Since I’m a school teacher, my family anticipates summer vacation in a big way. As a mom to two teens, some of our summer vacation traditions have changed over the years to adapt to growing bodies and new interests. And as one child prepares for college and another for high school, it seems like family vacation time is more precious than ever. Over the years there are a few summer vacation traditions we’ve enjoyed-and they don’t involve plane flights, itineraries or long car trips! If you hurry, you can start now, whether your kids are toddlers, tweens or teens, and enjoy the fun for years to come!
Major or Minor League Baseball Games
Growing up I have fond memories of attending LA Dodgers games with my grandparents. My dad always made sure we made it to the San Francisco Giants or Oakland A’s ballparks a few times each season, too. With my family, we like to spend afternoons or evenings at our local AAA ballpark. The kids love bringing blankets, baseball gloves and autograph pens and hanging out in the ‘cheap seats’ area of ‘Home Run Hill’. The family atmosphere allows kids to move around, and parents to socialize and get a great view of the game. Plus, it’s budget friendly!
What kid doesn’t like a good old fashioned treasure hunt? Combine that with a relaxing walk, bike or scooter ride, and geocaching is a great all-ages summer tradition to start with your family. All it takes is an Internet connection – either at home or on a smart phone – with a website to provide clues, some curiosity, and a few little trinkets to fill the ‘cache’ when you find it! Geocaching’s goal is to find hidden treasures, called geocaches. They range in difficulty, making geocaching an activity that is pleasurable for young and old alike.
Pizza and Movie Night
Choosing one night each week to devote to a family pizza and movie night gives everyone something to look forward to. In my family it’s Friday Night Pizza Night – we either make a pizza from scratch, or if it’s been a busy week we order ahead for a premade treat. Let the kids help choose one (or two) movies that appeal to everyone, and snuggle in for food and flicks!
It is in the small moments together that we often make the most important memories with our children. Although it might not seem like it in the midst of summer, our moments with our children are right now, and next summer they’ll be entirely different creatures. Try starting these three summer vacation family activities now, and before you know it, a tradition is born!