By Molly Kennedy
Summer is coming and with school about to let out, it’s time to get creative with many open days that lay ahead.
Jen Hatmaker has some great articles about surviving summer with her five kids which have resonated with me. I have adopted one fantastic idea called “Mystery Thursdays.” Jen has this to say about the activity: “Thursday is not a sacred cow, it is just the day of the week I’m about to snap. The kids know we’re going somewhere fun, somewhere cool, but it’s a surprise. We’ve gone to every lake, river, park, exhibit, concert, and attraction in a 150-mile radius.”
I adopted this practice in the summer of 2015 when my girls were 12 and 9. Four years later and it continues to be so much fun! We have done the following (if you are looking for adventure ideas):
Celestial Seasonings Tour
Denver Trolley and Little Man Ice Cream
Denver Cat Company
Bowling at Lucky Strike in downtown Denver
South Park in Fairplay and then Beau Jo’s for lunch
Touring the University of Colorado in Boulder with my parents who graduated from there
A concert by a local orchestra
Riverwalk in Golden and the Golden Library
Coffee and journaling at Barnes and Noble
Picnics in parks
The only rules are...it’s a mystery, so they can’t find out beforehand! They can ask yes or no questions once we are in the car and en route. Sometimes friends come with us so the girls have fun guessing who we are meeting as well.
Now that they are teenagers, our schedule has become more complicated, but we still try to do mystery adventures when we can. We also switch things up. Last summer, the girls planned a Mystery Thursday and then put it on my GPS so I would know where to drive. It was a restaurant, and they still allowed me the honor of buying lunch.
Sometimes our schedule works better for a Mystery Friday or a Mystery Tuesday Night. Last fall, I put Kennedy Mystery Vacation on our mutual online calendar, and it blocked out a few days for us to escape at Thanksgiving.
The next mystery adventure that is sitting on our calendars is dropping the first week of June--heading to the Toby Mac concert at Fiddler’s Green!
More than the activities themselves, I think the fun is in the mystery and in doing something together that is out of the norm. It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be done at a certain time of day. (I’ve got you, working mamas! I am one of you!)
Psalm 118:23-25 says,
Going into summer and praying for FUN for you this year; fun in the mundane, fun in the extraordinary, and fun in the mystery.