Bucket lists. They are nice, but who has time?
I struggled a bit with this topic because lately my household is running in a million directions with barely time to think, let alone plan an adventure or seek out thrill rides. Therefore when in doubt, I looked to my kids for help with brainstorming
My youngest daughter mentioned going to Chuck-E-Cheese’s for her bucket list, which got an immediate eye roll response from me. I know, I know, I am horrible. I just cannot do that type of venue, (or circuses, because clowns are creepy.). Fortunately I married a man who completely agrees with this line of thinking. Whenever they get invited there by friends, my spouse and I will lock eyes and say a million silent “Hallelujahs” in honor of those parents who are rock stars to brave the world of pizza, arcades, tickets, and a strange robotic rat.
My four-year-old son said he wanted to go to Tessa’s house for his bucket list, which made me laugh and made my oldest daughter start lecturing him about how we go to Tessa’s a lot, and it is not a bucket list type excursion. Luckily there was endless construction on the roadways and my children and I were able to develop an adequate list of all things fun, exciting, and ultimately bucket list worthy.
I love to ski. The mountains are beautiful and the fresh air feeling on the slopes is like no other for me. I have actually only been skiing four times in my life, but it is like riding a bike. Once I got that first college ski trip—that involved multiple falls and face plants due to sheer thirst and exhaustion—under my belt it has been a Kelly domination of pleasant green and blue runs. Black Diamond slopes should probably be on my personal bucket list, but I know my limits and have no desire to put a ski helmet to the concussion saving test.
I want my kids to learn how to snow ski as children. It is supposed to be easier and I have dreams of taking vacations to beautiful areas where a day of skiing is common practice. I love Colorado and have tested the white powder of Minnesota with plans to do it again. It is a fun, recreational activity that no one outgrows once they conquer it. Plus what else is there to do in winter? I am not a fan of snow, but skiing seems to be the one thing that makes me tolerate the white stuff better.
My husband loves roller-coasters and I have many memories of riding an inner-tube down a raging river and spinning myself silly on upscale octopus rides. My family has visited local fairs and taken in a bird’s eye view of carnivals, but we would like to venture into the hot paved oasis that is a year-round, full throttle amusement park. Some parts will be miserable, but I feel every child needs to know the thrill of their stomach hitting the back of their throat on a steep roller-coaster drop. Also who does not love a lunch consisting of hot dogs, cotton candy, astronaut ice cream, and old fashioned lemonade?
Some of my best memories are of going upside down on the Oriental Express and laughing nervous giggles with my dad and brothers as we took a slow, dramatic incline ride to high heights on the Mamba coaster at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. I also want to get an old, vintage style picture with my kids and husband. The ones where you dress up in western clothes. My husband has one from Six Flags plus a million stories that involve tilt-a-whirls, bumper cars, and rides with names like “The Zipper” or “The Gravity Ball”.
I want those silly memories of rides and junk food for my kids, so one day soon we will be making a pilgrimage to an amusement park that will make us dizzy, queasy, and happy all at once.
My aunt, dad and I recently traveled 3.5 hours one-way to see one of our favorite authors. My girls were excited for us and immediately expressed an interest in this type of activity. Authors are like rock stars in my household. My younger daughter wants to meet Victoria Kahn of the Pinkalicious series or Jane O’Connor of Fancy Nancy fame. My oldest has an endless lists of authors that she would like to get autographs from. They include Ron Roy (writer of the series A to Z Mysteries and Capital Mysteries), Eoin Colfer (brilliant creator of the Artemis Fowl character), Lincoln Peirce (mastermind of Big Nate series) and David A. Kelly (the Ballpark Mysteries author). We all want to meet J.K. Rowling, and have hopes a taking a whimsical trip to the Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios in the future.
So as far as bucket lists go, I think my children and I have strong contenders to start check-marking. A trip to NASA is probably never going to happen, but I would like to take them off the beaten path for a vacation to Hutchinson, Kansas to see the one and only Cosmosphere. It’s a long drive, but ultimately one my star gazing family will love.
My husband also wants to get my kids water skiing on the river and tent camping. I am up for vacations that include only National Parks, but must insist on staying in a hotel. I am the kind on person who loves the great outdoors, but is equally passionate about needing a mattress and hot water when staying overnight somewhere, it is a non-negotiable disclaimer for me.
Family bucket lists are fun to discuss and try to achieve. They signify great goals for making memories with loved ones.
Do you have any must-sees for kids and families?