When I first moved to Minnesota, it was supposed to be for just one summer internship. Almost daily, my co-workers would remind me that summer was beautiful — and fleeting: “Get out there and enjoy it!”

I had never been much of an outdoor person, but that summer, I fell in love with the park system and learned to appreciate the season that much more. I’ve since taken up cycling (wobbily), ice skating (clumsily), and gardening and round-the-lake walking (wholeheartedly).

Fast forward many years beyond that short summer, and I’m still in Minnesota, but with a preschooler, and I’m seeing the outdoors through brand-new eyes. “Look, an ant! Look, look! a PINE CONE! LOOK, LOOK, LOOK! The peonies are OPENING RIGHT NOW!”

We’re eager to take in the outdoors this season, and we would love to have others join us. Summer passes all too quickly (like childhood, yes?) and we’d love to hang out with Church of the Redeemer friends as we go exploring together.

You may have seen the play group announcement in the church bulletin. Our gatherings are highly informal and often last-minute: Sometimes there are just a couple of us, and sometimes a crowd, but it’s always a great opportunity for fellowship.  Friends and neighbors are welcome to join us.

We’ve been weathering winter and spring with excursions  to libraries and indoor playgrounds, but now we’re hoping to get to Minnehaha Park, neighborhood playgrounds, Gale Woods Farm, the arboretum and the Raptor Center. We try to keep things low-cost, if not free.

Contact me if you’d like to be on our e-mail list. Moms, dads, grandparents and caregivers are welcome.

And happy summer!