when I think of it and hit play. Most of my trips are short enough that this works.

  1. In regard to your comment about following flower pages on Facebook, I subscribe to a lot of national park pages and that makes for a lovely feed as well.

  2. In the Spring I tend to enjoy re-reading classic children’s books with a garden/ nature theme. The Secret Garden and The Wind in the Willows are on my list for this year.

  3. I’m trying to think of spring books – this idea is intriguing. We talk a lot of summer reading and holiday theme reading and Anne Bogel has in the past few years done lists related to fall reading. However spring gets the short shrift (as a librarian I’m intrigued by this). I’m thinking books that feature gardening or baseball. Possibly the Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach? I’m going to do some more research.

    1. @Alissa- it is intriguing! I have read The Secret Garden multiple times but maybe we have a tendency just to rush through spring on the way into summer. Who knows…

  4. I’m also quite superstitious in discussing travel before they actually happen. I also don’t tend to tell my kids until the day before (or night before) a trip. They’re young and I’ll be doing their packing anyways, but I’m sure I’ll need to change that tactic soon enough.

    I love these seasonal lists, and you’ve encouraged me to make my own!! I’m in Austin, and will FINALLY be doing the most stereotypical “Austin Springtime” activity of getting bluebonnet family pics!!

  5. I am listening to a YA novel Flipped, and thoroughly enjoying it. It has trees, chickens, front yard fixing etc in the first few chapters, so it might belong to the spring reading list. I don’t know how he story will progress though, but it has been delightful until now.

  6. I always love how much joy you get out of fresh flowers/foliage. I appreciate the beauty of such things, but it’s not an aspect of nature I tend to seek out! But these posts always remind me I would actually LIKE to spend more time focussing on the natural beauty around me (I’m great about this in terms of rock formations, towering trees, a fresh layer of snow but flowers in bloom just never seem to catch my eye!).

    “Since none of my children sleep anyway, we may as well go ride bikes and pogo sticks and dig in the dirt.” And then statements like this just make me laugh. Your personality is so refreshing. You seem to be very much tell-it-like-it-is and then move on and make the best with what you’ve got. My kids are still waking up early and I know someday I’m going to be complaining about how hard it is to drag them out of bed for school – but recently I stopped complaining one weekend morning and recognized how much I had done in terms of errands and house chores by 9 am. It was a lot! And then we had the rest of the day left to do fun things; so there are some perks (sometimes) to having children that don’t sleep a lot 🙂

  7. My list:
    1. Road trip: 6 states, 6 weeks, 6 baseball stadiums with my husband. Kids are grown and I just retired, and after 2 years of pandemic house-bound-ness, I am ready to carpe diem!
    2. Go to New York to see a play-booked with my sister, daughter and niece.
    3. Continue hiking. I was in a Wednesday afternoon hiking group that switched to evenings after the time change. I don’t want to do evenings, so I did some research and found a Tuesday afternoon hiking group. Invited 2 new friends from my Wednesday hiking group, and they are going, too.
    4. Do some sort of outdoor evening activity. I found one for this Friday night-our local nature center is having campfires, astronomy and nature talks under the stars. Going with friends-a bonus.
    5. Would love to check out Holland Ridge Farms, which is a half-hour away from me, but the website says that you can’t get tickets yet.
    6. Meet a friend in Philadelphia for lunch-happening next week.
    7. Meet up with a college friend for lunch whom I have not seen in about 5 years-we had spoken about making plans a month ago, but when I texted him to firm up said plans, he had just landed in Cartegena, Columbia for a last minute vacation. Never fear, parents of littles-you will someday get to do this kind of spontaneous travel stuff.
    8. Go to the movies. In a movie theatre!
    9 .Plant veggies.
    10. Finish reading Joyce Maynard’s latest book. I have been reading her work since I was in college eons ago. Last summer, we were at the beach at the Jersey Shore for the day and I randomly discovered that she was doing a reading from her new book that evening at a library a mere two towns away. On a Sunday night! We went, of course, and I got to meet her.

  8. I keep a running list in my phone’s Notes app of “fun things to do and see” in my area. I find the issue isn’t so much finding fun things to do, it’s recalling them! This way they are always at my fingertips when we’re looking for something fun to anchor our weekend or a school holiday. Latest addition to the list is a place with nothing but rows and rows of various claw machines (the ones at an arcade where you have to control the robotic arm with a joystick and successfully pick up a prize). Sounds neat…we’ll see if it delivers!

  9. I only have one thing on my spring list – take my oldest to the zoo. I got a membership to our zoo for my birthday after asking the grandparents for a membership for the boys for Christmas or their birthdays. Our 4yo is at the perfect age for the zoo. We went to a small one in Tucson when we were visiting my sister and he LOVED it so I’m excited to take him to the zoo in the Twin Cities because it is really big and I haven’t been for over 20 years so am excited to see it myself. I set a low bar for spring because it can be pretty awful here weather-wise! But mostly I’m excited to do little things like scooter rides on our block (did that for the first time this week), bike rides on the 4yo’s new bike that we will assemble this weekend, and family walks to the park.

  10. I’ve got a spring book that I read every spring! The Secret Garden. I read it right when COVID hit and I was inspired by the book. I was big on sending my kids and myself to the backyard to play, pull weeds, and garden. It was so good for us during a stressful time.

  11. Hello! This is my affiliate link to beautiful kid’s books on Bookshop. They are indie booksellers. I think your kids are young enough to enjoy:
    The Earth Book by Todd Parr (in honor or Earth Day)
    Maple (About a little girl becoming a big sister in spring)
    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (The stories and poems of Mr. Rogers)
    All The World (A lovely book about community and neighborly love).
    Happy Spring!!
    https://bookshop.org/lists/children-s-books-kindness-to-the-kids-in-your-life
    Smiles,
    Clare

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