You know “The List” I’m talking about. The one that has Costco and the grocery store and the garden center on it. The one that has cookies to bake for the class party, friends to call, e-mails to write. Or maybe you’re feeling ambitious and the list includes items like “clean the oven” or “weed the flower bed.” Whatever.

I’m here to tell you to put the list down. Grab your car keys with one hand and your child with the other. Snatch a few granola bars from the pantry, get in your car, and go! Once you’re out the door, the list will lose all its power, believe me.

Daytrips don’t have to be elaborate, or even expensive. They can include, as one of mine did this winter, a simple trip to the playground followed by a tour of a free folk-art exhibit. And the best part is that little journeys like this can have all the cultural and exploration value of much more elaborate travel. But there is a trick to daytrips: you have to ignore the list and go.

Trust me – it’ll still be on the counter when you get home.