Summer Break is around the corner and I use it as an opportunity to make sure that my son is getting all the personal enrichment possible. Sure he's only 3 and most likely won't remember any of these things, but I want to make sure I'm providing every opportunity for him to experience the world. Here are some ideas for things to do with your littles this summer.
1. Get Out Doors
Recently we took a trip to a cherry farm out in the East Bay, and it was probably one of my favorite days as a family. He got so much joy out of picking cherries, and being hoisted up on his father's shoulders to pick the ones high up in the trees. Every weekend since he has asked to go back to the cherry farm. An added benefit is that now he loves cherries! For a toddler who is picky about what he eats, this is definitely an added incentive to check out other farms throughout the season.
One of our favorite things to do in the summer is to pack up the car and go for a long drive to the beach. Fortunately, we're only ever about 45 minutes from the shoreline, which makes for fun last minute trips on lazy sunny days. We love to put together a few things to snack on while we're at the beach: lemonade, a pasta salad, something sweet, and goldfish crackers (whats with toddlers and goldfish!) always goes over well. (Comment below if you'd like some picnic meal ideas and tips). We also like to find a new park or hiking trail and gather a few of our friends to let the kiddies run around.
2. Challenge the Senses
Many museums over the summer offer free days for the family. Look at your local museums and check for their free days. Here in the Bay Area, The Discovery Museum in Sausalito has free days the first Wednesday of Every Month. The Oakland Museum of California has free admissions every first Sunday of the year. There are also plenty of new exhibits open like the sculptures and sensory-igniting installations at Flower Power at Asian Art Museum, The Lawrence Hall of Science, as well as at the SF MOMA.
3. Be a Local
It's easy to forget all the fun things that happen in your city, but their are tons of events happening over the summer. There are several Fairs in town over the summer; a few of the ones we plan to check out are the Sonoma County Fair (with a stop at a winery on the way back of course ;), the Alameda County Fair, and the Yerba Buena Garden Festival. Groupon is a great place to find local activities nearby, as well as to save a bit on the entrance fees.
If you're trying to find something cool to do indoors, Cinemark has $1 movies throughout the summer. We haven't taken our toddler to the theatre yet, but this is just the incentive needed to give it a try. Check your local listings to see which theaters are participating. Food truck events are a point of excitement for my toddler. Anything involving cars or trucks and he’s there. A lot of food truck events are very family friendly, some even feature bounce houses for the kids, as well as other kids activities like face painting and crafting.
Next week we'll have a list of kid activities to do at home to help break up the day, as well as some of our favorite discount deals for children's admissions, activities, and theme parks.
What are your favorite things to do with your children during the summer? Leave you tips and suggestions in the comments below.