To follow my wildly (ok moderately…maybe) popular post last month, I decided to share with you some of our favorite family dates around town. Again, I will give my best effort to make this about things other than food, but what can I say? The Adcox family likes to eat.
Pizza and a dance party.
We all know what a fan I am of the Monen restaurants, and Community Pie is no exception. This is probably C’s favorite spot downtown (read: the spot where he behaves the best without constantly staring at a device). Community Pie has a great kids’ menu including a breakfast platter with scrambled eggs and toast, an excellent beer list for the adult members of the family, and they even offer play-pizza dough for the kids to keep them occupied. The open-air patio looking out onto Market Street and Miller Plaza is always a hit and perfect for counting cars that pass by (don’t all kids love that?). On Friday nights during the summer you can cap off your evening with a little dancing in the streets at the Nightfall Concert Series — for free! Bonus: C L-O-V-E-S to ride the CARTA electric shuttle around downtown. You can park for free at the Choo Choo garage and ride “da bus,” as he calls it, to dinner!
Splish splash with a little history.
The waterways surrounding the Tennessee Aquarium have been a long-time favorite, but it seems like they get better and better each year. The Passage connects the aquarium to the riverfront and marks the beginning of the Trail of Tears for the Cherokee Tribes, highlighting symbolism from each of the seven tribes with historical markers along the way. This is a great activity for toddlers to teenagers and their parents alike. We especially enjoy taking a dip at the bottom of the Passage on a hot day in shade of the Riverfront Drive overpass.
Movies al fresco.
If you have a night owl like our boy, this is perfect for summer weekend evenings. Our favorite is the Wilderness Outdoor Theater in Trenton, Georgia (only about 15 minutes from Chattanooga). Tickets are only $7 (kids three & under are free) for two movies and concessions are beyond reasonable in comparison to a traditional movie theater. C loves to cuddle up with everyone on a pile of blankets in the back of our SUV while baby T snoozes through it all. The first feature doesn’t start until around 9:45pm so this is perfect for when the kids nap a little later and you just don’t have the will to wake them up. Each Saturday night in July First Things First sponsors a free outdoor movie at Coolidge Park. C thoroughly enjoyed his 934,875,497th viewing of Trolls last Saturday at Movies in the Park with his buddies and even slept super late the next morning after all of the excitement!
Burritos, the playground, and donuts (or ice cream, or both).
Heritage Park in East Brainerd has been one of our favorite playgrounds since C was tiny, but when Lee and I realized the connection between the strip mall in front of the park that houses some of our favorite restaurants and treats, it became the perfect spot for an impromptu family dinner date night. C really enjoys the kids’ fish at Mojo Burrito while Lee and I enjoy…everything. An easy walk to the playground, with a stop to throw a few rocks off the bridge into the creek burns some of those calories before returning via the covered bridge to the far right of the park and grabbing a treat at Tasty Donuts. If ice cream is your thing, Bruster’s is just next door! Heritage Park also has a dog park with annual memberships for those of you with furry family members.
Hiking and creek wading.
I’ve written before about our love for the Enterprise South Nature Park near the Volkswagon facilities. Poe Run Path is the perfect trail if you have little explorers and there are several opportunities to play in the creek bed if we’ve had enough rain. If you’re famished after your journey, check out Cambridge Square a few miles north. Lupi’s is a favorite with the kiddos, but if you happen to find a sitter along the way, definitely check out Heaven & Ale or the rooftop bar at Cenzia.
Do you have a family date night activity? Let us know by leaving a comment!