Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What To Do This Summer?

Today is Day One of Grace's summer break, and currently Harrison is fast asleep and Gracie is contentedly watching Sesame Street (Neil Patrick Harris as The Shoe Fairy? Divine.) after just finishing up a game of Dominoes (she beat me...again). So far, Grace doesn't seem to be too terribly bored and I haven't had any trouble managing the two kiddos together, but we are only four hours or so into summer break, and I realize that keeping things interesting for the next three months might be a challenge at times. So, I have gathered my information, brainstormed with my hubby and others, and I have come up with a list of fun (and cheap) stuff to do and places to go this summer:

-Milwaukee County Zoo. Now that we have purchased our zoo pass, admission and parking are free for the rest of the year, we're not wasting all kinds of money if we can't devote an entire day to the zoo (which is tough with two little ones anyway). Also, since Aaron works less than a mile from the zoo, we can meet him there once a week for a picnic lunch!
-Betty Brinn Children's Museum. The museum has free admission on Mondays in the summer, and Grace LOVES going there.
-Milwaukee Public Museum. Also offers free admission on Mondays, and Grace has already expressed an interest in going.
-Milwaukee Art Museum. This museum offers free admission on Wednesdays from 10am to 5pm for Milwaukee County residents. Our art museum really caters well to kids. In fact, Grace had several field trips there with her class this year and can't wait to go back.
-Mitchell Park Domes. The domes offer free admission on Mondays from 9am till noon. We've never been to the domes--this summer, we will have plenty of opportunities to go.
-YMCA Day Camp. I have enrolled Grace in two weeks of day camp at our YMCA this summer. One week is Sparkles and Princess Camp (naturally) and the second week is Storybooks and Fairytales Camp.
-Tippecanoe Neighborhood Library. Our neighborhood library offers free story time on Thursdays at 10:30, and they also have a summertime reading program for kids ages three and up. I will be enrolling Grace in that program when we hit story time tomorrow. She's just getting the hang of reading and I want her to keep it up!!
-Summerfest. Grace was one of several students who were selected to plant flowers on the Summerfest grounds a month or so back, and because of her work, she earned four tickets for free weekday admission! Also, June 29th is Kids' Day at Summerfest, which includes free admission for families.
-Milwaukee County Parks. There are quite a few parks and playgrounds within walking distance of our house, so we could probably visit a new park once a week and not visit the same one twice.
-State Fair. Cream puffs and reuben rolls. Need I say more?
-Brewer Games. We took Grace to her first Brewer game last summer and she has been begging to go to another one ever since. There are plenty of games that have a 1:05pm start time, so we can make it to a game or two without sacrificing bed time.
-Play Dates. Several of us moms in Grace's class have expressed an interest in getting our kids together for play dates, and Grace is totally down with the idea.
-Farmers Markets. We will be attending the South Shore Farmers Market weekly to pick up our CSA share, but there are quite a few others around the city that I would like to visit as well.
-The Fests. Milwaukee is a festival city...Polish Fest, German Fest, Irish Fest, Bastille Days, Festa Italiana, Mexican Fiesta, among others. It'll be easy to hit these up this summer.

There are also attractions in the region that offer free or low-cost admission and have plenty of kid-friendly things to do:

-Apple Holler
-The Elegant Farmer
-Jelly Belly Center

And, naturally, we will have trips to visit grandparents and other relatives and friends. I'm sure there will also be the occasional lazy day around the house.

Whew. Do we have enough summer for all this stuff?


Carrie said...

Nutmeg is having a playdate as I type this. At their age, I think this is one of the BEST ways to kill an afternoon because two 5-year-olds will entertain one another with very little need for intervention from me. So I schedule them during naptime, freeing me up to get some stuff done or if Nutmeg is at the other kid's house, take my own nap.

When she's not having a playdate, Pebbles' naptime is "quiet time" for us, when I grab a nap and do some work and Nutmeg reads to herself or does some other quiet activity. If she gets tired of reading that's the time of day I'll let her watch a show, too. I think it's really good for her to have some self-directed time every day and it's good for me too.

Angie said...

man, i wish my mom would have been like you. she said...go out and play, be back when the street light comes on. graces summers sound like way more fun!

oh, and i finally restarted my blog. thats how i entertain myself in the summer now. :)