The Twin Cities is so much fun in the summer. Every summer I make a commitment to do all kinds of things and by the time the summer is over, I have failed in much of it because I have found it easier to fall back on my regular summer routine of beach day and library day and errand day.
Not that these things are bad (and certainly need to be done–errands=food, food=a healthy family, a healthy family=a happy mama), but I think this year I need to be realistic about how I plan my summer. Here’s my strategy. Feel free to use it yourself.
- Make a list of all the things around the Twin Cities I want to do. Everything will be going on this list weather it’s realistic or not. Do I want to ride in a hot air balloon? Yes, yes, I do. Whether it’s going to happen or not is for a different time in my strategy.
- With a pen and a paper calendar (I know, archaic!), Fill my calendar with plans already made: Family camping over Father’s Day Weekend, Walk for Life in June, Taking my daughter to camp, Vacation Bible School in July, my trip to North Carolina to see my new niece in August.
- Add to the calendar everything I want to do. Everything. Once again, it’s relatively unrealistic o book something for every free day. I will need some empty days. And in some instances, I will need some empty weeks. Part of summer is sitting in the shade and drinking a lemonade with my kids. And having impromptu barbeques with neighbors and friends. But that’s not this step. (better go buy some lemonade and hamburgers)
- I need to determine if it’s important to get to a scheduled program like the Family Fun Tuesdays at Caponi Art Park or if my family and I would have more fun with unstructured playtime. Do I want to make sure to hit the Aquatenniel events at Lake Calhoun or just go swimming at Lake Calhoun? Do I want to make sure I get to the PJ Party on the Trolley or just ride the trolley? And how important is it really to see at movie in the park? (very!)
- Go week by week and determine what is the most important and circle it. Look at the rest of the schedule and determine what is really important and what can be simply tentative. I will be blocking out free days for reading, and self-guided play, and even some boredom!
Now, I realize that not everyone wants to wear their kids out like I do. Some of us just have super lazy summers and are happy with them. This is the year I think that I finally get a trolley ride and a movie in. And check out some parks we’ve never been to. But we also have our membership to the Minnesota Historical Society and we want to make sure we take advantage of that.