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My kids go back to school in less than a month. LESS THAN A MONTH. I don’t know if I’m happy or sad about this. Both, I guess? I love the unhurried pace, but sometimes the days are long. The whining is loud. The arguments are incessant. But…the pace will quicken and I won’t have the time I have in these last summer days.
So if you’re like me, both looking forward to the structure of school (and a little more me-time) but also sad to lose the sheer amount of time I have with my kids, here is a list of things to do before summer ends!
Ten Things to Do Before Summer Ends
Make a Mini Bucket List
Don’t go crazy, because you won’t have time. (And if you already have a bucket list, you should pick a few things you know you can finish.) Pick maybe ten manageable things that you can complete. Then do them.
Read a Book at Bedtime
Pick a chapter book and read a chapter every night to your kids. School finds bedtime way too rushed for long reading sessions, so summer is a perfect time. Here are a few of my favorites (*affiliate links!):
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
- Howliday Inn by James Howe
- Any of the Bruno and Boots Books from Gordon Korman
This won’t be for everyone. I’m not going to sleep outside. But one of my boys slept outside in the new treehouse this year with Rob. Of course, they only lasted half the night and got crazy bug bites. So maybe don’t do this one. But it’s still one of those ideas that SOUNDS good.
Listen to the Night Sounds
I don’t know where you live and what the night sounds are, but I love love LOVE the sound of cicadas and tree frogs at night. They’ll be gone before you know it, so go listen to them while you can!
Relive a Childhood Memory
I don’t know what this would be for you. But think of one of your favorite things you did as a child in summer and do that! Realize your kids may hate it. But whatever. YOU’LL enjoy it. And that’s why you’re doing it.
Crash a Concert
This may not work in your town, but see if you can find a free outdoor night concert OR find a listening spot outside a concert venue where you can listen in without buying tickets. The last time I went to a concert (with my Dad last summer) at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion here in Houston, I saw tons of families and people sitting on the hill outside the venue listening to the concert for free. Great idea! Scope this out for you!
Take a Road Trip
The last thing I want to do with my kids right now is take a trip in the car. The car rides this summer have been insane. As in all four of my kids seem to enjoy yelling at me the whole time. But hey, road trips are a summer institution. Take one! Even if it’s like an hour.
Go Out for Ice Cream or Icees
You may have ice cream at home every night. (I’m not saying I do. Just SOME PEOPLE.) But you need to go OUT for ice cream at least once. (You could also do shaved ice if you can find it.) Pay more. Get toppings. Go crazy. There’s just something about going out. Do it.
Swim in a Swimming Hole or the Rivah
Summers in Richmond meant long days in the James River, usually at Pony Pasture, laying out on rocks and wading through the shallow rapids. Find a river, lake, or swimming hole to get your fresh water swim on.
Stay Outside Through the Sunset
If you have sparklers, bust ’em out. If you have fireflies, it will be better. But even if you don’t have either, spend at least one evening outside right through the end of the day til dark. There is something magical about the dark falling over your shoulders as the sun retires for the day. Let the kids play a little past bedtime (if they’re little), drink a beer if you must (and aren’t pregnant like me), or grill out for that lovely smoky smell in the air. Ring in the summer evening. You’ll be glad you did.