THE GREAT OUTDOORS
1. Ride bikes and make sure to discover new trails. For an amazing day trip for biking visit the Tammy Trace.
2. Discover a new zoo!
3. Take a nature walk or hike through a state park.
4. Visit a U-pick farm. This year I will be bringing my kids to a U-pick Blueberry Farm (this is an annual summer tradition for us). Check out the Blue Harvest Farm near Covington, LA. I have visited various U-pick farms throughout Louisiana and here is a list of farms throughout Louisiana.
5. Go camping (even if it's in your back yard!) and have a family game night.
6. Move it Monday! Or actually move it any day! Pick an exercise for you and your kids to do together! (yoga, swimming, biking, backyard races, obstacle course, game of soccer, etc.)
7. Try Geocaching. If you haven't done this before...give it a try! Download the Geocaching app and beginning exploring your community for hidden treasures.
EXPLORE YOUR COMMUNITY
8. Take a road trip for the day! Louisiana has so many great places to discover...do a little planning and surprise your kids with a fun day!
9. Visit a historical site. This summer I want to explore the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park which is near New Orleans. They have some nature trails that I know my kids would like to explore.
10. Pack a picnic and discover a new place in your community to have a picnic lunch.
I guess it is time to use those vintage picnic baskets that I have been collecting over the years!
11. Visit a Spray Park near by! We actually have two spray parks near by....Bayou Black Rec Department just opened up a new spray park and you can find them on facebook! There is also another great spray park in Bayou Vista. These spray parks are both $5 or less to get in and it provides lots of fun for the kids!
12. Go tubing or canoeing down a Louisiana River. Check out the Tiki Tubing along the Amite River.
13. Visit a Farmers Market. I love that the city I live in has a farmers market every Saturday morning and we also now have a farmers market every Thursday afternoon. Stopping by the Rienzi Market is definitely worth it!
14. Visit the State Capitol in Baton Rouge. Did you know that our state capitol is the tallest state capitol building in the United States? Go to the observation deck on the 27th floor and check out the beautiful view. If you are not into historical buildings, but in the Baton Rouge area go and visit Mike the Tiger at LSU!
15. Take a visit to Laurel Valley in Thibodaux, LA. My kids spend a great deal of time here each summer! My son, Jacques started going to Laurel Valley weekly in the summers when he was just a little boy. One of his favorite things to do was to meet up with "Uncle Danny" (as he would call him...and he still does!) and retrieve eggs. Now Jacques is almost 9 years old and he is still going to retrieve eggs and hang out with "Uncle Danny". They truly have the sweetest people who work and volunteer there...they will make you feel at home!
16. Visit Insta Gator Ranch & Hatchery in Covington, LA. How about holding a baby gator? Well I know for sure my kids will love this place! During our day trip to the blueberry farm, we will stop at the gator farm also! Its all in the same neck of the woods!
17. Visit a children's museum. Discover a new children's museum in your community. Louisiana has some great children's museums and one I would like to check out this year is the TREE House Children's Museum in Alexandria, LA. We have a little cabin in Tioga, LA (which is near Alexandria) and when I bring the kids to the cabin this summer...we will check out this museum. One of the things I love the most about our local children's museum is the awesome summer camps they offer...be sure to check out Thibodaux's Bayou Country Children's Museum summer schedule.
18. Complete a project at your local Lowe's , Toys R Us, Michael's, or Home Depot. Did you know that many of these stores offer free or very low cost activities for kids during the summer? Check out their websites for more information!
19. Visit a garage sale and purchase some books for summer reading!
20. Go to a Dollar Movie! Did you know that the Movie Theater in Morgan City offers super cheap movies in the middle of the week / during the summer time!
21. Bowl for Free! Check out Kids Bowl Free website for more information.
22. Career Day for kids! If you can make it happen...see if your child can explore a career they are interested in for the day! My son wants to be an architect when he grows up (just like his grandfather!), so one day this summer I will arrange that he gets to visit his grandfather at work and go out to a few job sites with him.
IN YOUR BACKYARD
23. Swim a lot! If you don't have access to your community pool or a neighbors in ground pool...figure out a way to get your kids swimming! Making sure your child can swim and getting them experience around water is truly one of the greatest gifts you can give them!
24. Glow in the dark hide in seek or glow in the dark dance party! They have lots of glow in the dark ideas on Pinterest....Just do it...Have fun...Your kids will never forget this!
25. Plant flowers or a garden.
26. Do a science experiment! Allow your kids to search online for a fun science experiment that they would enjoy doing outside.
27. Host a summer time party for friends in your backyard.
28. Fill the back of a truck with pillows and blankets and go star gazing!
ALL ABOUT THAT FOOD
29. Make Sand Pudding! Yes...try this recipe.
30. Take a Doughnut Tour! Yes...you heard me correctly! I actually just took my kids to the Krispy Kreme Shop in New Orleans and they really liked it! They were able to watch the doughnuts coming off the conveyor belt and being glazed. As my son says, "Rob's still has the best donuts though!" Truth is....we sure do have an amazing doughnut shop here in Thibodaux and I really haven't found a place that compares! Well, Mr. Ronnie's in Houma runs a close race!
31. Have an ice cream cone or snowball from a unique place. One place that is on my list this summer is Hansen's SnoBiz in New Orleans...after all in 1939 Mr. Hansen was the first to invent the ice shaving machine! This place is a staple in NOLA and a must try!
I am also wanting to try these super stuffed snowballs that can be founded at Brooke's Sno World in Houma, LA or at The Crawfish Boss in Lafayette, LA.
This is a Chantilly Snow ball from The Crawfish Boss and it is stuffed with cheesecake, strawberries, blueberries, soaked in wedding cake cream syrup and topped with whipped cream! I mean....people!!!!! Too good to be true!
32. Allow your kids to prepare dinner and serve the parents! For added fun...invite the grandparents over or cousins and have dinner outside.
33. Make root beer floats! Oh so yummy! August 6th is National Root Beer Float Day (who would have thought it had it's own day!)
34. Have a Family Fondue Night! Yum!
35. Treat your kids to a Soda Night! Make sure to purchase various glass bottles of different types of soda or pop from the store...and allow your kiddos to have a taste testing party! And don't plan to get much sleep that night! Ha!
36. Visit a Candy Shoppe!
37. Make a summer time drink or homemade Popsicles. I plan on making raspberry lemonade slushies for my kids this summer.
BUSY @ HOME
38. Start a collection or continue one. My son collects baseball cards...my daughter collects shopkins....so I am sure this collection will get organized and continue to grow further over the summer.
39. Set up days to just do arts in crafts!
40. Make a memory book or scrapbook of summer memories.
41. Have a family sleep over in the living room.
42. Have the kids write letters to family members and put them in the mail! Yes...that is correct...snail mail!
43. Teach your kids how to properly set a table and actually let them use fine china! Yes...dig out your china and let them use it! You only live once...use the china!
44. Pick an activity or craft from Pinterest and actually complete it!
45. Make a 4th of July craft.
46. Buy journals for the kids and give them fun writing prompts.
47. Play school! Allow your kids to set up a classroom under the carport or somewhere spacious, take out the chalk board, print some worksheets from online, and just go all out.
48. Play truth or dare...Kid Style and all G rated! For great ideas on truth or dare games with kids check out Pinterest.
49. Have your kids participate in weekly acts of kindness. It can be as simple as bringing the neighbor a desert, ordering food for a busy family, writing cards for children in the hospital, paying for someone's coffee, etc.
50. Come up with a family service project for the summer! It could be putting together a care package for the troops. Having a garage sale for a family in need. Cleaning out closets and donating items to a non-profit. Be creative, but challenge your family to go above and teach your kids the importance of giving of oneself.
I really hope you have enjoyed the ideas. I hope you feel inspired to go out and do! Go make memories and have a wonderful summer!