By Jenn Rowan
Greetings fellow adventurers,
We are about to embark on a great quest together. The quest of being an adventure local family. The mission of this quest is to arm ourselves in combating the wily “there is nothing to do” syndrome that inhibits us from discovering adventures to be had right here, locally. Undertaking the quest of being an adventure local family has both reward and risk. The rewards include being the go-to resource for your friends in local adventuring, knowing where to find the hidden nature gems, participating in events that make your family feel small town warmth, and growth of your family identity as you explore together. The risk of this quest is that it provides your children with the ingredients to tell unfiltered family stories to teachers and friends. Those same stories that they will retell to their children, and laugh over with us when they are grown. I’m confident it’s a risk we can bear.
So join with me in transitioning your family from wondering what there is to do, to being an adventure local family, armed with a long list of exploration possibilities. Here we are, summertime, and it’s 4th of July already. If you are catching this column on its release date of 7/4, there is a multitude of potential for family adventures. The following are stand outs in ease of accessibility, variety of activities, and potential for new adventuring local discoveries.
The celebration of Independence Day in nearby Dover is particularly engaging for all ages, as there are many activities surrounding the Capitol building beginning at 9am, with fireworks at dusk. Among the few new discoveries Dover provides us on the 4th include the tales of Caesar Rodney, walking the path of escaping slaves, a variety of bands, and copious amounts of children’s activities for free.
Nearby Milton is hosting a 4th of July celebration that provides a family with small town happy warmth including a pie baking contest, live music, children’s activities, and Milton Clipper Express train rides. Best of all, there will be a bicycle decorating contest at 10:15am with resulting bike parade at 11am with a brand new bike as the grand prize. These 4th festivities take place in the Milton Park on the Broadkill River, with expansive playground, small loop railroad, and boat ramp.
Finally, for adventure local families who either want a simple, peaceful 4th or are adept at creating an adventure out of thin air, there is our town, Milford. The Slaughter Beach fireworks are sorely missed, but we live in a town that enables uncommon discovery, the true heart of adventure. Head out with your tribe to Slaughter Beach, bring a picnic of your own or assemble an adventurous meal from a local eatery your family has not yet discovered. My family loves the $2 pupusas from Milford’s 5 star rated Salvadorean restaurant, El Metapáneco. Load up on glowsticks and Rocket Copters that are all the summer rage, they glow too, and run wild with your children up and down Slaughter Beach. Bring the bug spray and keep a watch down the coast as you may see fireworks.
The great potential for adventure exists daily in the local towns mentioned. If you missed the 4th festivities, just make yourself a custom adventure in these areas. Check the hours of the museums in Dover, visit Milton’s park on a Wednesday for live music and the Milton Clipper Express, and Slaughter Beach is always there. You are bound to discover something new.
The first Adventure Local column would be remiss if it did not mention Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, the gem of Milford. On July 15th , tour the mill and watch it in operation. The Mill rumbling to life is an impressive sensory experience. It is loud, the floor shakes, and many parts can be seen in motion. Music at the Mill on July 13th is hugely popular with families with an open grassy area for children to safely run, play lawn games and dance to the live band while caregivers relax with a Dogfish Head beer and Po Boys Cajun food. For families seeking additional adventure, meet up at Lifecycle bicycle shop at 5:15pm for a 4 mile out and back ride to the Music at the Mill.
Jawaharlal Nehru once said, “There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” I look forward to sharing the discoveries my family has made in order to further our united quest of growing families that are adventuring (out there) here. See you outside.