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choose your own adventure…

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a rut where our weekends are catered around Ruby's activities or doing the same thing every single weekend. Recently, we decided to switch things up and just spend the weekend doing things and going to places we had never been. So, I decided to have a "Choose Your Own Adventure" day inspired by my friend Audrey who is one of the most creative moms I know.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Simply surprise your kids one morning by telling them they’ll get to choose whatever they want to do that day. Bring a little bell or something that makes noise (we used a maraca), get in your car (or bike or walk), and as they spot things they see and want to do, they simply ring the bell and you go and explore it!

When Audrey did it, her boys chose to go to a Harley Davidson shop and have pancakes at IHOP. So, we told Ruby we'd go on an adventure and gave her a maraca to shake it whenever she saw something cool from the car window. If you have more than one child, you can let them take turns or bring one of their friends along to make it more fun and interactive.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

To be prepared for wherever the day takes us, I always keep a tiny pouch of Band-Aids and Neosporin in my bag. Ruby had gotten a scrape on her knee the day before from a fall, so it reminded me to have my little kit just in case.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Our first stop was the Petersen Automotive Museum. Ruby saw the pointy architecture and the car on the roof of the building and her interest was piquéd.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

With vintage cars of all kinds and really unique cars from movies or driven by celebrities, it was like going back in time. The best part about coming here is that it's not a place I would have ever picked to go. Ruby's never played a ton with cars at home, so we were delighted to see how much she loved it. And Bob loves cars (a lot) so it was a fun treat for him as well.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Next, was Nick Metropolis Collectible Furniture. You pretty much can't miss this from the street with all the signs and over-the-top, random things sitting on the sidewalk. People go here to find vintage things of all kinds, to shop for movie sets, and it's just a cool (and crazy) place to explore.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Ruby got a little scared after seeing some random, slightly creepy statues and was ready to head out, but we had a fun time trolling through all the quirky treasures.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Finally, no day is complete without a little treat and Ruby's favorite stop was probably into this white building full of candy at Sockerbit

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

She has never gone to a bulk candy store before and was pretty amazed that she could pick whatever she wanted and mix them all in one bag. She held her bag of candy so tightly on the way home. We had such a fun day that she took the longest nap she had in months, and we all felt like we had really gotten to know our city better by discovering places we wouldn't have normally been.

Oh Joy / Choose Your Own Adventure

We loved it so much, we're planning to do this more often. Sometimes it's nice just letting the day take you by surprise…

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company Division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. See how to make your very own First Aid kit right here. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy.

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

47 comments

  1. cute! I appreciate that you remain so authentic in your sponsored posts. This idea is adorable. J&J is lucky to work with you.

  2. Awe, you were in my hood! I see that automobile museum all the time too and have never been inside! Such a rad idea. Definitely keeping it in my pocket for when Xio is older 🙂

  3. Thanks Karoline! My top is by Lauren Moffatt from the spring, and the bag is Oh Joy for Feed. The bag is sold out, but well have more available in September!
    Joy

  4. My kids, who are older than I care to contemplate, used to call this our “free day” which meant they got to do anything they wanted, within reason. We were living in the Bay Area at the time. They got to design the itinerary and we agreed to abide by their choices. It turned out to include, over the three or four years we did this, a trip to Alcatraz, a hike up Coit Tower, pony rides in Tilden Park, a tea party in the Japanese Tea Pavilion in Golden Gate Park, the tide pools at Moss Beach, and a garlic-infused lunch at The Stinking Rose in North Beach. They would scour the “pink section” in the SF Chronicle’s Sunday newspaper and come up with these wild choices. It was always great fun.

  5. Ok this sounds a lot like what my friend’s mother did. She had 3 boys and 1 girl, and so once a year, during the school year (but usually when it was warmer, springish time)(this is Chicago so she probably had like a 3 week window, I don’t know), she would wake the lucky kid up for school and tell them that today was their nufyad (funday backwards) – she signed the kid out of school, and they got to pick what they would do that day, just the two of them. And she would do this for each kid, totally at random.
    My sister in law is planning on doing this with her kids, when they’re old enough, and I think it is the most brilliant idea ever.

  6. Such a great idea! Seriously, and not just for children. I feel like its so easy for anyone to get into a rut and this is a great way to remember to look around you and see what you might be missing and of course, to explore!

  7. What a sweet way to explore your own city! I feel like we should do this more, even as grown ups! 😛
    How is the house hunt going? Don’t give up! We put 5 offers out there before being accepted (and in the process what we thought we wanted changed drastically (ie ended up choosing neighborhood over size, less of a fixer than planned, etc)… but now we are in the perfect home for us and we literally are so thankful everyday that our past offers weren’t chosen! It’ll happen…
    xo
    Lexsea

  8. This is such a super fun idea! I can’t even imagine where my 3 year old would want us to stop. This weekend she was very concerned that we didn’t know the name of a biker riding down the street. It’s possible we’d end up just stalking people. Ha! But I will still try it. Sounds like a lot of fun!

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