summer mood

when i was a kid i spent most summers in a creek in the woods.  fact.  to this day it is my happy place in my mind when things get rough.  today, we live in the city and there are few neighborhood children.  and it's a different time.  plus, it's the city.  i would become unhinged if fiona ventured away from our fenced in yard.  but when i was a kid in the 70's that's all we did.  we didn't go to camps.  we woke up, got dressed, went to the neighbor's house and went to the woods.  we'd crawl through tunnels, walk/wade down creeks, swim in ponds...we'd come home for lunch and then promptly leave again.  our neighbors had an above ground pool and we did spend a good deal of time there, but mainly it was see ya later momz. fiona spends most of her summer days at home in the house. 

this keeps me up at night.  she is in camp most weeks during the summer so mike and i can work, but it is up to us on those off weeks to provide entertainment for her.  i want her to have that sense of freedom and independence that i had.  not "let's get in the car and pay money to go to some form of entertainment".  and it's just not the same to walk in the woods with her mom or dad.  and all of her friends are a car ride away, not a walk down the street. 

what do you guys with kids do?  how do you give your kid that sense of summer freedom?