You Need a Surprise Road Trip This Weekend

SWAN of the Week, Number 152
Sign up for these weekly emails here.


You need a surprise road trip this weekend.

In a time of shelter-in-place, working from home, and schooling at home, there has never been more of a need to get out of the house with a purpose. 

When every day can seem like the same, I feel strongly that weekends should feel like a weekend. It can be valuable to break routine while still social distancing, not interacting with others, but also giving yourself a mental break from inside your four walls.

So I started a “Surprise Road Trip” tradition with the family, where I choose a social-distance-friendly destination about an hour’s drive away in and then surprise everyone by driving there on the weekend.

Since most places are closed but others are too busy, I’ve decided to focus on some old school road trip destinations that are outdoors, kind of dumb, and a complete spectacle. 

So far, I’ve surprised the kids by rolling up at:

For each trip, I pumped up expectations for our trip as only a dad can. I provided clues, a countdown, and lots of dad jokes about how amazing the reveal would be. And of course there are surprises when we get there. I brought nickels for the kids to “make a wish” at the buffalo nickel, cans of green beans to pose with the Green Giant, and picnic lunch at the smallest park. And yes, we listened to Weird Al’s 7-minute classic, “Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.”

Are each of these a stupid thing to do and a huge eye-roll moment? Heck yes they are. 

But each trip has been something to look forward to all week, and change up the day-to-day pace. Mission accomplished. 

Back at home, we’ve also spent weeknights exploring our neighborhood, hiking to hidden lakes, and even peering in the windows of a dead KFC. 

Here are some resources you can use to find offbeat road trip destinations within an hour of your home: 

  • Roadside America – this site not only has a great catalog of ridiculous road trip stops, you can also use the map feature to see what’s immediately nearby, or maybe a little longer drive. 
  • Atlas Obscura – this is a little classier list of destinations and stops.  
  • Off the Beaten Path – this book series is pretty great, and there’s one for every state! 

The weather is getting gorgeous, and there’s no excuse not to do some urban exploring. Just don’t forget to stay away from other people, don’t take unnecessary risks or risk to others, and capture that #content, too!

See you on the internet!
Greg

PS: here are some pics

PPS: You’ll note both the Jolly Green Giant and Wooden Nickel Buffalo were wearing masks. What a fun surprise to normalize masks to our kids. BONUS! 

WOULD YOU LIKE STUFF LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX EACH WEEK? SIGN UP HERE!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s