A few years ago I met another mom at a McDonald’s PlayLand; she invited me to join a group she ran for preschool-aged kid and their parents. The mom was a teacher who had quit work when the first of her four children was born. Basically, she organized “field trips” for preschool-aged kids several times a month during the school year. After running the group for 10 years or so she had it down to a science. I took my kids on many of the outings, which were either free or just a couple bucks, and we went to so many great places in the area (i.e. a steel drum-making factory, popcorn factory, nursery, supermarket, music store, car repair shop, pizza shop, shipping company, pet store, vet’s office, bagel store, chocolate factory, library, pretzel shop). (This doesn’t include the dozens of places I couldn’t go to, for some reason or another.) For the most part, the places did a really good job of keeping the tours short and sweet, involving the audience, and sometimes giving a treat afterward. Sure, the kids were often bored, but the parents were fascinated (especially me!). When the group’s founder went back to work, two other moms took over; I went the first year they were in charge but I’m not sure what’s happened since then. I sure hope it’s continued. It was such an awesome idea! Best of all, I didn’t have to run it or organize it; I could just enjoy it (how often does THAT happen?).