I have three kids, ages 12, three, and one. As you can imagine, summer activities that entertain all three of them simultaneously are few and far between — if they even exist at all.
As a work-from-home-mom, summer camp and my amazing morning sitters allow me to retain some semblance of a work schedule. There are a total of three weeks this summer, however, where the kids and I will be home together — likely sans sitters, and definitely sans summer camps. In order to keep my sanity intact as a working mom in summer, I came up with the idea for us to complete what I like to refer to as our Summer Bucket List.
What is a Summer Bucket List, exactly? It’s pretty much how it sounds — you fill a piece of paper, chalkboard, or the like with activities that you’d like to accomplish together this summer, then cross them off as you go. What goes on your list? To be honest, that’s up to you! Some parents make their own lists or find an online printable, but I personally like to get my kids involved to make our list personalized to them and their interests. I had the two older kids sit down with me and tell me everything that they’d like to do this summer, and the results were quite funny.
The three-year-old had simple life goals such as, “eat pizza for lunch,” and “ride the train at Zilker Park.” Easy, right?
The 12-year-old had grand plans of traveling the United States to various landmarks from California to the East Coast. Nice try, girl.
Somehow visiting a cupcake ATM made its way in there, and that may or may not have been my idea.
The one-year-old is clearly just along for the ride.
We’re lucky here in Austin to have some great spots to bring our kids. If you only have a few weeks with a break from daycare or you choose to play hooky from work these range from simple parks to fun day trips:
- Ride the train at Zilker Park and see the Zilker Botanical Garden
- Swim in the Barton Springs Pool
- Visit the splash pad at Butler Park
- Head downtown and see the street art on South Congress
- Visit Dinosaur Park in Bastrop
- Hike at Lady Bird Lake and Mt. Bonnell
- See the bats on the Congress Avenue Bridge
- Visit the Cathedral of Junk
- Cool off at the Thinkery
- Explore exhibits at the Austin Nature & Science Center
- See an affordable movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Kids Camp
- Experience some live music
- Explore BookPeople and snag a great new book!
- Go to open gym at Rolly Pollies
- Visit the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM at the Domain Northside (you’re welcome!)
And of course, some general fun ones to get you started:
- Make your own popsicles
- Visit a local splash pad
- Find a new playground to explore
- Draw on the sidewalk with chalk
- Run through the sprinklers
- Visit your local farmer’s market
- Make some summer themed cupcakes
- Have a movie marathon on a rainy day
- Learn to ride a bicycle (or trike!)
- Stargaze in the backyard
- Have a summer picnic