How to Not Go to the Beach

We’ve been planning a trip to the beach for a while now, and July 4th had been circled on our calendar for quite some time. We even hyped it up with the kids, and they were getting pretty excited. DC was going on and on about how she was looking forward to seeing all the palm trees and eating coconuts as if they were apples. (We did try to convince her that Maine beaches have no palm trees, and that coconuts aren’t *quite* like apples. She acknowledged that mentally, but I think she was still holding out for a chance that we were wrong.)

Anyway. The night before the big trip, we checked the weather one more time. Because this is Maine, and you never know. Survey said? 71 and mostly cloudy. For some Mainers, that’s ideal beach weather. For us?

We were thinking we’d need to go with a plan B. Our kids really wanted to swim in the ocean, and that sounded like a less than ideal temperature for that. But how do you change directions on a day that you’d hyped up to your kids to be one specific thing? My kids (TRC in particular) handle changes in plans about as well as I do. Meaning they don’t.

Still, Denisa and I tossed some ideas around, and in the morning, we presented them to the kids. We could either go to the beach as planned and not worry about the cold, or we could go with the alternative: everyone would get to pick two activities to do that day, and we’d all do them. No chores to get done. And a $50 budget, which is more or less what we’d planned for the day trip to the beach. The kids loved that idea, and so we ran with it. What did we end up doing?

  • Scavenger hunt–I went with DC and Denisa went with TRC and MC, and we each had to take pictures of items that started with each letter of the alphabet, starting with A and going in order to Z. We all started downtown, and the first team done won. This needed no prep time at all, and the kids had a blast. We were done in about 20 minutes, and it felt very race like, since our downtown is quite small, and we kept running into each other. Would totally do this one again.
  • Buy treats for a movie night–Take the kids to the store, let them pick whatever they want. Pretty simple, and very popular.
  • Picnic lunch–Denisa made asiago cheese rolls for everyone. Always tasty.
  • Swimming in the river–We called an audible on this one. Partway through the day, friends called and invited us to swim in the Sandy River. We had planned to go to the park and then do some crafts after that (MC and DC’s choices), but they decided to swap those choices for this one. It went very well. The water was nippy, but not too bad.
  • Board Game Tournament–Pick a bunch of games. One person chooses one to start, and from there on, the winner of the last game picks the next game we play. Always a fun time in my house.
  • Shopping spree–TRC and DC each got $10 to spend how they wanted. I took TRC to Walmart. He didn’t like any of his options, so they both ended up deciding to bank their money for a future purchase. Fine in my book.
  • Movie night at home with popcorn–The kids chose Winnie the Pooh. They’ve got great taste, what can I say?

In the end, I think the day succeeded mainly by deciding to treat it as a different day. As something special. Pretending we were away from the house, and so we weren’t responsible for our regular duties. It worked really well, and we’ll definitely try it again next time.

Unless it’s actually warm. In that case, we’ll go to the beach.

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