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My husband and I have a favorite family activity that we frequently partake in now that we are parents: Sunday Funday at the park with a growler! (I’m excited to talk about this, can you tell?).
Before baby, my husband and I were regular daters. Meaning, we spent a lot of time doing really fun stuff together. We live in southern California and its always warm, so there is no reason not to be outside enjoying ourselves.
Then came the best thing that ever happened to us: the birth of our daughter!
So how do new parents find the time to have fun together in between sleepless nights, diaper changes and 3 hour feedings? It took us a while to figure this one out.
I’m not sure if it was the sleep deprivation or just utter desperation to get out of the house and be like regular adult humans again, but finally we found a solution to our dilemma:
Sunday funday + growler in the park = super happy parents!
What exactly is Sunday Funday?
Sunday Funday is how we spent Sundays pre-child in our Los Angeles beach suburb. It was often spent enjoying a boozy brunch on the pier or spending time at the beach with friends. And it was a very fun day of the week.
But now we have moved on to this amazing institution called parenthood. As much as I love being a Mom, sometimes we have to carve out slices of fun here and there so we don’t completely lose our minds. Hence, we began our Sunday Funday ritual so Mom and Dad can enjoy life while still being responsible parents.
Before you judge you should know that my husband and I are super responsible parents and generally very nice, good people. I’m a nurse, he’s a lawyer and we both work at a large teaching medical institution in Los Angeles. We spend our days being extraordinarily adult and doing good work.
Mom and Dad need to have some fun too! Life is way too short to be so serious all the time.
After babies come into the picture it becomes much harder to have spontaneous fun as a couple. But it’s important to both of us that we make time for each other so we don’t get lost in baby madness. Sharing a Sunday Funday growler at the park is one way we build our relationship up and continue making a happy life.
Our rational goes like this: happy parent relationship= happy baby.
So on sunny summer Sundays we delight in the opportunity to have some family time at the park. With the addition of a growler, as mentioned.
For those who don’t know, a growler is a container that allows for the transport of beer. The kind we use only fits about 4.7 beers total. It the perfect amount for us to split and sip on over an afternoon. Not enough to amp things up to party level.
We are so lucky to have an adorable local brewery about 3 blocks from where we live called the El Segundo Brewing Company. It is one of our favorite local watering holes and we are often there on our date nights.
Our task is simple: enter taproom, pick up a growler of the finest El Segundo craft beer, and head out for Sunday Funday, child-rearing version. Fortunately for us, our town is super pedestrian friendly and we can walk everywhere.
Our five essentials for Sunday Funday, parenthood version:
- Music (iphone)
- Picnic Basket with yummy snacks
- Tasty growler
- Adorable baby girl
That’s it. No muss, no fuss.
With our now 1-year-old in tow, a picnic blanket, some finger foods, music (via the iphone) and a growler of tasty craft beer fresh from the tap, we set out to to savor the day.
Our goal is to escape the routine and live in the moment.
With the sun shining, a warm breeze, and a beer or two we feel relaxed and we can talk for what seems like hours. We play barefooted on the lawn with our daughter and look at the sky.
Some of our best bonding moment as parents have come out of having growlers at the park during her first year of life. I can honestly say that it is been one of the better things we’ve done for our relationship.
Why a growler at the park makes the best date (in case you are not already convinced):
- It’s spontaneous
- It requires no planning
- It’s very low cost
- You don’t have to get dressed up
- You get to spend time outside in nature
- It gives you time to connect
On another note, I’m sure there is a law against drinking alcohol in the parks where we live. But I think those laws were put into effect mostly keep people from having parties in the parks. We are rule breakers, what can I say?
We don’t flaunt our 2.3 beers each and so far it hasn’t been a problem. Just a regular family having a picnic on a beautiful day.
Last summer our daughter was immobile which worked well for growlers at the park. We could enjoy the day while sipping our cold brews in the sunshine and not worry about her getting up and taking off.
Unfortunately, we will not have that luxury this year as she is a seriously fast runner. I love it, but it does require more focus on our parts. Good thing we keep it to only one growler.
Afterwards we walk home for a delicious home cooked Sun Basket meal. A perfect end to a beautiful day with the family. Can’t beat it.
Have I convinced you that this is a really good idea yet? If you and your man are new parents and are dying for a way to enjoy some quality time together that sort-of feels like a date too, then this might be your path to feeling like a normal adults again.
Just pack some munchies, grab a growler at your local brewery, and walk yourselves to the park!
Sarah, Mother Nurse Love
Psst! Check out some of these adorable and very functional picnic baskets!