School is out, summer is here, and the list of summer plans are already starting. Vacations, camps, packed weekends – you name it. Every summer I feel like I have a laundry list of things I want to accomplish, for me personally and as a family. This summer I want to really try to take a step back and make our summer checklist have more of a back to basics feel. I think, as a family, our goals are to be outside more, relax, and just have fun.
Cheers to summer!
🔲Run through the sprinklers: Nothing says summer like running through the sprinklers in the backyard.
🔲Have a lemonade stand: Last summer, my older daughter had her first lemonade stand with friends and it ended up being the best morning. The kids served lemonade and cookies (ate and drank most of what they were selling) and had a blast doing it. Bonus, we met some neighbors we had never met before.
🔲Make popsicles: In our family, we love popsicles so this summer my daughter wants to get creative with our popsicle making – rainbow popsicles anyone?
🔲Do more art and crafts: My daughter loves art, we try to do some form of art every day and this summer we want to get more creative with our crafts: painting outside meets outdoor chalk meets bubble paint. I have tons of easy outdoor craft ideas on my Pinterest and this summer we are actually going to try some.
🔲Go to the library: I grew up going to the library and want my girls to have the same love of it as I do. This summer, my daughter turns four and she is going to get her own library card. If you have older children, most public libraries also have some sort of a summer reading program/challenge.
🔲Go to the farmers market: Buying fresh summer produce (think peaches and nectarines) at the local farmers market is the best.
- Campbell: Sundays, 9am – 1pm on Campbell Ave & Central Ave
- Los Altos: Thursdays, 4 – 8pm on 2nd Street (runs from May- September)
- Menlo Park: Sundays, 9am – 1pm on Chestnut Street, between Santa Cruz Ave. & Menlo Ave.
- Mountain View: Sundays, 9am – 1pm at the Cal Train Station
- Palo Alto: Saturdays, 8am -12pm on Gilman Street (downtown Palo Alto); Sundays, 9am -1pm on California Ave
- San Mateo: Saturdays, 9am – 1pm at the College of San Mateo
- Sunnyvale: Saturdays, 9am – 1pm on Washington and Murphy Ave
🔲Bike to dinner: For our kids, it’s always more exciting to get to dinner or any outing by bike vs. car. Bonus: added exercise for mom.
🔲Go to a local art and wine festival: These are so fun, local cities shut down a main street for a weekend in summer and there are tons of booths featuring local artists and food vendors. There is usually a kids area too.
- Los Altos: July 14 & 15
- Menlo Park: July 21 & 22
- Palo Alto: August 25 & 26
- Mountain View: September 8 & 9
🔲Take evening walks around the neighborhood: I love ending our nights with walks around the neighborhood. Finding nature treasures, talking to neighbors and having it stay light so late.
🔲Listen to music outdoors: My daughters love music and it’s even more fun when it’s live and outside. Check out these local concerts:
🔲Have a BBQ with friends: Nothing better than having lazy summer dinners with friends. For an even easier night – make it a potluck.
🔲Go to the beach: Even though Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay are so close we are guilty of not making it to the coast enough. My goal is to get out there more this summer.
🔲Read a book: I always stress the importance of reading to my girls but currently, I am guilty of mainly just reading Instagram on my phone; this summer I am reading a book.
🔲Have picnics outside: Any meal is more fun outside; it is just a fact.
🔲Enjoy lazy mornings: School is out for the summer and on days with no plans, I am 100% okay with my kids getting out of bed late, staying in pajamas all morning, and moving slowly.