The case for seasonal fun lists (more on Rule #6: One big adventure, one little adventure)

Longtime blog readers know that I often craft seasonal fun lists. Generally for summer and the holidays, and more recently for fall, winter, and spring, I’ve posted lists of activities I want to do during these times of year that make the season feel like the season. Strawberry picking in June, ice skating in winter, that sort of thing.

I don’t always create such lists (honestly, this winter has not been terribly conducive to it, and I didn’t make one) but I try to make these lists for a reason: They help me plan in big and little adventures!

This week the Tranquility by Tuesday Challenge has been focusing on Rule #6: One big adventure, one little adventure. Putting in two memorable things each week won’t disrupt good routines, but doing so changes the experience of time from “more of the same” to something more interesting. We have things to look forward to! Plus, we don’t say “where did the time go?” when we remember where the time went.

Going on a leaf-peeping trip to upstate New York makes a fall memory. Picking tulips from the endless rows at Holland Ridge Farms makes a spring memory. When I see these entries on past time logs, I can pull up the day and the scene from the recesses of my mind and enjoy it again. These things are not lost to the past.

We shall see how this spring goes but here are a few things I’d like to do for my Spring Fun List:

  • Go see the cherry blossoms in DC. I’ve been looking for the forecasts and trying to protect a few open days in mid/late March to make the trip. I’ll likely take the train down on a weekday, take in the marvelousness, and then turn around to come back by kid activity time…
  • Pick tulips at Holland Ridge Farms in New Jersey. This may also wind up as a weekday trip but perhaps I can convince a family member or two to go!
  • Go to the Philadelphia Flower Show. This is coming up this weekend!
  • Do flower puzzles. I just pulled a 1000-piece hummingbird and flower puzzle out of the garage (I did it two years ago) and I’m putting it together now. I own three others that will also make for good spring puzzle fun. And frugal fun since these puzzles are repeats!
  • Gaze at my own cherry trees. This new (old) house has a row of cherry trees that bloom in late April and I need to just go sit outside on those days and take them in. A picnic lunch under the blooms could be a little Tuesday adventure.
  • Sing in The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass  – my choir is doing this Carol Barnett number in late April.
  • Listen to Appalachian Spring in the car. I did this all last spring during kid shuttling and I began to appreciate Aaron Copland’s masterpiece more and more. Maybe I’ll listen to this and one other spring themed masterwork.

Have you made seasonal fun lists? Are you making one for this spring? Please let me know!

In other news: Wondering what the TBT Challenge is? We’re working through my nine favorite time management rules over the course of nine weeks. These nine rules are featured in my most recent book, Tranquility by Tuesday. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I’d really appreciate it if you’d give it a read!

Photo: Holland Ridge Farms, in portrait mode

6 thoughts on “The case for seasonal fun lists (more on Rule #6: One big adventure, one little adventure)

  1. We live in a place where seasons are not hugely different from each other…but I still try and create a summer bucket list. It is a great prompt as a season changes to think about adventures.

    1. @kirsty- absolutely – and especially if the schedule is different (e.g. no school or something) it helps to think of the season as different.

  2. My seasonal fun list is a bit up in the air because I fractured my ankle and had surgery in early January. That certainly put a damper on the completion of any winter fun list tasks-although I did manage to make it off of my recuperation station (the den couch) to attend 2 book club gatherings, 2 lunches and 1 dinner out with my husband, 1 dinner out with my husband and a friend, and an egg roll cooking class. I also had a wonderful December (pre-injury). Here are my goals for the spring (not including planned physical therapy, which is not a fun goal but will allow me to partake in other fun activities):
    1. Burn an expiring IHG credit card night and have an overnight stay in Philadelphia while visiting the Disney exhibit at the Franklin Institute.
    2. Spend some time reading with classical music playing in the background. I usually have other genres playing.
    3. Have a local Restaurant Week (Haddonfield, NJ) date with my husband at a restaurant which is new to us-reserved for this Friday.
    4. Have three meals out with friends. I already have one scheduled.
    5. Fly to Myrtle Beach for a visit with 2 different couple friends who moved away.
    6. An epic 6 week trip-two weeks in Portugal, 20 days on a Spain/Mediterranean cruise and one week in Italy. My ankle surgeon has cleared me for this. It is still more than 2 months away.
    7. As part of #6, take cooking classes in Lisbon and Bologna (already booked).
    8. Before we leave for the #6 trip, plant and nurture some veggies on our deck.
    9. Visit at least one new to us frozen yogurt or ice cream store.
    10. Attend an author talk at the Philadelphia Free Library or find one to attend on Zoom.

    1. @Beth – wow, what a list! Portugal is on my bucket list – I hope to make it there in the next few years so will love to hear what you enjoy most there!

  3. I’ve really enjoyed this concept. Each person in the family gets to pick one activity per season. As a family we have gotten so much out of doing this:
    – it’s been a fun family discussion of what to pick, the kids put a lot of thought into their choice. And really understand why the water park in Winter won’t be fun. Although sometimes the kids will pick an activity that isn’t seasonal but we just run with it.
    – we do a memorable family activity together
    – when a child starts to complain while we are at the activity I can trot out the line of “well this is child A’s choice so no more complaints, we will all do your choice too”
    – I’ll spend the money on it. I tend towards the spend less side of things, so I wouldn’t normally agree to go to Lego land on a Sat unless it was for a special reason. But when it’s on the family fun list I’m happy to do it.
    – we are home bodies and I don’t really like crowds, so this really helps us do activities together I may have otherwise avoided
    On this seasons Autumn fun list (Aus):
    – Potato Festival
    – the local show
    – the regional show
    – the drive in
    – bowling

    1. @Kate – thanks for sharing this! I agree that knowing something is on the Official Fun List makes it a little easier to spend out. We know it’s chosen, we know it’s being approached mindfully…so we do it!

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