So much to do, so little time!
When I moved to New York I remember having an awful sense that I was missing things. There were simply too many things going on and I was too new and I couldn't parse the info quickly enough to find activities that our family wanted to participate in. One thing that I'd learned when we moved to Tennessee was that if something AMAZING was missed to talk to the organizers and ask when they planned to hold it next year and add that to my calendar with enough advance notice to be sure to RSVP.
But how to handle a huge number of activities coming at you from every direction?
One of my coworkers gave me some advice for which I will forever be grateful. She suggested that we join one institution each year and for that one year make that institution our priority in planning our outings. We didn't need to be monogamous, we could of course go to different places and do different things, but for one year we should try to do as many events as that institution offered and we could fit in our schedule.
So we did. We joined the zoo one year and stopped in on Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays and Sundays. We were members, so it didn't matter if we were only going for an hour or for hours, We would go and only look at one exhibit. We would go, leave, get some lunch, and come back. Instead of feeling tied to one place, we had this incredible sense of freedom. It was awesome.
Another year we joined the Museum of Modern Art. (My turn! Can you tell?) I LOVED it and dragged my son along more times that he would like to admit. One time in the middle of the year I met a friend there to see the Diego Rivera exhibit. We were spending ages with each painting and our son was bored to tears. He politely asked if he could go down to the gift shop and I said yes. My friend and I came to the end of the exhibit and decided to meet up with my preteen in the gift shop.
Except... there was no pre-teen in the gift shop. At first I was bemused, I figured he was sitting on the floor reading a book or perhaps listening to music while he waited. I checked all the corners, walked all the aisles. No son. I was one minute away from talking to security when I remembered he had a cell phone (bear with me, you don't always think straight when you're anxious)
He promptly answered
"I'm in the Design Exhibit. I wanted to look at some things we saw last time."
This is the kid I had to cajole and bribe to go with me choosing of his own volition to look at an exhibit. That one line made that year's membership fee worth it.
So, long story short, after six months here it's getting to be time for us to choose our cultural institution. This one looks pretty good, what do you think?