Location: Usually in parks or other wooded areas.
Cost: Free, if you have the right equipment
Equipment: You are going to need a GPS system. Several on the market. I actually used my Garman. The only problem with that is that it wasn't very accurate in terms of feet but would get us pretty close. My partner had one made for hiking. Several in our dad's group have these things so pairing up shouldn't be a problem.
Website for coordinates: www.geocaching.com
What it is: I think just about everyone has heard about this. Basically, think of it is a treasure hunt. People had little caches in different locations, then go to the website and log in the coordinates for those. You can either play the hunter and go find them, or the pirate and hide some of your own. All in all, pretty simple.
So what is a cache and what do they look like. It could be any kind of container. We found 2 today. One was a coffee can wrapped in camoflauge tape. The other was about an inch long and it was hanging from a tree.
Inside the coffee can were different trinkets that you could take, but only if you left something. Inside the inch long container, there was a coupon for pizza. Here is what I liked about it. Usually there is a list inside the find where you can sign your name, showing how awesome you are. We showed the greatness of KCDADS and signed it that way and left our website address.
I went with the Hippie today. Because after all, if you are going into the woods what better person to go with than the vegie loving earth mother? But it worked out because he had an awesome child carrier that I put my 1 year old son in. He had his 1 year old as well. Bringing up the rear was my 3 year old daughter. We wanted to do some actual hiking as well today so we parked about a 1/2 mile away. We were at Shawnee Mission Park.
Here is what I learned. A 1/2 mile through brush and woods is a lot different than a 1/2 mile on the road walking by yourself. My daughter was good to the first treasure but then wanted to be up on my shoulders. By my count, I had a 30 pound kid on my shoulders and a 20 pound kid on my back. If I haven't said this before: this is why Dad's are awesome.
The Hippie and I worked together though and we found both without much fuss. I would recommend that those with smaller children drive as close to the treasure as you can and then do the hiking. Both that we found were actually just off the road.
They have these caches everywhere so don't think you have to go deep in the woods to find them. Chances are there is one in your local park by the swing set. It's a pretty fun little activity that got everyone out of the house.
My daughter fell asleep as soon as we left.
Also a word of note: watch out for ticks and bugs. It would appear that I was warned about this in an email that I didn't read. That would be my fault and my inexperience. I have pulled 2 ticks off my daughter this afternoon and a grand total of 4 off myself. My son didn't have any because he was riding me like a pack mule.
But all in all, with the proper precautions, a great free activity to get the whole family out of the house on a gorgeous day.