Holiday escapes: Explore your neighborhood

Starting December 19 and running through the end of the year, we’re suspending our normal programming so that we may help those of you with kids on winter break find stuff to do. Every day through year’s end we’ll throw out an idea intended to get you and the kids out of the house and have the kids exhausted upon your return. Consider it’s gift to you.

Today: Explore your neighborhood

One of the many great things about living in North Carolina is you don’t need to go far to find adventure. Some of the best adventures I’ve had with the kids have been, literally, right out our front door, where at the end of our cul de sac a creek emerges from a storm drain and winds for perhaps a quarter mile before feeding into the headwaters of Walnut Creek. It’s all engulfed in a tangle of floodplain forest that hides I-40 just to the east, our neighborhood just to the west. It’s an oasis we retreat to when time doesn’t allow a longer adventure.

Odds are there’s a similar escape in your neighborhood. Start by donning some grubby clothes and shoes, then looking for a floodplain where developers are prohibited from building. There, my friends, is your adventure. Take a backpack with snacks and water, a camera, binoculars if you have them, a length of rope (who knows?) and maybe a drawing pad and pencils to capture the magic in abstract. And don’t forget a compass: Even in the seemingly smallest area it’s easy to get discombobulated.

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Previously in our Holiday Escapes series …

Dec. 19: Go paddling
Dec. 20: Hit your neighborhood park
Dec. 21: Climbing the walls
Dec. 22: Take a guided hike
Dec. 23: An educated walk
Monday: Go play in a parking lot
Tuesday: I spy a bufflehead

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