Looking for entertainment that doesn’t require a screen? Or the perfect soundtrack for a car trip? Get the family together and listen to some Adventures in Odyssey!
What Are Adventures in Odyssey?
This radio drama first broadcast November 21, 1987, and has continued airing episodes ever since. Today, you can still listen to Whit, Eugene, Connie, and all of the other characters on the radio or purchase CDs, videos, and books. But most families today prefer the ease of the Adventures in Odyssey app as part of the Adventures in Odyssey Club. Here, which contains nearly all of the broadcast episodes, plus extra bonus features.
John Avery Whittaker aka “Whit”, serves as the protagonist in most of the episodes at Whit’s End, a retro hangout spot for local kids in the fictional town of Odyssey. But most of the adventures don’t just center around people talking about their feelings at the ice cream counter.
In one episode, kids might be time traveling through time via Whit’s invention, “The Imagination Station“. Another one might have a young school-aged character dealing with issues like bullying or gossip. Your next episode could describe international espionage or just provide some comic relief. No matter what Odyssey might offer on any given day, each episode has a unique moral thread that can lead to deeper discussions.
What Are the Best Adventures in Odyssey Episodes?
Full disclosure– I have definitely not listened to all of the nearly 900 Odyssey adventures. Of course, we get a little bit closer with every new road trip. Also, my family (kids 7, 9, 11) definitely prefers the multi-episode mysteries and newer adventures to some of the earlier ones from the ’80s and ’90s. That said, these are the episodes they want to listen to again (in no particular order):
- #679-690 “The Green Ring Conspiracy” (Album 53)- It’s perfect for a good 6-7 hour road trip, and has a little something for everybody– romance, drama, comedy, international art theft, plucky young kid detectives, and more!
- #703-5 “The Labyrinth”– This 3-part follow-up to the Green Ring Conspiracy takes us to the streets of London. Here, we go to the world of stolen artifacts to get more answers to the mysteries posed by the Green Ring Conspiracy.
- #429 “The Y.A.K. Problem”– This is a particular favorite of my 7-year-old son who is consistently amused by the kids going on a massive sugar high when they think the school is about to take away all of their toys and candy.
- #591 “Switch”– Marvin and Tamika decide to swap places with their parents for the day, what could go wrong? Whit serves as the referee for this unique family experience. Not surprisingly, this one is also a big hit with my 7-year-old.
- #826-827 “Find a Penny”– The tale of Penny and Wooton’s honeymoon, complete with wild antics, international espionage, amnesia, and adventures combines the best of mystery and comedy.
- “Last Chance Detectives”– Technically, this isn’t an official Odyssey Adventure. But you can access these mysteries, as well as other audio and video series through the app right now if you want a change of pace from your friends at Whit’s End.
Why It Works
In today’s world, many parents spend road trips either fighting with or surrendering to TVs, iPads, or screens in general. So it’s refreshing to enjoy well-produced audio adventures the whole family can enjoy. Some of the episodes might be too intense for younger kids. But even in those instances, you finish each episode with the sense that everything’s going to be all right.
Especially with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and other craziness of 2020, we need that reassurance more than ever these days. So why not enjoy some audio comfort food through one of these adventures with the family? It might just be as satisfying as any of Whit’s classic ice cream sundaes.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite episode from Adventures in Odyssey? Or is there another audio series or audiobook you and your family enjoy together? Talk it over with your loved ones on your favorite family app!