Recipe for a Fantastic Day at the Park (or Beach)

This can be prepared and served as either a playdate or a fundraiser event.
After you choose the place, date and adults to lead, Day at the Park is surprisingly easy to cook up. Have each adult bring a few items for lunch, some games and/or crafts and head out to an open space. Once you get the kids together outside, sit back and watch magic happen.


3-4 Adults
10-20 Kids
Set up signups if used as a fundraiser, or just invite friends
1 Park or Beach
One with some flat, open space works best
1 Book Swap
4-5 Board Games
1-2 Outdoor Crafts
Here we chose a simple kite kit and origami
1 picnic lunch
A mix of sandwiches, chips, dips and of course a little treat

Prep Time:
1-2 hours (including packing)
Active Time: 4 – 5 hours
Gather adults, selecting ones that each bring their own flavor of fun, but that are willing to pitch in and help out the group will lead to the best outcome. Choose a nearby park, beach or other open space. (A long drive may dampen the freshness.) Start—or end—with a book swap set up in a trunk. Kids add books they’ve already read and take a few new ones. Lay out blankets and board games and set up craft areas then let kids pick and choose their activities. Spontaneous play will arise.

About 1/3 of the way through, set out lunch. Nothing fussy – sandwiches, cut up vegetables, dips and other items not requiring utensils work best. Follow with a treat. If it’s a cooler day, adding hot chocolate will add a wonderful touch of sweetness (this step may require a campstove and to-go cups).

A short hike or walk can be added at any time, which adds texture without adding much complexity to the preparation.


Pictionary Junior
Spot It
Frustrationless Flyer Kite Kit
HQ Kite Kit
Katsumo Origami Paper
Densho Origami Book