There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a crisp breeze and some warm sunshine to let you know that spring has officially arrived. From farmer’s markets to festivals, spring is the ideal time to get out of the house and enjoy all your hometown has to offer.
Unfortunately for many families with food allergic members, kid-friendly spring activities tend to involve a LOT of food. Food allergy parents are all too familiar with dodging mystery smears on park benches and weaving through discarded wrappers and shells that plague public spaces. Not only is it emotionally overwhelming to attend events like this, it can also be life threatening for kiddos with food allergies. We get it – it’s tough to find the motivation to organize a nice day with your loved ones when there’s so much anxiety surrounding it.
If your main goal is avoiding accidental exposure, there’s so many great ways you can still go out and enjoy the season as a family. Read on for ten of our favorite family-friendly, affordable, and fun activities where food isn’t the event’s bread and butter:
1. Visit a botanical garden or local park
There’s a reason they call it spring – this time of year is the perfect time to watch the season’s first blooms! Botanical gardens are beautifully maintained and clean outdoor spaces where the only food being sold is limited to designated food courts. Thankfully, visitors can’t usually take food into the gardens – a win for families looking for lots of space to avoid shared public surfaces.
2. Pick farm fresh veggies
When it comes to knowing how your food was prepared, there’s no better option than picking it yourself! “Pick-Your-Own farms” are a popular way to bring home delicious fresh produce in a way that the whole family can enjoy. Since there’s always something yummy in season, this activity is one that can be easily repeated at different farms throughout the year. If you’re planning to make a day of it, just remember to call ahead and ask the farm about their “outside food” policy so you can plan safe lunches ahead of time.
3. Try your hand at pottery painting
No artistic experience required! DIY pottery painting studios are a fantastic way to give creative kids a way to express themselves that they can keep forever. Some studios even allow guests to paint functional, food-safe ceramic items that can be eaten off of and washed like normal! Ceramic studios generally do not allow any food as there is a high risk that it could become contaminated with non-edible art materials. Great news for food allergy families looking for a fun, simple, and safe activity.
4. Attend a play or local theater group performance
Got kids who love visiting the world of make believe? Look up performances near you and support the local creative scene by attending a play. It’s less likely for theaters showing live performances to allow food during the play, which makes them a great alternative to snack-heavy movie theaters. Many live performances are interactive and made with kids in mind, so there’s bound to be something that everyone in your family will love. It’s the perfect spring activity to spark creativity and support the arts at the same time!
5. Get inspired at a museum
From art to natural history to science, there’s a museum out there for everyone. A perfect spring rainy day activity, museums are a great option for food allergy families who want an adventure that appeals to all ages. And luckily, most museums don’t allow food in the display halls. Just steer clear of any designated food courts, and your family is guaranteed to enjoy a family outing that’s fun, safe, AND educational.
6. Embrace the great outdoors while backyard camping
Picture this: you’re itching to spend more time outside on a warm day after being cooped up all winter. Camping sounds like a great way for your family to enjoy some fresh air. But let’s be honest… camping with little ones isn’t always a walk in the park. Our solution? Backyard camping, of course! Just pack your tent with some allergy safe snacks and cozy blankets and get ready to enjoy the great outdoors. The best part? If anybody needs a midnight bathroom break or decides they’d rather be cozy in a real bed, the comfort of home is just a few steps away.
7. Satisfy your wanderlust on a scenic drive
As far as low-cost adventures go, scenic drives are our favorite. Not only are they allergy safe and family friendly, they’re also easy to repeat on days where you need a quick and easy way to get out of the house. Try finding a few drives near you and letting the kids pick, or playing a game of “I Spy” on your journey. Want to go one step further? Pick a park, navigate there via scenic backroads, and set up an allergy-friendly picnic once you arrive!
8. Dive deep with a trip to the aquarium
Who doesn’t love an aquarium? We prefer aquariums to zoos for food allergy families because they’re often indoors and as such, are far more likely to have restrictions on what guests can and cannot bring into the exhibits. Just make sure to avoid any food courts and ask ahead of time about outside food if you’re looking for a truly food-free experience.
9. See things in a different way on a hometown treasure hunt
Though it takes a little more advanced planning than other activities on this list, a hometown treasure hunt can be a fantastic way to explore your city in a fun, interactive way. Parents, all you need to do is pick 3-5 locations or iconic features of your town and provide kiddos clues that they have to decipher to direct you from place to place. But what’s at the end of the treasure hunt? That’s up to you – creativity is key for parents on this one!
10. Go retro at a drive-in movie
If you find yourself saying “back in my day” more often than you expected to at your age, it may be time to show the kiddos how you spent your time all those years ago – at a drive-in movie! Thankfully, drive-in movies don’t carry the same risk of close contact with allergens that movie theaters do. Families can easily bring safe snacks, or even enjoy the movie food-free. What better way to spend a Friday night during spring?
We hope your next allergy-friendly family outing is one to remember! Planning on trying one of these suggestions this spring? Let us know how it went by sending us a message, or tag us on social media. Happy adventuring!
About Intrommune Therapeutics
At Intrommune, we are dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of the over 220 million people worldwide who suffer from life-altering food allergies. Our revolutionary oral mucosal immunotherapy (OMIT) treatment platform is a patient-friendly solution that conveniently incorporates allergy immunotherapy into a patient’s established teeth brushing routine. Our lead product, INT301, is in Phase 1/2 clinical trials for peanut allergy desensitization.
Visit our website to learn more about our mission to develop simple, safe and effective solutions for food allergy sufferers so that they and their loved ones can live without fear.
Blog photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash, licensed for use under the Unsplash License.