One thing that I’ve found that can really make these long days enjoyable is to find little adventures wherever we can to change up the scenery, learn and have fun!
Here are a few easy ideas that can really make a seemingly drawn-out summer day into a fun-filled experience (for you and/or the kids!)
We went with some other Haley boys to the Milwaukee Zoo and it was so much fun! The zoo is pretty easy to get to, easy to walk around in a manageable amount of time, and has most of the favorite animals you’d want to see! We spent the morning and ate lunch there, and by the time we left, it was definitely nap time and the boys were exhausted! Also loved getting them together with some of their cousins!
I am very fortunate to have my best friend Angie and I love the fact that she finds joy in showing the boys around her farm! We took Leo around for the first time last summer, and this summer was even better! He loved seeing all of the horses close-up, chickens, barn cats and, his favorite spot, checking out the garden! This year, Xander was just sort of along for the ride, but I know this will be a regular place for them to visit and I hope their love for the farm and all of the animals continues to grow!
Parks are ALWAYS a win in our book! Now that both boys are a bit adventurous and curious, they have a blast swinging, going on slides and even just running around (or stumbling in Xander’s case). We typically go to our little neighborhood park within our subdivision, but it is also fun to check out other parks in the area and meet up with friends and the boys’ cousins for just a little change of scenery and things to climb on.
The Botanic Garden
My mom and sister are members at the Chicago Botanic Garden and we have utilized this on several occasions! It is a beautiful place to take a (very long) walk, take in the beauty of nature, and even get up close with some butterflies! It is very kid-friendly with a whole area dedicated to kids and providing learning experiences for them!
Since Leo was born, my family has made it a point to get to at least one White Sox game every season and bring Leo and now Xander with. It makes for a long drive and a long day, but it always is a very enjoyable experience for everyone involved! We pick an early afternoon game, tailgate beforehand for lunch, stay for a good majority of the game itself and can make it home with plenty of time for a normal evening routine. My husband is a Cubs fan, so I’m sure the scene and the team may change as the boys get older and can choose for themselves whether to be a Sox or Scrubs fan, but I love the tradition that we’ve started and that the boys can experience this from such a young age!
Yes, sometimes we don’t make it very far from home to have our little adventures! You can make the backyard into your own mini-waterpark/splash pad by setting up a sprinkler, water table and kiddie pool and have hours of fun! We’ve done this on our own deck and most recently at the boys’ cousins house in the next neighborhood over! They loved running around outside (in 90 degree temperatures) and just being in and out of water. It seems so simple, but really, these are some of the best times we’ve had so far!
Changing up the daily activities is something that I have found to be super helpful in this somewhat difficult summer! Trying to entertain toddlers all day can be draining, but finding some easy, fun things to do makes all the difference in the world! So get out of the house, even if it’s just for you, and check out some place to have your own little summer adventures!