Local Activities – Lots of Benefits, Little Effort
One key element of living life as it was intended is learning to do life with others. Not only does participating in the community around you connect you to a support system, but having even a loose connection with other people can increase your optimism and motivation. Local activities offer all of those benefits, while often requiring zero effort outside of showing up.
How to Find Fun Local Activities
There are 5 easy ways to find them:
- Google your city. Search for your city name plus the words “events”, “family activities”, or (even better) “free events” on the internet. You’ll likely find your city website advertising parades, festivals, or concerts in the park. You might also find an article detailing summer events for kids in your area, a parent discussion board full of ideas, or a local venue website advertising free weekly concerts.
- Check out your library, community center, or rec center. Whatever your city has to offer as a local gathering place, go there! Our city library advertises its own events in its entryway, but also allows community members to post other local activities. The rec center provides info on groups that meet there regularly to play basketball or run together.
- Utilize local social media. The same groups mentioned above – your city, library, etc. – are sometimes more active on social media than their standard websites. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – search them all for your city and “events” and see what you come up with! Mark these groups to view them first in your feed so that you don’t miss out on anything.
- Extend your search to neighboring cities. Sure, the closer the better, but I don’t mind driving a little further if the event is worth it. If I drive 10 minutes any direction from my house, I’ll hit one of 5 surrounding suburbs/cities. If your searches are coming up short for things to do, consider conducting the same searches for surrounding cities.
- Strike up a conversation. Some of my greatest activity finds have come from talking with people at events I was already attending. At story time, one parent told me about an indoor playground with a $4 admission. Another told me that a local swim school offered free parent/child swim classes for babies up to 6 months old. I would have never known those activities existed if I hadn’t struck up some small talk.
Local Activities – Just Do It
When my daughter was born, my search for local activities lead me to an entire website of free local events. I found the library less than a mile from my house offered a free story time three times a week. I put off visiting for almost a month with reasons not to go (mostly, that it would require showering). But when I finally sucked it up and went, I was absolutely blown away by how adorable and fun it was, and how beneficial to my daughter’s development.
The same site also led me to a free weekly playtime at a baby retail store, where a few parents chatted about helping their babies practice “naked time”? Apparently it’s a thing! We didn’t go back (my daughter was too young for their set-up), but the point is that we went. Now we know what the class is like, and that naked time exists. Win-win.
Wrap It Up
Community activities and events can be found if you’re proactive. Search the internet, visit your local library or community center, utilize social media, extend your search to neighboring cities, get talking with other people, and (most importantly) actually go to the activities you find! At the very least, you’ll find some entertainment for the day and increase your optimism and motivation just be being around other people. If you play your cards right, you might even make a friend or two while you’re out there and build up your community support system. You’ll never know until you go.
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