posts tagged with 'picnic'

ready for adventure

This morning our friends invited us to Berry Pond, which is in Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover. It's about half an hour away, so not someplace we usually go by ourselves, but definitely worth a trip with friends. I wanted to make a real outing of it, so I packed up a big picnic in the cooler, told the boys to bring clothes for hiking along with their swimming things, and loaded up the bikes on the new bike rack. I knew our friends were just thinking about a relaxing couple hours on the beach, but it never hurts to be ready for anything that might come up. Like maybe the pond might be closed? It was! Our friends were dismayed and apologetic, but we didn't mind a bit. With all our prep and packing, we were all set to lead a short hike and then set a beautiful, full table for a lunch picnic.

our picnic feast on a picnic table


And then after we ate the kids went down to the beach anyway. They figured there was a lot of fun to be had even without swimming, and they weren't wrong. Especially when they decided that even wading quite deeply would be fine. They spent a happy hour or so hunting for pond creatures to stock the aquarium they built by digging a hole in the sand and lining it with plastic sheeting. Delightful!

the kids wading in the pond with nets

they aren't swimming

After that our friends were done—with a one-year-old you sometimes have to limit your outings—so they headed home. But we hadn't used the bikes yet! So we made contact with some different friends and arranged an off-road cycling outing at Great Brook Farm. We went an extremely round-about route in order to get in some errands on the way, but that was fine because it gave the boys' clothes some time to dry (we helped by hanging them out the windows). So they had something to wear when we hit the trails.

the boys and friends riding on a dusty trail by a cornfield

high summer riding

It was hot, and the second adventure of the day is always harder than the first. So once again Great Brook proved a good choice for a ride, because it let me buy everyone ice cream at the end. Now that's how you end a full day of outdoor excitement!

Zion eating a giant blue-and-pink ice cream cone

cotton candy flavor


Lexington remains undiscovered

On Thursday on my way to pick up the boys in Lexington (and ride in the woods there) I noticed a sign advertising Discovery Day on Saturday. A street fair seemed like just the thing for a Saturday outing, so come 10:00 Saturday morning we got out the bikes, packed up lots of water—but no food, since for sure there would be lots of treats to buy!—and headed up the bike path. We also brought raincoats, since there was a chance of thunderstorms later in the afternoon and we didn't know how long we'd be out, but the weather was beautiful as we rode on our outward leg. Cloudy, mild enough that the humidity wasn't oppressive, and a little falling mist but nothing to make us any wet. So imagine our surprise when we reached Lexington Center only to find a sign—handwritten, taped to the signboard but mostly falling off—telling the world that Discovery Day had been cancelled due to weather.

What weather?! We were some disappointed, I can tell you. Happily Lexington Center is a diverting place even in the absence of a street fair, and a visit to the library—where we haven't been for years, it seems like—and the visitor center kept things feeling entertaining. Of couse, we also needed to find food! We ended up going to Via Lago for a takeout meal that was quite a bit more expensive than what we would have bought at the fair, but probably a whole lot better too. And then we climbed some trees and played cornhole on the court thingy they had set up there.

the boys eating at a picnic table outside the Lexington visitor center

classy picnic

Oh, and there was also a fairy house and garden tour advertised on signs all over the place, which we mostly ignored until we stumbled upon a little fairy village tucked under some trees on the edge of the lawn by Buckman Tavern. It would have been even better if there were more moveable parts for the boys to play with, but even as it was it felt like a pretty good discovery.

Elijah sitting above a fairy house town



picnic season

The best part of this time of year is eating outside. We like it so much we even push into days when it's maybe a little questionable. Yesterday it was warm and entirely delightful; today our lunch on the deck was somewhat aspirational. It was barely 50°F, after all. But the sun was hot! And we're so excited by the coming of spring. And when we eat outside we don't have to clear all the projects off the kitchen table!

the boys eating lunch at the picnic table with snow in the background