This could definitely be done as a date with your spouse, too! I’ll probably do it and blog about it down the road, but I recently did this with my oldest daughter.
We went out to Central Texas Archery in Austin. I got the idea from Groupon and it was a fairly cheap idea so I jumped on it. You’ll need to lower your expectations of what you expect upon arrival. This is an outdoor facility and I’m not sure “facility” is the right word. There is a large shed where you check in, but the rest of the venue is outdoor targets. Don’t misinterpret that as it being a bad venue, but if you are expecting a building you might be caught by surprise. Everything out there is well maintained and in great shape.
We signed up for the beginning archery class and we were put in a group of four (including ourselves). We learned a few important things, like how to wear the arm guard, how to hold the bow, how to place the arrow (and all the fancy names for those things). The staff was great. They got the right bow and the right sized arrows for both us and then took us out to the course.
You have six to eight arrows. I can’t remember the exact number now, but you shoot them all several times to warm up. After a few warm up sessions (I’m not sure what to call it), then you start keeping score.
We were probably out there for about an hour or so, but it was a good amount of time. Raley, my oldest, was “done” right before the clock officially ran out on us. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I’d highly recommend it as a different date with your kids!
Cost: $25 for two on Groupon, but you can add a discount code to make it even less.
We started calling it “treasure hunting” back when my youngest was little. Everyone else calls it geocaching. I guess we should start with what geocaching is in case that is an unfamiliar word for you. If you are a hardcore geocacher, please forgive my explanation, as it’s for those of us who are new to the idea.
People hide a container (air tight and water tight) some place and they tag the GPS coordinates to the place they’ve hidden it. Using an app (mine is called “Geocaching” and is green with a four white squares) you can look at a map of your surrounding area. On the map it will show location of caches all around you. Some of the caches require a subscription, but there are a lot that are free.
The app will link you to Google Maps so you can drive to the general vicinity and then switch to a compass mode and follow the arrow until you get close. You won’t end up right at the cache, but you’ll be pretty close. Then you look until you find it. After finding it, you open it up, sign the paper inside, and then put it back for the next person.
This is an easy and free date to take your kids on. We’ve found parts of town we had never been to before and explored some fun places. On our most recent date we went up Pickett Trail over by the river. We had to walk through some brush and trees in order to find the cache, but the best part was the view of the river. We’ve lived here for seventeen years and we’d never been on that trail or seen those views . . . and I’ll be going back.
This is an easy one that any parent can do! I grabbed our youngest and headed over to Target to pick up a couple of board games. If you have games at home, you don’t need to do this step. We have a TON of games, but I was specifically looking for some easy ones that wouldn’t take up a lot of table space. We bought Yahtzee and Uno because both of ours had disappeared out of the game closet.
After that we headed over to Hula Cowgirl which is my favorite sno cone place in town, but you just need a place where you can sit, enjoy your sno cone and play! We played a couple of games of Uno and then I had to teach her how to play Yahtzee. That might even be something you do purposefully . . . find a new game to learn.
The cost is pretty simple:
Couple cheap games: Less than $15
Two sno cones: Less than $15 (we get ice cream, cream, and all kinds of “upgrades” on our sno cones, so you can do it for MUCH cheaper).
Bring your own games and get non-upgraded sno cones and you can do it for less than $10 total!