“Your life is a blank page. You write on it.”   –Donald Miller

So because it’s spring break and we are celebrating local-style, (which means we are nowhere warm and sadly still running our space heaters) we will not call our week “lame” and give up in despair. Instead we will embrace the goodness of local fun and spontaneous moments.  Here are 10 ways to to make your spring break one to remember:

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1. Enjoy live music or a show

I scored free tickets to a local concert when I walked into a record store and struck up a conversation with the manager.  The concert turned out to be a wow! (Thanks Ignition Music!) And the experience was an awesome family memory.

Want more opportunities for free tickets? Here are a few giveaways for my local peeps from The Fort Wayne Visitor’s Center.  If you win the Jersey Boys weekend, with a free hotel stay and Broadway show, I will be so jealous happy for you.

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2. Enjoy some wildlife

From zoos to state parks, botanical gardens to a “Wild Animal weekend,” a chance to get into nature is an opportunity to create good memories. Plus my dear friend, vitamin D?  I’ve missed you.

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3. Hit a new playground

So this is for my friends with children, grandchildren, or random neighbor kids you want to spoil.  Forgo the usual playground and head somewhere new. Take a picnic. Stop and get ice cream.  Don’t worry if it’s thirty degrees, that’s why we wear wool mittens.

4. Watch a series of themed movies

Our family picked the theme “Best Family Musicals” and made a list of all the classic musicals we could think of, from Annie to Sound of Music.  We will be watching one movie a week until my daughter finally can recognize all the songs on my Pandora Broadway musical channel.

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5. Go to a candy store

I mean a real one, not the candy aisle in Walgreens. We stopped by the Olympia Candy Kitchen and encountered the nicest young man who served us turtles, cinnamon balls, and chocolate-covered cashews.  (Everyone we met in this small town was more-than-normal nice.  Small towns, you are awesome that way). Who wouldn’t be happy selling chocolate and sugar laden candies for a living?  Best job ever.

6. New Eats

Since we are on the subject of food: Go out to eat— but only if it’s some place new. Not only did we buy candy at the historic Olympia Candy Kitcen, we also had lunch there. Most intriguing menu item: three varieties of olive sandwiches including stuffed olive, nut and olive, and pork and olive, on toasted bread. My favorite: Nut and olive—which was a cashew and olive sandwich, topped with lettuce and mayo.Although this might make some olive-haters gag, I thought it was quite tasty.  Plus the ambiance of the historic building and the orangeade (orange/lemonade) drinks were fantastic.

7. Random Acts of Kindness–Spring Break Style

Random acts of kindness are popular at Christmas, but why not do random acts of kindness (RACK) Spring Break/Easter style? Fresh flowers, Easter cookies, random notes left on a neighbor’s doorstep—the options are endless and kids love it.  Finally, a spring break with purpose.

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8. Head to a museum

We try to hit one museum that’s either a family favorite (Chicago’s Science and Industry is one) or a new place. Options include history museums, African American museums, author’s homes (not if they’re still living there. Awkward.), nature centers, and historic sites.  Local peeps: Want to know the best online resource to find out what’s going on in the Fort?  Check this out.

9. Do a Passover meal in your home

Passover and Good Friday happen to overlap this year, which means our church is doing a Christian Seder meal that ties together the traditional Passover celebration with the meaning of how Christ fulfilled the scriptures.  This is one of my favorite traditions. You can have your own Seder meal by signing up to participate in a live stream Seder service from our church or you can use this simple Seder guide at home. This book is my favorite for finding out why Christians celebrate the passover.

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10. Easter Sunday

This Sunday is Easter, which isn’t really about chocolate bunnies and egg hunts and cute dresses worn by five year olds, even thought that’s what every aisle of Target tells you.  If you haven’t been to church in a while, feel hurt by the church, or like you don’t fit anywhere, then I want to tell you:  I get it—there are a whole lot of people who feel just like you. The church is full of broken people and broken people make mistakes, hurt each other, and generally mess things up.  But our God?  He is perfect love and grace, despite our mistakes. This Sunday is about Christ’s amazing gift of grace. His grace is about second chances and unconditional love and ultimately, becoming part of the best story of all.

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(Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post–a story that makes me cry both happy/sad tears:  the journey of how my husband almost died and the hope we find in second chances.)

Sara

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