Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2013 Family Fun List

I decided to start a new family tradition for New Year's Eve this year. We usually let the kids stay up a little late and watch the ball drop in New York live, at 9 p.m. our time- not the fake "live" of the TV programs, which actually tape delay the ball drop to be at midnight in our time zone, too. This year, while we waited for the countdown to the New York New Year, we worked on a list of 12 fun things we want to do as a family in 2013- one for each month.

Here's our list, along with who suggested each item. As you'll see, the grown ups had to do the bulk of the suggesting this year. I hope that as the tradition takes hold, the kids will make more suggestions of their own.
  1. Ride a surrey bike again (me- we had so much fun riding a surrey bike in Santa Barbara, I want to do it again!)
  2. Go to the aquarium (Pumpkin)
  3. Go to the dinosaur museum (Pumpkin- she is referring to the NAT, or the San Diego Natural History Museum, in Balboa Park)
  4. Hike to the top of a hill or mountain (Mr. Snarky- he has a likely hike already picked out)
  5. Go visit Mimi and Boppa again (Petunia)
  6. Go to New Zealand to see Nonna, Poppa, and Aunt S. (Mr. Snarky and I had to suggest it, but once the kids realized it was a possibility, they were excited. We're planning a trip during our summer school holidays.)
  7. Take a family trip to Orange County (me)
  8. Pick a day and watch TV all day long (Pumpkin, of course- I'm hoping for a rainy day to do this. It would be a shame to waste a nice day on TV!)
  9. Go to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (me)
  10. Go to Legoland (Mr. Snarky)
  11. Go camping (Mr. Snarky)
  12. Explore a new neighborhood in San Diego (me)
I think we'll make the Safari Park our January outing. That should be a nice, easy start.

We'll be doing more of this in 2013!
I decided to start this tradition because we had a lot of luck with writing a "summer fun list" last year. I also wrote a "mini list" of things I wanted to do during the holiday season, and that helped me prioritize, saying "no" to things that I didn't want to do because they would interfere with the things I had on my list. Just as we were about to start writing our list, I saw a tweet about Motherlode's list of resolutions- and that Laura Vanderkam's suggestion was to write a list like we were about to write. Great minds think alike, I guess! Or perhaps my idea grew out of some advice of hers- for instance, my first attempt at something like a fun list came from reading her book, 168 Hours. Hmm, maybe I should try to write that list of 100 dreams again, and not let myself quit early. As Laura points out in the book, as you get to the higher numbers, you're forced to pick more trivial seeming dreams- that are easier to make reality.

Regardless of what I do about the list of 100 dreams, I think I'll keep writing family fun lists. I'm hoping that as we get used to the idea of writing fun lists, our lists will get quirkier and we'll see and do things we might otherwise have missed. I'm also having a lot of fun brainstorming about things to do and planning them in, alongside the more prosaic things like "get the car serviced" (on our list for this weekend).

Have you tried writing "fun lists"? What would be on a list of family fun for you?


  1. I love this idea! We tried to do a micro version of this over our winter break, but we were felled by illness. And for some activities, by Baguette's refusal to wear a jacket or sometimes even a shirt.

  2. A friend of mine does this for most seasons, so we tried it for the holidays and LOVED it. We've done most of the things, though we have a few still lingering:

    I like the idea of 12 things for the new year, though. Will float that by the family tomorrow. I love the things the 3yo comes up with - so random, but they end up being fun.

  3. Great list. About your #9 - SD Zoo Safari Park, did you know you can camp overnight there as a family, as though you're on an actual safari? That sounds way cool.

    Have you ever eaten at Carnitas Snack Shack (in the North Park 'hood)? DH was in SD recently, and ate there multiple times, and in fact cancelled some other reservations he had made so he could keep eating there even though there's usually a wait and like nowhere to sit when it's crowded. He felt it was like the second coming - and that's high praise; my man is quite the foodie and this was not his first rodeo.

    1. Have you ever eaten at Carnitas Snack Shack

      Ooooh! I am coming to SD in May, now I have to check it out! (Should I be worried that I plan how I will gorge on food 4 months in advance?)

  4. That's a fabulous idea! I hate lists where I feel like I have to check everything off though, so my lists wind up just being ideas that we can choose from. We've got a list on the fridge of "easy meals" for when we're having trouble deciding on dinner. Maybe I need a list of "fun weekend activities" to go with it...

    Camping is definitely on our list too. Go skating as much as possible is E's current ambition - she can get around on skates, but not well, but she figures that if we go skating every day while the cold weather holds she'll get good at it.

  5. Good idea, and list. Part of me resists the idea of having to make a list to do fun things. Part of me knows that if we don't make this list, we'll end up doing nothing at home most weekends!

  6. Last year I decided I wanted to enjoy myself more and we did wind up taking some fun vacations (including the San Diego one where we hit many of the items on your list! Just don't go to the Zoo Safari Park on a day when it's 100 degrees. We wound up spending an inordinate amount of time in the air conditioned gift shop). I need to make a better list with the family for 2013. New Zealand - wow!

  7. Anonymous3:27 PM

    In other news, I have decided (30 min ago) that I totally want to move to San Diego. It's like LA but, you know, nicer. Think you can get my DH a job? From my calculations for other pricey CA settings, he would only need to make something like 120K/year to keep us in fancy cheeses. (And DC1 is hitting a few of those goals this weekend... very excited about the San Diego Go pass-- saved $84 on their planned excursions and got an extra thrown in at no cost if they want to do it.)

  8. zenmoo3:09 PM

    We're writing a list of stuff to do in New Zealand... So far it includes a girls weekend in Wellington with one of my friends for me, camping for Moo, a week skiing and skating with the extended family in Tekapo, the farmers markets in Christchurch, mid-week ski days... Buying a bike with a kids seat (moo was most taken by the idea after seeing kids riding in Kyoto), visiting the Catlins, a weekend in Dunedin... A splash in the kids pools in Chch botanical gardens. It's good to have stuff to look forward to!


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