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Search, Find, & Explore

November 7, 2016

With a love of the outdoors from my childhood spent on Shelburne Farms, Vermont, I am always on the lookout for ways for my children to enjoy exploring as much as I do. As they’ve gotten older, I put my Art Degree to good use and began sketching quick illustrations of things we would find in the woods, or at the beach, even in our own neighborhood block. It was an instant hit, and quickly became something we looked forward to doing weekly as a family or with friends. As time went on, the need grew to have all the essential tools at our fingertips when we were exploring. Thus, my “Search & Find: Adventure Kit” was born, complete with a sturdy pair of binoculars, a magnifying glass, a small marker, and a trusty Search & Find Adventure Card.

One of our favorite things to do is hike in the woods, especially in First Landing State Park. As parents of three small boys (five years old and under), my husband and I have experienced the highs and lows of hiking with children all over the country, and we like to think that “we’ve got this!”

Enjoy these photographs from Jess Hill Photography of our most recent hike, and I’ve written a few tips at the bottom of the photos on how to have a great hike with your kids.












Type of Adventure
Hiking while teaching your children an appreciation for nature, a fun family activity, and exercising

Any woods big or small

Things to take into consideration while packing

  • Plan for “the sagging wagon”: Might need a kid carrying item: We love our backpack!
  • Snacks? Trail Magic (nuts & dried berries), sandwiches, apples or carrots
  • Water? Yes. Plenty.
  • Activity? Woods: Search & Find Adventure Kit
  • Protection? Be aware of the season when you’re hiking and what you’d need: sunscreen, or bug & tick protection

While on the Adventure

  • Be prepared to stop as many times as they need to
  • It’s Progressive. Don’t expect them to hike for over an hour!
  • Go in intervals – take your time! Snack between intervals, throw stones, collect nature items


  • Collect leaves, sticks, stones, or nuts. (our rule: anything not living)
  • Bring your child’s friend – might get you another 30 min – 1 hour of “hiking”
  • Skip stones into water

And most importantly, have fun!







October 7, 2014

Fall in the park

Bikes on VB Boardwalk


I must admit, Fall happens to be my favorite time of year to be active outside. What’s not to love? Cool temperatures, and mosquito free evenings. It’s truly the perfect time to take advantage of the low temperatures when you don’t feel like your entire body is about to melt into the pavement or sand.

Don’t forget to dress warmly. Layers under your coat, gloves, warm socks, hat, etc. Better to be prepared, than cold!

  • Take a hike out of the wind in First Landing State Park. Maybe it’s the Vermonter in me, but one of my favorite places to visit during Autumn is the Park. It’s almost as if I’m back in the Green Mountains with the beautiful changing foliage.
  • Cruise down the 3 miles and 27 feet of Virginia Beach’s Boardwalk on your beach cruiser. I bet you’ll run into at least one of your friends doing the exact same thing! Often, I like to go even further down past the Cavalier and zip onto Ocean Front Avenue. If you bike slowly, you can check out the beautiful houses that hug the sand.
  • Stroll down the miles of beach along the shoreline. There is a lot of beach to cover if you start in the 40s and head towards Fort Story! Breathe in the ocean breeze, watch the surfers and paddleboarders ride the waves and brave the cold. Dog owners, your beloved four-legged friends are allowed on the beach un-leashed until Spring.

What are your favorite out-of-doors activities to do in the Fall?