We’re pleased to introduce this guest post from Amy Williams. Amy is a mother of two and a former social worker. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like helping kids stay active.
The school year is nearly here, but often as a parent the summer feels like it is very long. Yes, I love summer break, and I love seeing my kids more often. But I don’t love when the no-school novelty ends, and as every parent knows, the novelty always ends.
In my family, we often spend our summers at a local theme park. Season passes mean that there is always an option for entertainment, but the park gets old. And some days the heat is just too much – even for the waterpark and pool. So what do you do? Sure the kids need to read during the summer, and they likely will hop on their technological devices during the summer months, too. But we’re talking summer break. Three months, friends! Three. Long. Months.
There are only so many books, so many games, and so many trips to parks that a parent (and their kids) can tolerate. We’re all in the same boat, and we’re all facing the same long chunk of break. This year, I’m planning ahead. And, of course, I’ll share my plan with you…because it takes a village! And parents have to stick together!
We live about 40 minutes outside of the big city so visiting the major museums is not on our weekly list of summer activities. We usually plan a trip to the major museums for around the time in the summer when the kids tend to get annoyed with the same old routines. We’ll tour our city’s art museum or history museum for a change of scenery. A smaller nearby suburb outside of the city also has an outdoor sculpture park that is huge, and it’s a great option for those cooler summer days when you want to be outside, but not poolside. Do a hunt for sculpture parks or outdoor historic sites in your area to mix things up a bit. If you need a quick resource, Complex has a list of the best sculpture parks in the country. Hopefully, one is located near you!
Slide the City Block Party
In the past, our city was lucky enough to be on the Slide the City list of sites. This event is worth mentioning—and checking out—if you are lucky enough to have your city featured as a participant. Slide the City is awesome and involves a huge water slide, vendors, and entertainment. Kids will love it, I promise, but they do have to be five years old and more than 46 inches tall to ride. If you’re interested in taking the family, be sure to register for the event.
Kids love splash pads and parks that feature water areas. Even older kids can be caught running through the fountains. Have kids put on their swimsuits (or play clothes) and track down a park that features water fun. Douse the kiddos in sunscreen, pack a lunch, and make a day of the water works at local parks.
When it’s insanely hot outside, take the kids and head for the ice rink. Pack some warmer clothes and head to the nearest indoor rink to skate and enjoy the cool temperatures. After a few hours on the ice, that hot sun will feel fantastic!
Every town offers different indoor game zones. You know these entertainment hubs; they usually feature indoor mini golf, various arcade games, laser tag, and maybe even Go Karts. These are fantastic hot spots to venture with kids who really need a change of scenery and to let them run out their energy. With so many options in one place, kids can spend hours racing and playing games. You may even be able to cash in a few game tickets for prizes!
Jump for joy! Bounce complexes offer numerous bounce houses, trampolines, and obstacle courses that let kids jump, leap, and slide. After a few hours of jumping and running around, you will leave with thoroughly exhausted, (but happy), kids.
Start making a list of activities for when your kids reach the bored-out-of-their-minds turning point of summer break. Every kid hits the summer wall eventually, and the survival secret is having a long list of destinations in your back pocket. And don’t forget to stock up on extra patience!