I tend to call any outing with all of my children an adventure, because 1. it sounds more positive and 2. it's quite the accurate description. With any outing having adventure potential, the following 3 set the bar high (toddlers running free!) and did not disappoint...
We were invited to our friend's 2nd birthday party at Gymboree. I debated not going, but as we were half the party, convinced a few neighbors to help me with kid patrol and we all loaded up in the van and headed to Gymboree. SO glad I did! They had so much fun! As usual, the girls were much more timid than the boys. Allison had to cry a bit and be held before she could play. Caroline found an elevated slide she liked to walk back and forth on and watched the party from there. She only came down for bubble time and running in a circle time. The boys just loved it all! It was obvious my kids were the ones who were inexperienced with organized activities and following directions. For example, the teachers said to clear the mats for the next activity and there stands Levi in the middle dancing to the music. During bubble time there were bubbles EVERYWHERE and no one was more excited than Benjamin Perkins. He was squealing as loud as he could and yelling his version of the word "BUBBLES!!!" It was hilarious. I did narrowly stop Andrew from eating off other kids plates they had abandoned on the table and we left before the pink and purpled iced chocolate cake was served. I had no desire to clean that mess up.
2. The Big Parks
My new favorite thing to do with the kids (when I have plenty of adults to supervise) is go to the big parks! We have a huge park close by that has about 7 play areas. While my parents were here we picked a large play area and let them run loose. Of course they all went in different directions and we took turns taking Leah off roading in her stroller. They had so much fun just exploring- walking through leaves, touching trees, and looking at all the new things. We took them a second time while my in-laws were here and they were much more interested in the play structure- climbing and sliding were activities of choice. When we don't have the time or manpower to head to the big park, we have taken to walking to a big sunken down field in our neighborhood and just let them run free. They love it!
My great idea (?) gone wrong. I got a tip from a neighbor that our local BounceTown has an enclosed toddler area and it's really fun and great change of scenery. So, with my parents in town, decided we could take them. As usual, the boys were ok and the girls cried and had to be held and hated it. The boys didn't love it, but they were not upset. Then, to make it even more fun, a day care and 2 birthday parties showed up. Insanity! The big kids started invading the toddler bouncy and we quickly moved to the toddler play area that had many familiar toys. They all had moments of fun here, but it was just too loud and crowded and really hard to keep a good head count going. So, we high-tailed it out of there. I think this place has potential, but we'll wait to try it again on a weekday morning during the school year :)