Summer is by far my favorite season and brings such nostalgia for me and a longing to make wonderful memories for my kids to have as they grow up. The long days of running around the neighborhood with bare feet, climbing trees, building treehouses, swimming until our fingers and toes resembled prunes and chasing down the ice cream truck for a cherry screwball, the cone shaped sherbert with the gumball on the bottom (kids of the 80's know what I'm talking about:) are some of my fondest childhood memories. My family's summer traditions have been built around our interests and most of them include being in nature. Summers outside are the best! Here are our favorite summer activities and some we will be doing for the first time this summer!
Camping is a great way to get outside into nature. Since our primitive camping experience, we have gone camping again at Disney's Fort Wilderness. My kids love it there! From horseback riding to campfire sing alongs and movies under the stars, it is camping at it's finest!
If you don't want to plan a big camping trip, set up a tent in the backyard and camp. Use a firepit to roast marshmallows and tell stories or sing songs. This is such a great family bonding experience!
Check out a local horse farm to see if they have trail or pony rides. We did a trail ride at Fort Wilderness and my little guy did a pony ride and it was fun to be out in nature with the horses.
Kayaking is one of our favorite family activities. It brings you so close to all kinds of plants and animals in a serene environment. We love to hop off our kayaks in the ocean or spring and snorkel around to check out the underwater environment.
Summer is a great time for looking to the sky and the trees around you to check out the bird world. We love to take hikes at our local state parks or the Florida birding trail to see what bird species we can find. If you have trees in your neighborhood, you can just take a walk down the street to find some feathered friends. Sitting on our back porch this morning we saw a woodpecker, a bluejay, a cardinal and a mockingbird in all of five minutes! I always tell my little guy the names of the birds so he can learn them, too, and if we find an unfamiliar bird, we get out our bird handbook and look it up!
GO ON A TURTLE WALK
If you live near an ocean or will be visiting one this summer, check out the Sea Turtle Conservancy and their programs for sea turtle walks. June through August is when sea turtles make their way to the beach to nest and while on one of these turtle walks there is a great chance for you to watch this amazing occurance. We are signed up for one in Melbourne for this month and are so excited about it!
Fishing with kids is so much fun. It's a great way to interact together and spend time as a family.
Geocaching is a fast growing hobby for many outdoor enthusiasts. It's basically an outdoor treasure hunt where you use GPS as a guide to find a hidden container at specific coordinates. To play, you just register online and pick a location. This is definitely on our summer bucket list!
We are so excited about these activities, but my kids will definitely be outside with their bare feet making fun memories on their own as well!