I have been extremely lucky (as I see it) to spend most of every summer with my son. Some days I like it better than others but overall, it's time well spent. So about this time every year, I begin writing the list. I also encourage my son to write his list.
This list is all the fun, summer activities as well as bigger chores saved for summertime that we want to undertake (sometimes the chores are more on my list than on his!). They can be small things like finishing a book or large things like cleaning out a closet or driving up to LA for a few days.
I thought I'd share some ideas for your Mommy Camp this summer whether you have a day, a week, or all 3 months.
- Local museums (We have Balboa Park here in San Diego).
- The Beach (one of our favorites is Dog Beach in Coronado).
- Take an art class or visit an arts/crafts store and pick up fun things for an art project. Put down the vinyl tablecloth and DO ART!
- Pick up a new sport (We are beginning archery together as a family). Or try badminton or ping pong or trampolining). Lots of fun to be had here!
- Camps (of course we all know about these but the YMCA has some really interesting ones. My son has done a Star Wars camp, a laser tag camp, and many sports camps).
- Visit a television studio. (We are going up to LA this summer and I've heard good things about the Warner Bros. studio tour.)
- Tour a university. (Your child is never too young to take them on a college tour and get them thinking about where they might go after high school. I'm taking my son on a tour of UCLA, my alma mater.)
- Tour a baseball stadium, football stadium, or other sports complex. (We did a great tour of Petco Park, home to the Padres last summer. It was great fun. Thinking about Dodgers stadium this year.)
- The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. If you want to educate your child about being tolerant and compassionate of others, this is a great visit. I want to take my son this summer as there is a special interactive exhibit about Anne Frank (as in Diary of Anne Frank). Looks fabulous.
- J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Amazing architecture and fabulous art. Even if you are not a big art fan, this place is worth a visit. I would highly recommend a tour to keep your visit focused as there is so much to see.
- Clean up closets, garages, toy boxes, etc. It feels so good to clean out old stuff. It can fill both of you with energy once you get going. Give away what no longer fits your family or organize a garage sale with your son's help. Tell him he can have a percentage of the profits for organizing, promoting, and selling at the garage sale. You can even help him sell larger items on eBay or Craigslist.
- Take up Geocaching. This is way cool. People hide tokens and things for you to find at various GPS coordinates around your city (and it's all over). It's great fun and super for a family activity.
- Go Bowling. Yes bowling is a great family activity -- still!
- Pack a picnic and listen to some outdoor free concerts in your neighborhood or around town.
- Get culturally fancy and visit your local philharmonic orchestra for an amazing evening. We took our son to hear the music of John Williams (think Indiana Jones and Star Wars) played by the orchestra and it was phenomenal! He loved it.
- Remember the local library is a great resource for events, DVDs, and lots and lots of books! Our new downtown library even has a whole section about baseball.
- Find your nearby public pools and take a dip. Some local hotels even open up their pools to locals during the summer or offer a paid membership. It can be a lot of fun.
So, I hope this list has given you some ideas for your own list. Remember to have your kids make a list as well. You might be surprised what's on it. It really helps to have the list done before summer starts because once you are in it, it's hard to think of anything.
One last tip-- don't tell your kid where you are taking him or her (especially if it's a museum). Just tell her you are going on an adventure together and leave it at that until you actually get there. Make sure your energy is high enough to carry you through the entrance and then pretend you are a kid too. Remember to have fun! Happy Summer Planning!