Life and Adventures with Kids

Year of Adventure Full Recap

Year of Adventure Full Recap

We completed a year of adventure! Our year of adventure was full of 100 unique experiences and places, and was one of the best things we’ve done as a family.

Some parks got counted more than once, if we did a different trail or experienced a different part of the park. Some places we went to dozens of times, but only counted once. It didn’t seem fair to count our local neighborhood park every time we stopped by for 10 minutes. The accounting is a bit fuzzy, I know. But I have two kids and a serious case of mom brain, so I did my best.

So WHY did we do this? Well we had two small kids, a dog, and a mortgage, so we felt that perhaps we needed more on our plate.

It started as a longing to travel and explore more, and then it became a challenge to prove to my skeptical hubs that I wasn’t crazy. I mean, obviously I am crazy but I’m trying to keep up appearances. What jokingly began as the year of adventure morphed into a lifestyle of sorts. Suddenly we were seeing a different side of our children, and we were taking on things we previously would have thought too challenging. Like, you know, driving across the country with a toddler and a preschooler for a three week trip spent mostly outdoors.

One Family, One Year of Adventure

And the biggest shocker of all is that we all liked it. We might need to slow the pace down this year, because I’m already getting some side eye from husbands unnamed about my lofty goals.  Even so, I’ve already started planning some adventures for 2018. If you count the road trip I never want to repeat, then we are well on our way to an eventful year.

So without any more aimless rambling, here’s the full list of every place we went on our year of adventure, our favorites and highly recommended are marked *

Central Ohio Parks

  • Rocky Fork Metro Park* – x4
  • Prairie Oaks Metro Park
  • Millstone Creek Park*
  • Emily Traphagen Preserve*
  • Huber Village Park
  • Walnut Woods Metro Park*
  • Towers Park
  • Char – Mar Ridge Preserve* – x2
  • Alum Creek Park North*
  • Westerville Sports Complex
  • Sharon Woods Metro Park – x3
  • Hoover Reservoir
  • Blendon Woods Metro Park*
  • One Family, One Year of Adventure
    Sugar Creek Metro Park
  • Sugar Creek Metro Park
  • Columbus Zoo – x5
  • Spring Grove North
    • Spring Grove North new playground
  • Battelle Darby Creek Metro
  • Highbanks Metro Park – x3
  • McNamara Park
  • Walnut Ridge Park
  • Columbus Commons
  • Glacier Ridge Metro Park
  • Hann Farms, Strawberry Picking
  • Highlands Pool
  • Whetstone Park of Roses
  • Shale Hollow Preserve*
  • Kid’s Fest Petting Zoo
  • Veterans Parks Splash Pad*
  • Hannah Mayne Park*
  • Wyman Woods Park
  • Chestnut Ridge Metro Park
  • Blendon Woods Metro Park – New natural play area***
  • Bicentennial Park
  • The Wilderness Center *
  • Boyer Nature Preserve
  • Stratford Ecological Center*
  • Homestead Metro Park
  • Lynd’s Fruit Farm – apple picking
  • Deer Haven Park
  • Heritage Park
  • Moses Wright Nature Area
  • Olde Town Park
  • Pigeon Roost FarmOne Family, One Year, 100 Adventures
  • Blues Creek Preserve
  • Pumpkin Picking
  • Metzger Park
  • Three Creeks Metro Park
  • Hoff Woods Park
  • Scioto Audubon Metro Park
  • Hilmar Park
  • Gallant Woods Preserve
  • Center Green Park
  • McCord Park
  • Mudhen Marsh
  • Topiary Park
  • Goodale Park
  • Wildlights @ Columbus Zoo

State Parks & Preserves, Ohio 

North Carolina:

  • Soundside Park, Surf City
  • Kenneth D. Batts Family Park, Surf City
  • Topsail Beach – we spent about 3 week last year at the beach, and hit the sand almost every day. It’s hard to count that one!
  • Stone Mountain State Park – Camping Trip
  • Nelva R. Albury Recreation Area, Surf City
  • Belle of Topsail Boat Cruise – not a park, but definitely an adventure and I saw a sea turtle swimming in the water!
  • One Family, One Year, 100 Adventures
    Pilot Mountain State Park
  • Pilot Mountain State Park – x2
  • Downtown Topsail Playground



South Dakota

National Parks

Every single national park has blown us away, so it’s hard to pick favorites in this category!


The year of adventure hasn’t been perfect. There have been many very frustrating outings and personal set backs. Not every adventure was totally amazing. We’ve hiked in rain, snow, hail, heat, and humidity. We’ve bailed on a few adventures when they became a total disaster. Adventures with kids aren’t always easy, but it’s worth it. I still feel pride when I think about my four year old climbing the rope ladder in the Badlands that made my knees weak. I love that Abby, at 2, can hike and climb so fearlessly. I love that I’m checking things of my bucket list with my husband and my kids. If you want to go on adventures, big or small, with your family – just do it. It might be a mess, but it might be amazing. You never know until you try.

One family, One Year, 100 Adventures

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