Instilling a sense of adventure {and snacks to take along}

I’m instilling in her a sense of adventure.

At least I hope so. Not that I’d push it, but my 5-year old daughter seems to love what I plan (and don’t plan, which is often when the real fun happens).

What is life if it’s not an adventure? That’s my philosophy.

She has a kids’ book about the artist Jackson Pollock and she told me that she wants see every painting and check them off, which means she wants to go to Philadelphia, DC, Yale, Dartmouth, MoMa, Paris and Australia. I told her it might take us a while to get to Australia but we’ll do it.

Last week in the sweltering heat, we did not run off to a pool or the beach (which we’ll do in August). We headed to museums and bookstores. I don’t know if it’s a NYC thing or just something I like to do, but to escape the sweltering heat, we went on a few urban adventures involving books, art, animals, artifacts—and air-conditioning.

p.s. 1
We started at MoMa where S played in the Art Lab and then we searched for Stenographic Figure, which was the first painting S checked off in her book.

We hit up P.S. 1, which is an outpost of MoMa. This former school building in Long Island City features installations that change on a regular basis. S pretended to be chased by a giant animal featured in a video, but what I think she loved most was outside in the courtyard. An installation with water! Party Wall by CODA features Running water, a small pool of water to soak one’s tired feet and mist in which to cool off was the perfect “exhibit” on a humid 99 degree day.

We also went to the The Museum of Natural History (or as S calls it, the dinosaur museum), twice in one week since it’s S’s favorite. The downside: it was rampant with camp kids, i.e. noisy. But we enjoyed a few favorites: the large whale, the meteors, the brain comparisons, the over-sized mosquito and the Asian section, especially Buddha.

We skipped across the street to The New York Historical Society Museum. Down in the basement is the kids’ area, where little ones and their parents can do a scavenger hunt and search for historical items. S loved it, crossing off all her “discoveries” in the pamphlet. You can do the same upstairs in the train section. One hot day the museum held a “History of Ice Cream” exhibit (with tastings) and apparently the first known American ice cream, orange blossom cinnamon, dates back to the 1600s.

NYC is a literary city and before I had a child I’d often go to book signings and readings to learn about a new book or meet an author. Now S and I do this together. At Books of Wonder and McNally Jackson (our regular hangout), she’s met Marlo Thomas (who wrote “Free to Be You and Me”), Mo Willems (of the very popular books among the Pre-K and K set), the creators of “The Wonder Pets,” (lovely people who also sang) who wrote a funny book about chickens and even Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York, who wrote “Rosie the Ballerina.”

While we’re out and about we take along a few snacks so we don’t have to stop at the bodega for water or wait in the long lines at Shake Shack for a cheeseburger (okay, we have done that, too). On a side note, the restaurant at P.S. 1 is a must-visit.

A few things we take along with us

Yummi Bears Vitamins—We’re usually running out of the house, so I take these with us. These gummy bears contain chia seeds, which are all the rage now. Chia seeds are good for the brain.

Fresh fruit—You can’t go wrong carrying around fresh fruit when you’re going to be out all day. We love apples, apricots, strawberries, blueberries and grapes. (Okay, S skips the blueberries.)

Peeled Snacks—These bags of dried fruit from Peeled Snacks are a great snack to have along on our adventures. S loves “Apple to the Core” and “Much ado about Mango” while I love “It Figures,” which contains dates, figs and apricots.

Hard-boiled eggs—Whenever you have the chance, do buy eggs from the farmer’s market. There is no comparison.

Chicken sausage from al fresco—It might seem weird to take sausage with us, but S loves the selection from al fresco. Low fat and all natural, they sure beat hitting the hot dog stands around the city (bleck!). I sauté the at home then slice them up for easy snacking. Some favorites: Sweet Apple, Spinach Feta and Roasted Pepper Asiago.

Water—Glorious water. We always bring at least 2 water bottles with us, which we fill up at home. I am against the whole water bottle industry…such a waste of plastic, so we stick with metal and other eco-friendly bottles like the ones from SIGG.

And what do we put our goodies in? This colorful Bento box from laptoplunches.(That’s not our lunch shown, but we get creative every day we go out.)

How do you instill adventure in your daily life?

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