With the beginning of the school year looming like a lumbering leviathan later this month, this weekend offers a prime opportunity for families.

Get out. Get outside, get out of your cozy homes.

Go. Go to a park, to a museum, to one of the abundant destinations our state has to offer.

We know, we know, you’re busy right now. The start of the school year is also a time when errands need to be done. School supplies and clothes must be purchased. If you’re the kind of parent who frets, you might be drilling your children through vocabulary lists and arithmetic drills.

But the weekends available to us are limited, as is the time. How often do you truly allow yourself to be present with your family and loved ones? How often do you turn off the computer, pocket the smartphone, and allow your relationships and surroundings to direct you? We suspect that most of you would say, “Oh, that happens all the time.”

We also suspect that most of you know, deep down, that such embrace of the now happens far less often.

So take the kids to the zoo. Head out to a lake or community trail for a hike or leisurely gaze at the some of the gardens your community has to offer. In the mood for some thrills? Experience the life of daredevil Evel Knievel at the Topeka museum dedicated to his wild and woolly exploits.

Want an even simpler option? Simply stroll downtown, taking in the shops and restaurants that bring our towns to life. Spare a moment to imagine what could be in a year or even two in the dynamic core.

In considering these options, the most exciting aspect is one of the simplest: They’re all real.

Not one of these stops is virtual or streaming or available for incognito browsing on your tablet or phone. They’re not composed of cold, packed pixel arrays, rearranging themselves infinitely in front of your tired eyes.

No, all of these stops are real. They’re out there in the community for you and your family to enjoy, right here in Topeka and right now.

Because the one thing that we can’t imagine away, the one thing that we can’t outrun, is time itself. However we spend our time, the minutes pass and the calendar switches inexorably from one day to another. The time we waste will never, ever come back.

But the time we spend with our loved ones in the real world? It becomes an indelible memory.

For these waning days of summer, let’s make more of those.