During the summer, I am always looking for fun things + new experiences to do with my kids. Our schedules are just more free and I love having them home and filling our days with old-school activities and lots of outdoor fun. I’m a list-maker so I knew if we wanted to tackle some of our favorites this summer that I would create a “bucket list” to complete, reminiscent of my own summer experiences growing up. I’ve decided to share it with y’all below, and I’d love to know what throwback things you love to do with your kids this time of year.
1. Set up a Lemonade Stand.
Every summer, one of our favorite “Summer Bucket List” things to do is to host a Lemonade Stand right in our driveway. Luckily our little neighborhood is filled with other kids who love to bike over and support our little business.
I love the concept of the Lemonade Stand because I get to teach my kids the meaning of being an entrepreneur. We built this sweet little stand together as a family + and make the fresh lemonade together and set it all up. They get to put in hard work and learn some selling skills while we are out there. I love seeing the joy on their faces when the little coin jar fills up towards the end of the day.
It was one of my favorite things to do growing up, I used to pull our old wooden wheelbarrow to the end of our street and bake cookies all day long so I had a bunch to sell to folks who stopped by.
2. Visit a U-Pick Farm.
A family-favorite activity is strawberry picking. My kids love loading up basket-fulls of fresh, plump berries to bring home and enjoy.
One of my favorite things growing up was attending the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida. It’s a huge event filled with people, music and literally every recipe you could ever imagine being made with strawberries - my favorites being fresh strawberry ice cream and strawberry shortcake (of course).
During the summer and depending on where you live, you can pick blackberries, blueberries, peaches + more. It’s always fun to turn your bounty into a special treat or jam when you’re done.
3. Take a Day Trip to a Small Town and Explore.
Oh the road trip, it’s my absolute favorite to this very day. I always like to take some time to explore the historic little towns all over the South. I love finding old Southern homes and learning about the history of each town. It's kind of that nostalgia of a road trip that gets me every time. I think it is so important to teach my kids the history of these little places and how they began. And how important it is to go off the beaten path and just ramble, explore and be impromptu. I pulled together a Small Town Travel Checklist that highlights the things we always look for on these road trips so you can get in on the adventure too.
4. Visit your Local Farmer’s Market.
One of my very favorite things about this time of year is shopping what's in season. When food is at its peak, you just can’t go wrong. Nothing beats a slice of farm-fresh watermelon, or sun-ripened tomatoes just plucked from the vine. It also allows me to teach my kids about where their food comes from, and they love roaming around our local outside market in the neighborhood. We’re lucky that we can walk up there on a Saturday AM, get in a little exercise and just have a fun, slow start to the summer weekend.
5. Make Breakfast for Dinner.
A true classic. Theres nothing more special as a child than waking up to the smell of bacon frying and pancakes on the skillet. I think its such a fun tradition to switch things up and do breakfast for dinner every once in a blue moon. My kids love it, and truthfully I do too. But the real secret is that I usually pull out this special treat when I don’t have much else in the fridge to cook because it’s a rare day that I’m out of eggs + bacon in this house. Try our classic french toast recipe, or keep it simple with buttermilk pancakes.
6. Have a Family Movie or Game Night.
Among the toys and tablets that we often get caught up in, we try our very best to take a step back when it comes to showing our kiddos the magic of childhood. One thing we love to do together as a family, now that our kids are a bit older, is have an old-school family game night or movie night together.
I also love the idea of bringing movie night outside for these summer months and figuring out a good projector system to rig up in the back yard, invite the neighbors over and all bring out our blankets. There is just something about seeing a movie outside "drive-in style" that feels so special and classic to me.
7. Check out a Local Museum.
Museums are a fun way to expose my kids to an educational environment when they’re away from school. It’s a great way for me to encourage their creativity and allow them to be immersed in something other than their screens. They also love all the interactive exhibits they have these days. I love giving the kids a little taste of history while having fun too.
8. Host a Summer BBQ.
One of our favorite things to do on long summer afternoons/evenings is have people over to our house for my husband’s famous ribs slathered with barbecue sauce. As for entertaining, we love to use our beautiful Wooden Feast Boards from WoodKith as the perfect platter for serving up the ribs as it makes an impressive and hearty presentation. Sides like homemade mac n cheese and classic potato salad go perfectly with his fall-off-the-bone recipe.
10. Visit a Farm.
Some of my greatest experiences as a family has been visiting my husband’s family farm. It is one of those very simple, bucket-list type things that I look fondly back on from my own childhood. We lived at the farm in Monticello for 9 months while we were building our house, while our oldest two were just tiny tots. During that time the kids developed such a deep love and appreciation for the farm, experiences I know they will carry with them their entire lives. I love watching them soak in all the goodness of being kids, spending their childhood running around, laughing with their cousins and feeding the animals.
Especially if you live in the city, I think it’s so important that kids get a taste for the freedom a farm affords a small child. Getting out and connecting with nature, exploring and Interacting with animals and getting your hands dirty is just good for the soul.
I hope this list sparks a new summer tradition for you and your family. I would love to know what you fill your summer with! Let me know in the comments below.
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