Ryan Durrell: Dad of All Trades


Family Day Trips

A spontaneous way to get away

Saturday mornings usually start one of two ways: a gentle kiss on the cheek accompanied by two smiling faces hovering over mine, or violent shaking accompanied by two tiny, impatient, chattering faces hovering over mine. Either way, I'm up! We let mommy sleep as long as we can (usually while we make pancakes) and eagerly await her sunny face peeking around the corner to join us. That's when some of the best Saturdays take shape. When my wife wakes up, she often does so with an inspired idea for a day trip.

Living on the east side of the Center of the Universe (a.k.a. Toronto), these impromptu day trips often land us at the Toronto Zoo.
The Toronto Zoo is one of our favourites. I love the '70s vibe you get from some of the older buildings — it was built in 1974, after all. There's plenty of walking from exhibit to exhibit to wear down the kids for a good night's sleep, but also plenty of small spots to sit and relax. During the summer we always build in a stop at the Kid's Zoo section for a stint on the extensive splash pad and a dig in the huge sand box.
A successful Toronto Zoo trip is made when you take ample supplies for the troops. We like taking a wagon (thank goodness for a vehicle with storage space!) which holds our sandwiches, drinks and snacks at the start of the day, and our worn out peeps by the end of the day.
No matter what, don't forget the camera!
Other times, Mommy's inspiration takes us into nature for a fun adventure. Places like the Seaton Trail!
Seaton Trail Map
The Seaton hiking trail is located in Pickering, where we live. It runs along West Duffins Creek, and can be accessed by car in four different spots (see map above).
I love our trips to the Seaton hiking trail. I'm happily married to a nature lover who has spent enough time outdoors as a Girl Guide and with her equally adventurous parents to know just the right time to find things like fiddleheads, which we pick and eat for dinner the night after we hike. While hiking, we also stumble upon such sights as fly fisherman, waterfalls, and eventually/inevitably ice cream.
There are amazing places like these everywhere, and they’re so worthy of an easy day trip with the family. Why not make a plan this Saturday to find one and let me know what amazing places you've found on Twitter? Be sure to use the tag #1daygetaway.