How To Get the Most Out of your Summer

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summer fun title
The days are getting longer, the temperature is warming up, and the kids are counting down the days until school is over.

This can only mean one thing . . .

Summer is coming.

Whether you work full-time outside of the house, stay home with your kids, or work from home you have to admit summer still feels different than every other season.

If your kids are in school, there is a different mood in the summer. Even if you work all day and day care/summer camp drop off and pick up is the same time as during the school year, it is still different. Sunrise is earlier, sunset is later, and there is no homework to be done at the end of the day.

I find myself acting more like a child in the summer than any other time of the year.

Clean the house or sit outside and read a book – is that really a choice?

Make dinner or play at the park? I’m always picking outside play which means dinner is usually much simpler and later than normal.

girls at playground playing

This year summer is even more like childhood for me. For the first time since I was 14, I will not be working this summer. My current job is a 9-month contract, so I am off for the summer. It still feels surreal to me to have my summer off to spend with my daughters. It was a dream of mine for years, and it has finally come true.

I realize how very fortunate I am to have this opportunity and I will try not to take it for granted.

I am a planner, and I love to have schedules.  Shocking, I know.

I am trying to embrace a little more spontaneity this summer. It will not be easy, but I will try.

To quiet the planning/scheduled side of my brain, I decided a list of things we want to do this summer would be the perfect compromise.

How to create your family summer fun bucket list

Step 1: Find a notebook. I bet you have one laying around your house that isn’t in use. I find a smaller notebook works better so it can fit in a purse or diaper bag.

journal and pen

Step 2: Get a pen. I’m certain you have plenty of these around your house.

Step 3: Ask. As in ask everyone what things they would like to do this summer. If your little ones are having trouble coming up with ideas, maybe share some of yours. For instance one of my ideas for this summer was to visit every park in our town (we have a lot of them) and decide which ones we like best.

Step 4: Prioritize. You can leave the list just as it is and pick and choose throughout the summer or prioritize them into what things really must happen in order for the summer to have been successful – think the non-negotiables. For instance, if we don’t ever go to the pool I’m going to say we didn’t do a good job on our list.

Even if you have to work all summer long, the days are still longer, the kids usually have more free time, and it’s the perfect opportunity to embrace family togetherness in the evening or on the weekends.

Let the housework go for a while, plan simple meals, and enjoy the longer, nicer days together.

Looking for some ideas to add to your list?

family hiking for summer fun

Here you go:

  • Visit local museum
  • Visit the zoo
  • Do a park tour- check out all the parks in your community
  • Go to the waterpark
  • Go to community band concert
  • Take a bike ride and get ice cream afterward
  • Go Frisbee golfing
  • Go mini golfing
  • Have a picnic dinner outside
  • Go camping
  • Have a movie night sleepover in your living room
  • Have a pajama day
  • Go to a beach
  • Visit the butterfly garden
  • Visit the Arboretum
  • Go hiking
  • Go indoor rock climbing
  • Visit local attractions (i.e. Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home, natural history museum, Blackberry Farm, Cantigny Park)
  • Learn to ride a two-wheel bike


What activities are on your family’s summer bucket list?


I'd love to hear from you.

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