1. look on line for local events. We live in the city of Napa. There is always something going on here. Free concerts in the summer at the riverfront, Wine tastings and release parties at wineries, Earth Day celebration, Check on line with Eventbrite for local events. They list things all over the place. Just type what kind of event you want and they will show you a list of things going on in your area. Your local paper or chamber of commerce are some other great resources. Check out Groupon for discounted dining and entertainment tickets to places you plan on visiting before you arrive. Craigslist and Nextdoor are also great resources for purchasing event tickets from private parties that are looking to sell extras. On a recent trip to Reno for a family birthday party we discovered we were there the same time as the Great Reno Hot Air Balloon Race, Taking advantage of the opportunity, we woke up at 3:30 am to get to the field for the glow show and race at dawn. It was totally free, and we had an amazing time with our family!
3. Have a picnic. I love a good picnic! I used to pack a lunch for my kids and take them to the park. I would sit on a blanket with the baby and the kids would play for hours and come eat little snacks as they wanted. Adult picnics are awesome too. Here in the valley we have tons of places to go that have picnic grounds. If it's a winery, they require you to buy their wines. There are parks and campgrounds and meadows everywhere. Pack up some delicious food, drinks, your tunes, a Frisbee or a good book and take off for the day. It's a great way to see new places and have a relaxing afternoon.
Making homemade sausage with friends
Paella cooking party with friends
5. Take a cooking class. Many places offer them. Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma are two chains that offer them regularly for a minimal fee. local restaurants also offer cooking classes from time to time. Here in the valley, you can take a weekend course at the Culinary Academy. Check your local area, like the leisure services or adult education department. We took an awesome French Baking course for 6 weeks at a local boulangerie and learned to make baguettes, croissants, brioche and other yummy French baked items.
6. Host a holiday party. We love parties! 4th of July, El Pilar (the patron saint of my hubby's home town) Christmas dinner with girlfriends. Whatever the occasion, we love hosting and attending a good party. We have some really great friends and we enjoy getting together regularly. Everyone has busy lives, but it is so great to get together and just have a celebration.
7. Visit a public garden. Every area has a public garden, botannical garden or even a Farmer's Market. Go check one out. Not only will you learn about local flora and fauna, you will also enjoy a great day out in nature.
8. Play tourist in your own town. How many of you live in a great touristic area, and yet you have never been to many of your town's tourist attractions. We love to play tourist and go see all of the great places in our area that people come from all over the world to see. There has to be something interesting in your area that you have not seen yet. Make it a point to go check it out.
9. Take off on a one day roadtrip. Wherever you are, look around on line for interesting places to visit on a day trip. Just get in the car and go. Eat at a restaurant on the trip, check out new places you've never seen before in your own back yard. We drove to Mt. Tamalpais in Marin county and stopped to eat once at a restaurant at the top. It had 360 degree views of the San Francisco Bay. It was a lovely day so we dined on the terrace to enjoy the view. We found a petrefied forest in the upper end of the Napa Valley. Another day we took a drive past the petrefied forest and all the way to Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Valley and on to the Russian River Valley. Awesome wineries like Coppola, where you can see the Coppola movie museum, complete with the bride of Frankenstein costumes and Godfather memorabilia and all of his Oscar statues. Go to Johnson's Beach in Russian River for a beer and burger and a quick swim. While in Florida recently my girlfriend and I took a roadtrip from Sarasota to Sanibel Island, We had a great day in Sanibel at the beach and shopping at all the cool shell shops in town. Get out and explore no matter where you are. Gas prices are down and a roadtrip is a pretty cheap way to spend a Saturday or Sunday Get out and explore. Gas prices are down and a roadtrip is a pretty cheap way to spend a Saturday or Sunday.
With a little creativity, you can get into going out and doing more. Give it a try... Before you know it, you will be so busy your kids will need to book appointments to visit with you. We LOVE being empty nesters!