As the summer nears, parents are starting to plan summer activities to keep their children mentally engaged and, well, to wear them out. Since my daughter is now 2 1/2, this is the first Summer that we’ll actually be able to do some fun activities with her.
Below is a list of 10 things we plan to do this Summer:
1) Go to an outdoor concert
Check your local newspapers for free concerts in your area. Many bands offer free concerts at weekend Garden Shows, Zoos (i.e. the National Zoo in Washington, DC hosts two free summer concerts), wine festivals, and farmer markets. Also, most metro areas have large outdoor concert halls (i.e. Washington DC’s “Wolf Trap,” Chicago’s “Rivinia”, etc.) if you’d like to take your little ones to a specific concert. Even better, pack a picnic lunch or dinner!
2) Go to the Zoo
The National Zoo in Washington, DC is free. Although most zoos are not free, many offer discounted or free hours during the week. We have already been to a local zoo this summer (with a petting zoo) and plan to return again over the next couple of weeks.
3) Plant and sow a garden/flowers
I did not get my act together in time to plant a garden this Summer, but I did plant a blueberry bush and a few rose bushes. One of my 2-year old’s favorite daily activities is watering the bushes and, of course, watching them grow.
4) Picnic at a park
A few weeks ago we grabbed a picnic and headed to a local park for lunch. After our daughter was sufficiently exhausted, we set up our spread on a picnic table and had ourselves a nice feast. One huge bonus to a weekend picnic is the cleanup – no crumbs to pick up off the hardwood floors and no tables or height chairs to clean.
5) Go fishing
We have a local lake that allows fishing (with permit) and I look forward to taking our daughters there this summer (i.e. Burke Lake, VA). Although we won’t keep the fish once caught, I know she will love seeing the fish and “helping” catch one.
6) Fly a kite on a windy day
I don’t think you’re ever too old to fly a kite. Kind of like playing with bubbles outside.
7) Sign the kids up for swimming lessons
I have just signed both of my daughters up for a “Tot and Me” class. Although they won’t be swimming like fish by the end of the 6 classes, we’ll have fun doing this together as a family.
8 ) Go for a hike
Although you won’t be doing an eco-challenge level hike with toddlers in tow, you might find some fun animals or insects in the woods to explore. Be sure to remember the bug spray!
9) Go for a ride on a boat
Many local lakes/rivers (i.e. Baltimore Inner Harbor, Burke Lake, Chicago River tour, New York Skyline tour, etc.) offer paddle boat rides and/or rides on electric boats. I’d probably steer clear of canoes if you have really young children because of the tip factor.
10) Have a water fight
Turn on the sprinkler, fill up some balloons with water and run around with your kids. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one looking like a crazy mommy…I’ll be right there with you!
Enjoy and please let me know about YOUR favorite Summer activity! I’m always looking for cool, fun Summer ideas!
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