This month, I’ve got suggestions to keep you outside enjoying spring and all the wonderful opportunities that will allow you to consume experiences, not stuff.
Volunteer at the farmers market. All across the country, farmers markets are opening for the season this month. Most farmers markets are always looking for volunteers to help man the market’s booth, help set up or take down, or any number of other things. If you’re unsure of where a market is near you, Local Harvest probably has the information you’re looking for.
Celebrate strawberries. Depending on where you live, you may have to wait until June for this, but many regions hold strawberry festivals in May. Some are small, held at places like local churches where strawberry shortcakes and strawberry ice cream are the main attractions. Others are huge, held on fair grounds and strawberries are just one of the attractions. The strawberry season only lasts a short time in many areas of the country. When strawberries are plentiful, it’s reason to celebrate. Pick Your Own has a listing of strawberry festivals throughout the United States.
Give mom an experience. Mothers Day is this month. Instead of heading to a crowded chain restaurant for brunch, take her to brunch at a local winery or take her on a picnic instead. Buy her tickets to the theater or a summer concert instead of purchasing one more expensive handbag to collect dust in her closet. Spend a few hours planting her a flower or vegetable garden that she can enjoy for months.
Grill something meatless. Sure, you know how to grill a good burger, but have you mastered veggies on the grill yet? Try Grilled Portabella Mushrooms with Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella, All-Star Veggie Kabobs, Grilled Pizza, or take advantage of the fresh asparagus that is in season and make Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan.
Rake, weed or plant for an older neighbor. If you have an older neighbor who has traditionally taken a lot of pride in her garden beds but is having difficulty taking care of them, volunteer to help. This would be a great family activity that would teach kids a sense of responsibility for neighbors and the neighborhood.
For more on experience consumption, check out my original post Why I’m optimistic about 2010: Experience consumption as well as the ideas for January, Februray and March and April.