It was 3 am and all I could hear was soft breathing. I paused for a minute before entering because I used to hate to wake him up! I felt irresponsible doing it, but then I realized it would be unfortunate to have my beautiful, inquisitive son miss the spectacular Lunar Eclipse taking place at that very moment. I gently shook him awake and with a blanket around him, we stepped outside. The smile on his face as he tilted his head up was indescribable. I knew he would remember that night for the rest of his life.
Night adventures are magical experiences, especially for children. I know during these outings, my son feels daring and giddy but what he learns during these moments he retains effortlessly. Over the years, we have walked hand in hand, living the nocturnal hours as though stealing from time.
When I plan night adventures, I never tell my son before hand, because he wouldn’t be able to get to sleep if I did! I wake him up at the appointed hour and he is always surprised and excited. It’s wonderful to share in his joy.
Every state is different, but where we live, there are plenty of organized nighttime activities we can take part in and though they often require advanced planning and the purchase of tickets, its all well worth it.
For example, we have taken a part in:
– the local Hatch ling release program- newly hatched baby sea turtles are placed on the sand several feet from the water’s edge, and they scurry into the ocean on their own.
-watching a nesting loggerhead turtle with a nature guide
-taking a canoe out at night to row through tidal channels
-joining amateur astronomers for star gazing at the local observatory
-joining zoo staff for a behind the scenes evening tour
These were memorable, wonderful experiences. But to date, our favorite nighttime adventure has been camping in our own backyard, listening to the sounds of the night. What kind of adventures will you take your children on at night?
Article By Nuria Almeida
Picture By stevecadman