Stories Of Summer : Full Moon Walks By Suzanne Schoenfelder

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51MF7ENBDSL._SL500_AA300_ A family in a book called Walk When the Moon Is Full
(Francis Hamerstrom & Robert Katona 1974; out of print) took a walk in the evening on every full moon for one year. They had an adventure each time and so began our family adventures. It continued for twelve years for us. Our neighborhood, and even our backyard, had a different world offer us at night.

I started recording our lives through the full moon walks before I began scrapbooking. The pages collected in a folder along with drawings, facts and poems about the moon. Now each of the 12 months of the year are in separate page protectors in the Full Moon Walk Scrapbook with pattered paper on the left. This allows many years to be in one scrapbook.


We always had a special treat to eat and kept a record of the following: a simple drawing of the moon if the night was clear, X’d out if cloudy, who we were with, where we walked, the date, temperature, what happened today, what happened that month, and the snack.


We have walked in the snow, rain, on the boardwalk, with Hally’s Comet, and on Christmas Eve. Every so often a Blue Moon event comes up! (two full moons in one month) A full moon walk cannot be postponed because it occurs on that particular night, but a walk doesn’t have to be long if circumstances do not allow.

Eventually we took rides in the car for the full moon walk and only the driver knew where we were going (usually ice cream stands). We had full moon parties and friends would join us. It gave us a chance to collect info on the moon, which led to staying up late on nights that shooting stars were predicted. I know that even fifty years from now when our children see the full moon they will remember our Full Moon Walks.

I hope I have inspired you to start your own Full Moon Walk. Just mark the year’s calendar for the months ahead with the dates of the full moon.

The next full moon just happens to be tomorrow night: Saturday, June 26th.


NOTE FROM ALI : Suzanne's submission was particularly inspiring to me. I love the documentary nature of this activity and how it's something that happens at night - for some reason that makes it feel all the more magical. I love the longevity. I love that it's a tradition that can be passed on from one family to the next. I love that it became something Suzanne's family looked forward to and that they went on to invite others to join in their adventure.

Do you have any special summer family traditions that you look forward to in the summer months? Feel free to share in the comments today.

21 thoughts

  1. dawn

    2010-06-25 11:06:54 -0400

    I love this idea and how you keep records of it so the memories will always be there for the future generations of your family. Just this summer I've made it a point to go outside more at night and just sit and stare and listen. Usually I'm inside taking care of whatever didn't get done during the day. I know my husband will love this idea he is my nature guy. Thanks for sharing and letting us know that tomorrow is next night for our walk.

  2. Cathy Weber

    2010-06-25 11:24:15 -0400

    Gosh I love the summer story today about walking at night with yout family. You are right, it did seem almost magical as I read it. The one summer memory that I remember most was every 4th of July our kids got to sit up on the roof to watch the city firework show. Getting on the roof was a really big deal as they obviously never got to do that any other time. We would get up there as soon as it got dusky and had such fun. I am almost sure our kids will do the same with their children.

  3. Beth

    2010-06-25 11:58:37 -0400

    This is one of my very favorite books of all time. I have my battered copy on my shelf, complete with my mom's inscription to my brother and I. Such wonderful, wonderful memories came from this book and our subsequent walks. Thanks!

  4. Molly Irwin

    2010-06-25 11:58:59 -0400

    Suzanne, Ali is right; this is magical. We have "icecream walks" in our home which occur only in summer and before sunset, but I could see a full moon walk becoming so much more.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.

  5. con-tain-it

    2010-06-25 12:33:53 -0400

    Oh wow this is almost magical...I can see Simon just loving makes me want to pull out my son's telescope...yep I still have it...holding onto to it for my grand-babies ;) Now my baby is a Rocket cool is that! Thanks for sharing Ali...I'm going to post the link for your post on my FB page to share with my boys and family. Have a great weekend, Roberta

  6. simply stork

    2010-06-25 12:41:55 -0400

    I found this idea of looking forward to every full moon with an adventure in mind. I, myself, look forward to sunsets and have taken many photos of them...each one different. My husband and I are blessed to live with in driving distance of a bay where we can jump on the motorcycle and witness the sunset quite often. I am trying to get a collection together of the photos taken there. It will make for an amazing photo book when completed...or shall I say...when continued :o)
    ~simply stork~

  7. Michelle

    2010-06-25 15:25:51 -0400

    Suzanne is a great friend of mine and I love her full moon tradition. I am a young mother and I can't wait to finally do this with my son when he understands what it's all about. Suzanne is a very inspiring friend and she is full of lots of great ideas! Good job Suzanne. I love ya lots!!!

  8. Amber Lee

    2010-06-25 16:33:00 -0400

    This is so awesome! I love this idea and am totally implementing it!

  9. debbie

    2010-06-25 17:33:41 -0400

    What a nice surprise to see this here today. I read this book to my daughters when they were little and just last night, while accompanied by the nearly full moon on a three hour drive along I-5 in Oregon, we reminisced about our walks while the moon was full so many years ago. She and her children just moved to 7 acres in the country so she is looking forward to making memories with them there. When she and her sister were little we would often call my parents on the spur of the moment to ask if we could go for a walk on their 90 acres. They were always happy to oblige, even when there was snow on the ground or they had to leave their warm bed to join us!

  10. Andi Sexton

    2010-06-25 18:01:45 -0400

    I love this post!!!! The moon is very special in our family as well.I chart every full moon on my family Snapfish photo calendar (made each year for Christmas Gifts) - just like all our other special events.
    Tonight, my son and I watched the moon come up as we were driving home from a Farmers' Market - loved how it was hiding behind some clouds - just a hint - and poof! There it was in all it's glory - it is so beautiful! I'm looking forward to tomorrow night... Can't wait to get the book!!!!! Awesome awesome awesome...

  11. Josh

    2010-06-25 22:05:29 -0400

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  12. Leora

    2010-06-26 00:51:34 -0400

    I love this tradition, too! We will have to give it a go!

  13. rachel whetzel

    2010-06-26 05:08:43 -0400

    I'm debbie's daughter... she and I were just talking about our walks by the light of the moon when I was a little girl. I've been thinking about taking my own boys on some adventures like this now that we live in the country...

  14. Ellen

    2010-06-26 09:18:51 -0400

    This entry couldn't be more perfect! Each night I take my 2 year old son out to see the moon before we go to bed. We point out stars and planets, in addition to the moon. Two nights ago, I asked my son if he wanted to have a full moon party with cupcakes. He and my husband both stated that we don't have any cupcakes. I pledged to make them. My son replied, "And hamburgers." After reading this, we are definitely going to take a walk, eat cupcakes and hamburgers, and record our small family party in a scrapbook layout! Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. ereive

    2010-06-26 21:25:34 -0400

    I simply love this... thank you for the story. :)

  16. Jenny S

    2010-06-27 03:48:03 -0400

    This is really cool! The park system near where I grew up based a monthly program on this book. So you can go to the local park system and walk with others and a naturalist during the full moon (you can search their site for more examples:
    Soo cool! One of my favorite memories growing up. Thanks for sharing this book. :)

  17. Ruth Allmart

    2010-06-27 07:39:31 -0400

    That is so very cool! My kids would love to do something like this. Thanks for sharing :)

  18. Ellie

    2010-06-27 09:56:52 -0400

    We really don't have a summer tradition per say. I just love spending time w/the kids and just being to talk to them Well mostly the boys since my little girl is too small to go to school yet. Its fun to listen to them talk and thoughts especially as to what we should be doing that day. I am blessed and Summer is an awesome time w/my babies! We just went to the zoo this weekend and already am trying to see if I can put them in order so I can make a mini scrapbook about it. This coming week we are heading to Central Park! Can't wait :)

  19. Erin M

    2010-06-28 14:10:06 -0400

    Our family looks forward to our neighborhood TGIF parties. We get together every 2 to 3 weeks in summer--on Friday nights, usually in someone's backyard or driveway. We share snacks, appetizers, & desserts and the kids play, ride bikes, do scavenger hunts, and stay up WAY past their bedtimes! It's a wonderful way to build community.

  20. Megan

    2010-07-26 11:14:32 -0400

    My grandmother was passionate about the moon, and went for walks most nights, and invariably came in the back door (she lived on another part of the ranch, about a quarter-mile from us) loudly proclaiming: 'You HAVE to come see the moon!' Full moons were her favorite, and she would often herd us all outside just prior to moonrise over the hills behind our home. We still all go for walks in the moonlight, and often share our reminiscences of her...It has kept her alive for me in many ways. I always notice when the moon is out, and often say a prayer of appreciation for the moon and my grandma. Thanks for the memory.

  21. Sherry G

    2010-07-26 12:03:07 -0400

    This post made me think of Owl Moon by Jane Yolen--a beautiful children's picture book about a winter walk in the moonlight to look for owls.

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