It’s summer time, my friends! And that means lots of sunshine, heat, humidity, and free time to get out and about. As a mostly stay at home mom, I know this summer will be really boring if I don’t get out with my son some, and I also know myself well enough to know depression will get me down if I don’t do some fun things! So today let’s talk about what things you need to research before you head out this summer.
I have a number of different things you can research for all types of summer activities, and these are things I looked into myself for our summer fun!
First, let’s talk about different summer activities you can do to get out and about with the kids. I think these activities work for all age levels and adapt well depending on your child’s interest. These generic activities might be easy or hard to find depending on your location, but hopefully there’s something for everyone on this list!
Summer Fun Activities (Where To Get Out With The Kids)
- Community pool or YMCA pool
- Local parks
- State or national parks
- Local zoo
- Petting zoo
- Amusement parks
- Water parks
Now this is just a quick and dirty list for you. And, of course, your location might offer more variety or other things not on my list. But today’s post isn’t to highlight all the great places you can go with your kids this summer! Just a quick search of Pinterest alone reveals dozens of summer bucket lists, posts about fun summer activities with the kids, and places you can go with your kids.
What I want to share with you are some great things to research before you get going to the next fun summer locale!
Summer Research – 5 Things You Might Not Think To Research
I believe one big thing the internet helps us with is getting our answers to questions before we go out. I love not having to call and speak to someone to find out my answers and plan my trip. One thing I’ve noticed is that even some of the smaller places, like my local community pool, have developed websites to help people get information. Even if you live in a small town, take some time to research the places you want to go online. You might be surprised how much information you can get.
Costs & Hidden Fees
I took some time last week to compare costs of going to different pools in my area. One thing that stood out was the possibility of hidden fees, which I wouldn’t have looked at if it wasn’t laid out on one of the websites I visited. What kind of hidden fees? Well, my local pool now charges a $3 cooler fee to bring in a cooler. They want you to spend money on their overpriced concession stand instead, but it helped me to know we couldn’t take a cooler in without paying extra.
When you make plans to go out, make sure to check out the pricing and look for things like cooler fees. You want to plan for all your expenses before you go so you won’t be surprised at the gate or ticket counter.
First Aid Stations
It’s so important to know where you can find a first aid station when you plan to be out in the sun. At this time of year, it’s easy to experience everything from sunburns to sun stroke, so when you plan to be outside for several hours at a time, it’s a good idea to make sure you know whether your pool, park, or other location has a first aid station and where to find it.
As moms, we like to be prepared for everything. We carry sunscreen, bandages, and hand sanitizer. But we need to remember we aren’t in control, and that means knowing where to go to get help when we need it. Check websites for maps or services and see if the location you plan to visit has a first aid station or kit on offer for guests and where you can find it in a pinch.
Special Events/Restricted Access
Lap swimming is a great example of restricted access. Some public pools have lap swimming hours posted either at the pool itself or on their website and request that those not wishing to swim laps leave the pool at that time. On the other hand, some places, like museums, host special events for certain demographics. During the summer, you can usually find special events for children of all ages if you look for them.
Relating back to the costs, one thing you can look for are special discounts. Some places, like amusement parks and water parks, offer discounted pricing if you come later in the day, or they’ll extend your ticket to another day if you come after a certain time of day. Another great thing is finding demographic pricing. An example of that around my area is a number of tourist trap museums in the neighboring town will periodically discount tickets to residents of my county. I look for that because the pricing usually goes from $25 to $10 per adult! It’s a steal of a deal, and I’m sure my area is not the only one where fun kid-centered places will do this.
I find discounted pricing for activities on the local Facebook pages for different museums, zoos, etc. Follow your favorite places on Facebook, and you’ll probably see a lot of deals on pricing depending on the company.
Last but not least, especially for my fellow nursing mamas, check out websites, park maps, and services pages to find out if the place you’re going has a nursing room. I know there’s a lot of controversy on nursing in public and being covered or uncovered. I’m not here to tell you how to nurse your child because that’s not my business. What I will say is that I absolutely love finding out what places have nursing rooms available!
The simple reason is that a lot of times a nursing room is going to be a quiet, air conditioned space where you can sit back and relax a bit after being in the heat for a while. Emmeric simply refuses to nurse where there are loads of distractions, so for me, finding a nursing room is just pure survival. I looked it up, and in my area, not only the zoo but also the water park and amusement park have nursing rooms. I love being able to hide away in the comfort of a quiet space where I don’t have to worry about Emmeric wanting to pop off every two seconds to stare at something. So if your child is as distracted as mine or if you just want a place to cool off, do your research and figure out if the places you’re going have a space for nursing mothers.
I hope this little list has been beneficial for you! And if you struggle with the baby blues, depression, or other mental health problems, I really suggest doing some research and finding some fun things to get out and do this summer. I know it can be hard, but getting some sunshine will help brighten your outlook. Plus, it’s a good way for you and your kids to get that much-needed vitamin D!
Let me know if I included something you might not have thought of on this list. I look forward to hearing all about your summer plans, so leave a comment and let me know if you’re doing any of these fun activities with your family. And come back to visit because I’ll be sharing some parenting lessons on the blog that I learned from my own parents in honor of the recent parent-honoring holidays!