This week's Three-fer Thursday is an old favorite. We've been doing it for ages without even realizing it was, in fact, a Three-fer!
Yogurt (+ St. Stephens)+ Q-Shack + Local
Start your day off right by heading out to Rockwood Park. We spend an extraordinary amount of time out here in the summer, because it's shady and perfect for hot weather (bring bug spray!). But it's also great in the Fall--the trees are towering and gorgeous--and on most days save the wet ones. Rockwood is infamous for it's puddles.
Make sure to bring a few friends and your kids' bikes, tricycles, and rollers. They can ride around the small track, play on the equipment, or just run. You can spend as much or as little time here as you'd like, but we usually top out at about two hours. Right in time for lunch.
Hit Q-Shack with your buds and kiddos. The service is fast and friendly, and you can eat sides for relatively cheap. Eat outside if you can, and grab a seat under the water-spray if it's hot.
When you've filled up on delicious bar-b-que, cross the street to Local Yogurt. You can top off your lunch with something sweet and not-so-bad-for-you and eat outside yet again if the weather holds. Make sure to check Local Yogurt's Facebook page before you go: they have lots of daily specials, and if you plan accordingly, you can get a kids' serving (with sprinkles!) for free.
If you haven't used up the morning yet, you can turn this Three-fer into a Four-fer: head over to St. Stephen's park off of Rugby Rd. As long as it's after 1:00 pm, pre-school will be out. So you and your full kiddos will have free run of the place. They can burn off their energy in another shady, spread out park like Rockwood.
when to go: when it's really hot but you're desperate to get outside anyway, when the leaves are changing and you want to get some great scenery in with your playtime, or when the weather is nice enough to be outside all day. The only time you really need to avoid Rockwood and Co. is when it's wet.
what to bring: all the usual pre-schooler supplies. If you want to get a little walking in, you can park at the Local Yogurt shopping center and walk to Rockwood and back. Just be aware of the lack of trails and plan accordingly.
what it'll cost you: Rockwood is free, Q-Shack will run about $15 for one adult and one kid's platter, Local Yogurt usually runs from about $5 and up.
advisories: keep an eye out for specials and coupons! You can cut your spending in half if you hit Q-Shack and LoYo on a discount day.