summer activities for kids

There is no moment equal to a teacher on her first day of summer break. The world is her oyster! She twirls like Maria from the Sound of Music as she considers the copious amounts of time for doing projects around the house, for organizing her children's clothes, for reading a book lazily on the porch. There will be leisurely morning coffees and exciting day trips with the children.

And then, like a carriage turning back into a pumpkin, 3 p.m. on the first day of summer hits. It feels like 105 degrees Fahrenheit outside. The children don't seem to understand "quiet reading time." Every time a pile of laundry is folded by an adult, it is quickly unfolded by a toddler and hidden in a diaspora of clean clothes around the house, like a cruel game of hide and seek. There are Cheerios everywhere, and when will the dog stop barking at that squirrel? The wheels are falling off quickly, and it's only Day 1.

It's time for a summer activity brainstorm sesh.

Below are all of the ideas I have come up with so far to get out of the house with a 3 and almost-1 year old. Please feel free to join in the discussion with your ideas and experience!

1. The Library

Our library is a sanctuary for children. There is an amazing little room for kids to play and learn, a fantastic selection of children's books in English AND Spanish, and endless book choices for the adults as well. Once a week there is a wonderful library story time class, where we love to shake our sillies out. We will be spending lot of time here, I have a feeling.

2. Splash Pads

I remember seeing one in a nearby city last summer, but I was freshly recovering from a C-Section and figuring out how to be a mom of 2, so we didn't get a chance to try it. I can definitely see us going on tour and trying every splash pad in a 30 mile radius.

3. The Beach

Heading to the beach with a 3 and an almost-1-year-old who can't walk yet is not for the faint of heart. It is guaranteed one of them will consume magnificent amounts of sand, and the other will want to go play in the waves. A person cannot be in 2 places at once, so a battle will ensue. Then there's the hauling, lugging, and packing of gear. Again, not for the faint of heart. BUT if done with friends, definitely worth it.

4. Parks

During summer in Florida, trips to the park must be strategically planned. It's important to head out early in the day to avoid the heat and humidity that come with the midday sun. But, if it gets too hot, there's always ice cream or fro yo afterward, so...#worthit

5. Ice cream

Speaking of the delicious frozen treat, I think it deserves its own number. Maybe we'll search for the best ice cream in our county. Someone's gotta do it. I'm willing to take one for the team.

6. Day Trips

We live within driving distance of some incredible destinations. Orlando, St. Augustine, Jacksonville, and Daytona are all under 2 hours away. For a bit more of a drive we can discover Savannah, GA, Miami, or the Gulf Coast of Florida. This will take planning, and obviously cost some $$$, but might be worthwhile to get out of the house and be tourists in our own area.

7. The Movies

This would have to be done when one of us parents can take the baby, but I think it would be such a treat to take our three-year-old to the movie theater for the first time ever! Now, maybe that's just me wanting and excuse for some popcorn with extremely high-calorie fake butter, but I can see it being an awesome experience together!

That's all I've got so far! Would love to hear suggestions for free or cheap outings from other, more experienced parents. And...go!

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