Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Outside Family Fun (in the Summer)

Well, now that fall is "officially" here (it is still 75 degrees outside, yes, in North Idaho!), this will be my final post extolling all the wonderful things we got to do during summer.  Until this summer, we have been real sticklers about M's bedtime, which often means that he goes to bed two hours before the sun goes down!

This year, I tried to make more of our summer nights.  D works hard all day in the office, and I haven't forgotten how that goes, so it has been nice to have some adventures when he comes home from work.

I tried to stick to quick, simple meals so we could get back out the door, and relaxed a little bit on bedtimes - at least once M didn't go to bed until 8:30 (which is shockingly late for us)!  He doesn't always make it up by sleeping in, so we don't do it every night, but as we get closer and closer to the weekend, it becomes more important to do some fun things together.  We've taken to calling Thursday evening the "little Friday" - so we have a little bit of fun on Thursday to celebrate the approaching weekend.

Here's how we spent our summer fun, without spending all of our dough too!

Family bike rides or walks to the splash pad - the splash pad in our neighborhood doesn't open until 11, but it stays open until 7 pm.  So it is great to hit it in the evening after an early dinner.  Plus, it counts as a bath!
A face not made for selfies ;)
The concerts in Riverstone Park on Thursday evenings!  These don't start until 6:30, so we can easily finish dinner before riding down there.  Plus we get in about 5 miles of biking! #fitnesseverywhere

Dispersed camping.  While I was unnecessarily a stress case on our last camping adventure, I do want to go camping again!

Friday Pizza Picnics at the Beach.  When we lived in Virginia Beach, we used to go take Chick-Fil-A and magazines to Chick's Beach and eat dinner and read on the beach as the sun went down.  It was the most relaxing way to start the weekend, and IT. WAS. AWESOME.  We aren't very fancy now, are we?  Our Idaho variation on that theme is to take pizza to the beach.  M loves to play in the sand, and he may or may not eat very much/get totally soaked.  But it is even more fun as a family of three!

Exploring in the Woods.  There is a small pine forest near our house, and M loves to go walking in the woods.  He loves finding sticks, pine cones and squirrels, and even the occasional excavator or two (since the area is actually being developed into another neighborhood!)

I heard they also had free family movies in the park downtown, but these were just too late in the evening for us, so we never made it to any of those.  Maybe in a few years!

We're still trying to get our evening walks and bike rides in as it turns (a little bit) cooler.  Forest exploration is even more fun and interesting now that the leaves are changing.  What are your best ideas for family fun outside in the fall?

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