A Day in the Life: Playground Hop

Our “First Day of Spring Playground Hop” celebration ended up getting postponed. Winter did not want to give up this year. Yes, the forecast for snowfall on Friday and Saturday actually occurred. So, I decided that a few days later, when the temperature was a high of 40, was when we would celebrate the first day of Spring.

playground hop

The plan was to hit four playgrounds in 3 towns, spending about an hour at each and half an hour for travel time. At 9 was park #1 which is literally down the street from our house. At ten leave and go get coffee and a beverage for the kiddos for a treat. I figured we would arrive at the next park a little before 10:30 because it is in the same town. We would head out by 11:30 and make a pit stop at Target which is on the way to the next playground. We would get to park #3 by noon and sit at the table under the pavilion for lunch. Then leave around 1:30 to get to the next park for two o’clock. Park #4 is the furthest away and highway travel is involved. I thought this would be the perfect time for a nap for the toddler. And finally I wanted to head for home by three so that we would have time to settle down for a moment before needing to start making dinner.

Here is what our Playground Hop Day actually looked like:

6:32 I am awakened by a small voice “Mommy, did you forget that today is playground hop day?” “No honey, it’s still early, we won’t be leaving for a little while.” I reply with a smile.

6:35 Out of bed and get ready for the day.

8:00 Made oatmeal for breakfast. I wanted to make sure we had full tummies for our full day of fun.

8:35 Dawdling ensued, even though we were getting ready to go to four playgrounds!

8:47 Started the car and scrambled to get out of the house.

9:06 Left the house.

9:09 Arrived at Park #1.

9:50 Left the first playground. We got to play with a friend from church. By far the coldest part of our day. The playground was still covered with snow.

10:11 Went through Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru to get hot coffee for mom and an apple juice for the kids to share.

10:18 Arrived at Park #2. We finished listening to our audio book (The Moffats) because it was so close to being finished.

10:28 Played Tag and Hide and Seek. This playground was much warmer and a lot of the snow was melted around the play areas so it was easier to run around.

11:02 Made new friends. Elle and another little girl became instant friends and were running around and giggling like crazy.

11:30 Homeschool group friends came by to play. I got to chat with homeschooling mom friend, when Finn wasn’t climbing the curved ladder meant for much older kids.

12:28 Time to move on. We headed out and I gave the kids their sandwiches to eat in the car.

12:46 Arrived at Target for a bathroom break.

1:01 Arrived at Park #3. Finn fell asleep. I stayed in car and ate my salad for lunch. Elle played for 10 minutes on playground (in my sight, in a fenced in area).

1:12 Decided to move on, so that I could give the toddler time to finish his nap.

1:20 Turned around. Missed my exit.

1:37 Turned around again. Realized I really did forget how to get to the next park. It had been since last summer. Finally typed the address in my phone for directions. Oh well, more nap time. 🙂

1:52 Arrived at Park #4. Walked to ducks. Kids got to feed ducks because a lovely older couple was there with a loaf of bread and kindly gave the kiddos a slice each.

duck pond

2:15 Walked back to playground area. Elle found two girls to play with.

3:00 Time to head home.

3:28 Arrived at home.

4:05 Served an easy dinner of chicken nuggets. It had been a while since I ran around all day, I was a little pooped.

4:20 Relaxed with a movie “night.”

6:00 Bath time and got ready for bed. (This is much earlier than normal but the kids were pooped too, this was a great way to relax before kids got cranky.) Then talked and played with the hubby.

7:00 Finn went to bed.

7:30 Elle went to bed.

9:00 I went to bed with a book and shortly after fell asleep.

Would you ever take your kids on a playground hop? Do you have any First Day of Spring traditions?


First Day of Spring Playground Hop

A playground hop is just how it sounds: you go from one playground to the next and then another until you are all playground-ed out. I originally thought of doing this adventure for my daughter a couple of years back. We have so many great playgrounds around that are all so different, it would be a shame to not try them all out. But the thought of bringing her baby brother, a nursing baby, all over town was not the adventure I had envisioned. So, present day, here we are with two little runners who love to play outside and a mommy who enjoys a change of scenery – it’s time to go on this little expedition.


The first day of Spring will be a fabulous day to do this playground hop thing: playing at one playground, then another, then another. We’ll bring a bag lunch and celebrate the arrival of Spring by being outside all day. This fresh air and sunshine is much needed after all that snow and frigid cold.

My daughter knows about the seasons and last year I made a point to make it to the beach on the first day of Summer. She has already put in a request to do that again. I don’t think it would be all that bad of a tradition to be outside celebrating the first day of a new season, at least while the kiddos are young when they appreciate that sort of thing.

The first day of fall is always a great day to go apple picking. This is my personal favorite. I love fall. We make caramel apples, apple pie, and starting this year I will be making homemade applesauce – and canning it! I have been a little reluctant to learn because I didn’t grow up in a home where canning was done. In fact, I don’t believe I really knew what canning was until I saw jars of homemade sauce being used at my in-laws. They have a garden every year and then they can their bounty; I have always seen it as scary and overwhelming. Not this year, I am making it my mission to learn this wonderful art form of preserving food.

This year the first day of Winter didn’t get any notoriety. It sneaked up on us during the holiday season. But, when it comes around again we’ll have to do something to treasure the last bit of outside time. It typically doesn’t start snowing yet for us, so I can’t count on making a snowman or going sledding every year.

Come to think of it… my plans for a Spring celebration may have to be a celebration of the last day of Winter with sledding or snowman making in the forecast. We are expecting snow on Friday and Saturday! This has definitely been quite the wintery Winter! Well, maybe next week we’ll see some 40 degree weather and make a day of playground hopping happen. I have really been looking forward to taking the kids and tiring them out with some good old fashioned climbing, sliding, and running.

What are you doing to celebrate the first day of Spring?