Monday, October 3, 2011

Outdoor Adventures: Urban Hike by Erin Uda

Hikes typically involve exploring nature, both on the trail and at the destination; but since few of us live far enough from the city to be able to hike near our homes, we’re changing things up a bit and taking an urban hike. On this kind of hike, you’ll be exploring your city, along with the people and places it holds.

Urban hikes follow the same steps as traditional hikes; namely, choose your destination and path, prepare your clothing and gear (walking shoes and weather-appropriate attire), and practice safety (be sure to stay in a part of your city you know to be safe).

Big cities are fun to walk in because everything is compact. If you live in Suburbia, like me, you are forced to drive almost everywhere due to the long distances involved. This week try to find a spot, either close to home or somewhere you can drive to, where you can walk around and explore city-style.

I recommend choosing somewhere that is familiar to you and your child, like your favorite ice cream shop, as a home base. Park your car, grab an ice cream cone and start walking. Remember to create a loop. Cross the street for the return trip and find some new scenery. Remember that what takes minutes in the car can take hours on foot, so plan on covering only a short distance unless you have a lot of time.

Take it SLOW…

What do you see on the way there (and back) that you haven’t noticed all the times you’ve driven? Talk about the importance of going slow sometimes so we can enjoy all the things around us.

Stop to smell the roses, or in this case, bakeries. Don’t be afraid to visit some of the shops or restaurants you pass. That’s part of the fun. Grab a cupcake from the bakery, find a book at the library, or window shop at the toy store.

When you get home, have your child tell you about her favorite parts of the walk. Write a short story together about all the places you found then let her illustrate it.

Recommended Books:
  • I Went Walking, Sue Williams
  • Didi and Daddy on the promenade, Marilyn Singer
  • City (Eyewitness Books Series), Philip Steele

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