It’s Spring Break this week for LPS, and while that doesn’t mean a whole lot of change in our weekly routine, it does mean that the Tredways are available for an adventure. When Rebecca suggested that we take a day this week and get out of town, I was all over it faster than you can say, well, I don’t know . . . something you can say very fast.
We chose Nebraska City as our destination, specifically the Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure (or “a great big treehouse” for ease of explaining to the kids). Simon was so excited the night before that he could hardly sleep, and I so wish I could see how he pictured it in his four-year-old imagination.
After a windy picnic, we were ready to head to the treehouse. There is a shorter, paved loop and a longer (2/3-mile) woodchip path. Rebecca and I easily decided on the longer path, thinking the hike would get the kids good and tired. And (foreshadowing) we also thought that we would be just fine ourselves—less than a mile walk? Easy peasy. We started off bravely.
There is a ton of neat stuff along the path—a willow-branch fort, stuff to climb on and stuff to climb through, several art installments, educational stations with information about the birds and other wildlife, gnomes (of course), a lesser treehouse, and bridges and kissing trees and loops that go nowhere. What I really like about the place is that it is fun for a wide range of ages—Ian at 2, Simon at 4, and Liv at 7 all seemed to be having equally good times.
It was a beautiful day, the kids were enjoying themselves and each other, and we felt like supermommys for having the kids outside and active for so long. And while all of that was true, our one misstep was underestimating the heat (it was in the 80s. In March). We didn’t bring any water with us, and we were all sorry for it.
About three quarters of the way through our 2/3 mile, we made the mistake of sitting down to rest. Ian started wandering down the path the wrong way, and there was little I could do to persuade him to continue with us. Finally, he asked, “Go my house?” And I realized that was the key to moving him forward. “Yes, buddy, we are going home.” So we marched on a little ways, and then I realized he was just kind of repeating the same words over and over: “My hooow [my house]. Thuhssy [thirsty]. Choc meee-o [chocolate milk or, you know, something better for him]. My hooow. Thuhssy. Choc meee-o.” It was awfully cute and rather pathetic. It was definitely naptime, and the sweet little guy quite possibly has never walked so far at once. Poor kid.
All of us were greatly revived by bottles of water from the gift shop and some more fun play at the Nature Classroom. (I didn’t get any pics this time, but they have a really fabulous xylophone that Ian especially loved.)
While Ian and I and Clara missed the actual treehouse in our desperate need for water and a diaper change, the big kids found it and from Simon’s account, it did not disappoint. Ian was really none the wiser, and we all had a really great time, hot weather and all. We piled back in the car satisfied and tired—the good kind of tired—and perhaps the best part was that Rebecca and I still had an hour of adult conversation to look forward to while the kids were safely buckled in and conked out in the back.
Visitor Information: The Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure is open Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 11am to 5pm (I believe the hours are longer in the summer). Admission is $6.50 for adults, $4.50 for kids 3 to 12, and FREE for kids 2 and under.