It's the middle of summer and we have been so busy with life! To avoid complete boredom, I have been doing my best to keep activities on the calendar for Silas and me. We have been visiting our local pool weekly, attending story times, puppet shows, and outdoor concerts, visiting animal friends at the zoo, and taking loads of sand home from the beach (found in various places, like Silas' diaper and our lunch bag).
In case you are bored with your little one or like to keep a packed calendar of events, I've compiled a little list of our favorite summer activities. Some of these are Minnesota-specific, but many states offer similar activities and programs.
- Music Class: We recently started a music class through Ladybug Music and it is oh-so adorable. It's a 40 minute class with other kids and their parents/caretakers, and we sing, play instruments and dance. Silas is a little ADD and doesn't quite get the concept of staying in the "circle" yet. He likes to explore the room most of the time, but we still have a blast listening to the music and playing with the instruments.
- Puppet Shows: What's better than a puppet show in the park? Probably not a whole lot! These shows are put on by the City of Golden Valley and they are quite possibly the cutest thing. Each show is about 30 minutes long and is packed with puppets singing to hit songs. We brought a blanket and sat under a tree, while we danced and sang along with these furry creatures.
- Swimming at the Local Pool: We try to go "twimmin" once a week at our local pool. I have no idea why we call it that, but Silas thinks it's funny and knows what we mean when we ask, "Do you want to go twimmin'?" We were gifted a summer pool pass for Silas' birthday (great gift idea for friends and family!) so both Seth and I can attend the pool for free all summer long. Silas falls into the "free" category and we won't have to pay for him until he is a little older. At our pool, there is a baby slide that he loves to go down and a sprinkler splashy water contraption that him and Seth always play with. Our baby section of the pool also has a shaded area, so we don't have to worry too much about the sun getting in our eyes.
- Outdoor Music Concerts: Seth and I both grew up in Maple Grove and love going back for all of the family and kid-friendly activities they offer. One of the coolest things they have is a free outdoor music concert every Thursday morning. In fact, they have it on Monday and Wednesday evenings as well, but the Thursday morning concerts are tailored towards kids. Silas loves music and these outdoor concerts put us in the best mood. We usually bring our stroller, a blanket to sit on, and a snack to enjoy as we listen to the concert.
- Story-Time in the Park: Most cities offer a few outdoor story-time events throughout the summer. Silas and I recently saw Goldilocks and her three bears and plan to attend another story-time event later this summer. Did Silas totally get what was going on? Probably not. He spent most of the time focused on eating his snack and watching the other kids. But I like that we are getting out of the house, interacting with other families and kids, and spending time outside together.
- Visiting Animal Friends at the Zoo: In Minnesota, we have two main zoos that you can visit: The Como Zoo and The Minnesota Zoo. We have visited both this summer, and appreciate that The Como Zoo is less expensive, and only requests a donation for your visit. At The Minnesota Zoo, you have to pay for parking and admission, and before we even saw an animal, we ended up spending over $40. The animals that each zoo has are pretty comparable too, so we will probably visit The Como Zoo more often.
- Splash Pad: Silas is still perfecting his walk, but I know that we will be visiting the local splash pad once he's a little more stable on his feet. We stopped at one earlier this summer and had fun watching all of the other kids splash and run around in the water. It's also completely FREE. I know Silas will be crazy about the splash pad when he's better at walking.
- Swimming at the Beach: I'm going to be completely honest. This isn't my favorite activity, because it is a lot of work getting all of your stuff (stroller, wagon, lunch bag, baby, chair, umbrella, etc...) from the car to the beach, but once you are all set up, it is a little slice of heaven on earth. We always put our beach chairs right on the edge of the water, so we can be close to the kids and stick our feet in the wet sand. Heck, I've even been with a group of moms who may or may not have brought adult beverages with them. Sounds like a summer vacation to me! We bought a summer pass at our local beach, because a handful of visits make up the cost. The water is clean and filtered, and if you go early enough, you might be able to snag one of the large shade umbrellas.
What are some of your favorite summer activities with your kids? I am always looking for ideas to keep us busy and out of the house!