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Old 04-15-2013, 11:52 AM
 
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I'm a SAHM and I take my three year old out everywhere as much as I can - children's museums, zoo (we're lucky to have two little preschooler-oriented zoos and a 'junior' amusement park nearby that are extremely nice), farm, we recently went to the aviation museum and he loved it. He also adores anything to do with trains and railroads so I'm always hunting down whatever train-related things they have going on. We also try to get him as much exercise and fresh air as possible, he's actually not crazy about playgrounds and just simple 'running around', but does like his bike and scooter so we encourage that. We don't do Chuck E Cheese's or similar, we take him to the places that we want to eat at. On weekends we usually go to the farmer's market all together, which I think is great for kids. The only things we haven't really done is outdoors things like hiking or camping, simply because neither of us is a fan and camping with a kid this young is just way too much work.

I might change my mind when we have a second one, but right now I actually prefer to take him somewhere whenever we don't have a structured activity planned, I find just being home or going to the park gets boring for him real fast and then he starts whining and I have to keep coming up with ways to entertain him, and often he'll just end up sitting with the TV or some electronic toy. It's so much easier to go somewhere where he has lots of things to explore, he's an extremely bright and curious kid and loves learning new things, tinkering with stuff, etc., I'm grateful for the children's museums that give that opportunity. He doesn't seem to care quite as much about animals or aquariums, but give him a bunch of buttons to push and it's heaven, lol.

We haven't done any travelling with him yet simply because the concept of a 'vacation' with a toddler did not seem relaxing enough to be worth the money, lol. When he's a bit older Disney is definitely in the cards, and later on closer to preteen age we want to do Europe at some point, I think it's something all older kids should experience.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:52 AM
 
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When the weekend rolls around, we are usually doing the soccer stuff with the kids. When the weather is nice, we love taking a walk in our park, go see a movie, or just let the kids kick a ball outside. They are usually pretty tired from the week so we don't try to jam pack our weekends. Next weekend, we have a piano recital one day and then seeing a musical at a play house the following day. That will be a busy weekend for us.

We live about an hour south of NYC and need to see the sights there. The problem is that my husband works there and traveling into the city on the weekend is the last thing he wants to do. Each year his company sponsors a big event like the Big Apple Circus or going to see Annie which is nice. We do try to do things locally though although I would like to see Ellis Island before we depart the East Coast.

When we go on vacations we are flying either to Florida to see his parents or Seattle to see mine. We've done a good job seeing some of the local sites. Kids are pretty well traveled though and have seen quite a few states.

I don't feel the need to make each weekend into a hectic event.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Texas
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We took our boy to the British Virgin Islands in January, though...lol...
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
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Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
Well, he's 16 months now and does not have the attention span required for museums, etc.

We will take him to the zoo, museums, arboretum, yadda yadda, when he's old enough to appreciate them.
Right now his afternoon nap restricts our movements.
That's one of our issues. Right now, both kids are napping at 2pm (actually went down earlier today because they were exhausted) till 5pm, and are in bed by 7:30pm, so everything we do has to be done in the morning. I can deal with this pretty well, until our newest will be here in two weeks. Hopefully this one can sleep in a sling, or else we'll all go stir crazy!
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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It's such a personal thing based on background, funds, ages of the children, etc.

We try to expose the children to as much as possible. We take them to museums, art galleries, safaris in Africa, Disney World, Broadway shows, hikes, beaches, boardgames, camping, NYC, Check e Cheese, whatever we can. My personal feeling is the more wide-ranging the experiences, the better.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Central, NJ
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My vote is for everything. Except Chuck E Cheese. LOL. Mine is 2.5 and he seems to like everything - city, beach, mountains. He loves to go off on wooded trails and that makes me very happy. We've gone to children's museums and now he's getting a little bit more focused so i want to move to more museums. We're going to take him to The Museum of Natural History soon and I think he'll love it! Really - they just love everything so why not try it all. I know my husband is going to push for Disney and I would rather go almost anywhere else. But the one in California might be a good compromise.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Our personal preferences run more toward natural things instead of man made like Disney, Chuck E Cheese, amusement parks. We've been to Montana, Santa Fe, oceans, mountains, and some made man things like zoos, lots of art museums, science exhibits, dance and music performances, etc.
We had a very contentious thread not too long ago about Disney attractions and I hope this doesn't turn into that. If I had to choose between something Disney and something like beach or mountains I think my family would enjoy the later more.

But we are not a family on the go a lot. we are not interested in running around till the point of exhaustion and spend a great deal of home relaxing, playing games and doing art and home projects. We feel our kids are pretty well rounded.

Ooo...where did you go in Montana? We are looking a taking that trip next summer with our kids. We would drive from Chicago and stop at Mount Rushmore and a couple of other places along the way. I am trying to find a good place to visit in Montana....we would like to stay at a ranch if possible.

Back to the thread though, agree with a lot of people here. When the kids are younger there are definitely limits on what you can do. And, a lot of things do cost money so that is always a restriction. We do a lot of road trips with our kids so they can see the country. We are trying to visit as many states as possible before they leave for college. We have also gone to museums and parks and Six Flags, etc. You do what you can with what you have available.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
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Originally Posted by ThreeSides View Post
Do you take your children to the local zoo, planetarium, parks, museums, etc.? Or, do you not take your children to local fun/ educational options? Opting to only take them out to eat, bowling, allow them to ride a bike on the block, etc. Or, perhaps you take them to the regional Six Flags, or to Disneyland or world? Despite having a zoo, planetarium, parks, museums, etc. Perhaps you do all of the above.

The U.S. is a beautiful place. Every state has natural wonders, be it land or water. Is it important to take your child(ren) to these places, The Grand Canyon, for example? Do these experiences have a positive impact on our child(ren)?

It is important to take our children to the local zoo, planetarium, park(s), lake, river, mountain, museum(s), etc.? Again, do these experiences have a positive impact on our child(ren)?

What does it say about the parent(s) who lives in a city that provides a variety of children activity? Yet said parent(s) doesn't take their child(ren). Despite having the wherewithal to do so.

Is balance important? Can a child have too much fun or too much intellectual stimulation? Can a child have too little of both?

I am a father of three. I hope that my questions stimulate a positive discussion.
Amusement parks can be very educational. I learned a lot as a child from Knott's Berry Farm, especially since it had the Imaginarium back then. Kids learn a lot at Disneyland, too.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:52 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeSides View Post
Or, do you not take your children to local fun/ educational options? Opting to only take them out to eat, bowling, allow them to ride a bike on the block, etc.

What does it say about the parent(s) who lives in a city that provides a variety of children activity? Yet said parent(s) doesn't take their child(ren). Despite having the wherewithal to do so.
Odd topic. Maybe with the exception of some very conservative (religious sect?), or totally apathetic parents, I've never met a parent with that type of mindset. Most parents are thrilled with the opportunity to expose their kids to a variety of activities, although many do have a preference for one type of thing over another.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:39 PM
 
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We usually decided what we, as parents were most interested in, and took the boys along. Even young kids know when their parents are just marking time for their sake. Many times the kids surprised us by not only enjoying the outings, but with their perspective.

Let's face it, cultural outings, whether they be trips, museums, the theater, etc, can be very costly endeavors. Once the price comes into play, then the entire family should be able to derive some enjoyment out of it.
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