“Parenting is a great adventure. Awakening your child’s sense of curiosity and wonder helps you awaken your own. Reawakening your own sense of curiosity and wonder helps awaken your child’s.”Julia Cameron
Almost five years ago now, I was in need of some redirecting out of busyness and (my hope was) onto a more fulfilling, creative path. Like thousands before me, I reached for Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. This workbook is a now-classic amongst those wanting to re-ignite their creative spark.
Before long, I was completing my daily morning pages and setting out on the prescribed Creative Dates, weekly outings to places meant to do nothing but inspire my creativity. I loved going on Creative Dates alone when I could (so many thoughts came through in all. that. quiet!), but the reality often was that I needed to bring my daughter along.
In Julia Cameron’s follow up book to The Artist’s Way, The Artist’s Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children, Cameron suggests families take on Creative Dates together, renaming them Creative Expeditions.
In our house, Creative Dates help us all touch wonder and curiosity with greater consistency. Depending on our family schedules, I typically venture out solo on my Creative Dates twice a month and take on bringing the family just as often for a balance of alone time and family fun.
With all of the excitement of school being back this year, I’m letting our scheduled extracurriculars fall by the wayside for a while to create more time for excursions and activities that creatively nourish the whole family and provide quality time together.
Ready to take on some creative family activities? Check out the fun family activities we’ve tried for our Creative Expeditions!
“When looking for ideas for Creative Expeditions, think whimsy, frivolity and fun.”Julia Cameron
Creative Family Activity Ideas
A family favorite activity in our house that’s much less intimidating than it sounds is an excursion out to see art! Whether it’s a larger museum or casual gallery opening, I love seeing art with kids because it’s typically a fast visit filled with great observations and commentary. Need help getting the conversation going? Check out how I talk about art with kids.
Science and History
It’s amazing to me how much progress began with the single spark of someone’s imagination! The science as history museums are go-to spots for us to believe in the power of our ideas. On more casual days we love stopping into an antique or vintage shop to be inspired by designs of yesteryear.
From the bright pink of a dragon fruit to a bold flavor we’ve never considered before (like our now-favorite drumstick flavored Cheetos from H Mart!) food is not only nourishing and community-oriented but so often inspiring! It’s a treat for us to take a break from the regular grocery run and visit one of our favorite ethnic grocery stores in Dallas or go to a farmer’s market. When we really need a break from the city and a creative food challenge, we love to hit up one of our favorite pick-your-own farms near Dallas!
Plants inspire me with their amazing textures, colors, shapes and tenacity – have you ever seen a weed grow through the cement? We’re fortunate to have a local arboretum that consistently amazes us with their designs, but even a trip to the local garden store brings new ideas (plus a hit of that serotonin boosting soil smell). Hiking through a local nature preserve or a trip to the state park where there’s tree canopies is the ultimate getaway for a nature reset and a way to source materials for teaching with nature trays at home.
Anything involving animals is a sure-hit in our family. I’m inspired by watching many animals’ care-free natures and humbled to think of how we’re all connected here in the Animal Kingdom with our different roles to play. For about seven months last year we hit the zoo once a week, but the local animal shelter or a petting farm can bring magic just as easily! Next on our list is American Kennel Club’s Meet the Breeds Tour, which we’ve been talking about for months! (You can enter to win a four pack of Meet the Breeds tickets now through 9:00 p.m. this Sunday here!)
“As we plan and execute outings we become connected – to ourselves, our children and the world around us.”Julia Cameron
We’re a home where both parents were college radio DJs, making music one of the easiest and most fun ways to change the energy of the day or inspire our week. At home, we often throw on one of our family-friendly Spotify playlists or a themed playlist to accompany dinner, like Italian Hits for pizza night. For outings, we love seeing something simple like live music on a local patio or going all out for a special concert. Our local symphony also performs scores to beloved family favorites like Star Wars and Toy Story, showcasing the value music plays in some of our favorite memories!
Ultimately it’s the adventure of going out that excites us most! Street festivals, holiday events and craft fairs are a great reason to leave the house, go for a drive and just look around.
What are some of your favorite ways to get inspired as a family? Have you tried a creative family date?