Take your kids on a moonlit walk tonight

full moon over Lake Ontario
CC BY 2.0 Diego Torres Silvestre

It's the supermoon, after all! What better way to commemorate such a rare event than to bask in its silvery splendor?

Tonight’s supermoon is cause for celebration. As Melissa Breyer explained in an article for TreeHugger, it’s the first time since 1948 that the moon has been so close to the Earth, and it won’t happen for another 18 years. So, instead of admiring the moon’s magnificence briefly from the window, why not do something to commemorate the special occasion?

This could be especially momentous if you have small children, as unique natural events such as the supermoon will create lasting memories for them. I plan to celebrate by taking my little ones for a walk by moonlight. We will head out after dinner when it’s dark, and walk on the beach along Lake Huron where we live. From there, we’ll take a trail into the forest—because there’s nothing quite so eerie as seeing bare November tree branches against a glowing silver moon.

Moon walks are something that Richard Louv suggests in his latest book, Vitamin N: 500 Ways to Enrich the Health & Happiness of Your Family & Community and Combat Nature-Deficit Disorder. He describes one family’s experience:

“Cindy Ross is a long-time devotee of full-moon walks. ‘We’ve walked by balmy summer moons in T-shirts, with katydids singing and lightning bugs flashing in a multi-sensory display.’ But the best moon walks, she says, are under the winter moons. ‘I started out going on full moon walks for myself.. but I also did it for my children, so they would grow up to realize there is much magic in the natural world and most of it is free’.”

Louv recommends taking a flashlight along, just in case you need it, but try not to use it. Focus on letting your senses adjust and emerge, practicing the use of wide-angle or “splatter” vision, which is much more sensitive at low light.

“Listen for animal sounds (a whole new crew is out at night), watch for the silhouettes of owls and bats looking for prey, and keep your eye out for life that glows, including glow worms and fungus on trees.”

I am excited to do the moonwalk with my kids, as I have wonderful childhood memories of being woken at night and carried outside by my parents to see the moon, stars, and—best of all—the northern lights. If you are fortunate enough to live in a place where you can get away from city lights, even if it’s a large urban park, then try to get out tonight and witness the moon’s splendor firsthand.

I will never
be a morning person
for the moon and I,
are much too in
-- Christopher Poindexter

Take your kids on a moonlit walk tonight
It's the supermoon, after all! What better way to commemorate such a rare event than to bask in its silvery splendor?

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