I have a secret to share, friends … I’ve never really been a huge fan of summer.
There, I said it. Anyone who actually knows me is rolling their eyes right now and thinking, “Duh, who doesn’t know that?” but to others, this might come as a surprise. As a curly headed woman who didn’t grow up near water but did grow up in a home without air conditioning for the longest time, the only things I had to look forward to when the weather got warmer was frizzy hair (okay, I admit, that was a year-round problem) and just the most awful humidity. These days, though, I’m making a concerted effort to change my ways … for the girls.
You see, kids love summer. And what’s NOT to love about summer when you’re a kid? All they know is that they get to be outside all the dang time and they couldn’t care less about sweat. Or frizzy hair. Or sticky bodies. Or anything else that adults (just me?) care about. The interesting thing, though, is that in trying to shift my mindset, a funny thing has happened … I’ve shifted my mindset! I mean … summer can be GREAT! If you forget about all those things I already mentioned (and insects, and bees, and thunderstorms, and … okay, I’m running away with it again ….) then summer really is great!
So here’s to making the most of things for those you love, even if they aren’t really and truly your favorite things to begin with. Here are a few ways we’ve been really trying to get into the spirit of the season…
^^ The Ralston Central Park and Splash Pad are an absolute must when the temps soar. Get there as soon as they turn on (around 10 a.m. most days) so you can beat the crowds (sort of) and avoid the hottest part of the day.
^^ The Denver Children’s Museum has tons of stuff to see and do inside, but their outside area — including this sand pit — is a big draw for my girls, as well.
^^ I have to give a major shout-out to Chris, who has put so much effort and love and care into our own backyard, that most days the girls don’t even want to leave the house (which is always, always fine by me!).
^^ We are just the luckiest to have Standley Lake Regional Park basically in our backyard. The lake is gorgeous to check out even if that’s all you do, and the prairie dogs will keep the kids entertained for hours. There’s also the bald eagle sanctuary, tipi rentals for camping and canoes and kayaks that you can rent by the hour.
^^ We took the little ladies for a canoe ride over July 4th weekend, and it was glorious. It was Lotte’s third time, but G’s first, and she actually held in there for longer than I expected!
^^ Breweries in the area offer plenty for kids to do these days as well, like run in laps (Oh, that’s just my children? Okay, then.), check out the dogs, and lots of them even have games. The one in the photo above is New Terrain Brewing Company, but really, they’re all pretty kid friendly.
^^ Lotte takes swim lessons on Saturday mornings at the Apex Center, and this past weekend G and I joined in for a swim in their amazing indoor water park area. They have an outdoor splash pad area, as well.
^^ We’re members and regulars at the Denver Children’s Museum, but up until this summer I never felt like we’d get a lot out of a visit to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Lotte’s latest obsession with planets and space and space travel, however, meant that a visit to the museum’s space section (and corresponding planetarium Sesame Street show) was a big hit!
^^ Lotte in her “spacesuit,” (aka my tea towel), which she insisted on bringing to the museum. I cannot get enough of this age.
^^ After the museum, we had a picnic at Denver’s City Park and let the kids run around. This is such an amazing area because the museum, a splash pad, the zoo, a bunch of playgrounds and the lake (where you can rent pedal boats) are all right there.
^^ I swear there is nothing this kid loves more than eating outside 😉
And those have been my brazen attempts at embracing this season so far, my friends. I know summer technically just began at the end of June, but really, once July is over, isn’t everyone already looking forward to fall?
Oh, that’s just me, too? Okay, then.
Well, for now I’ll keep plugging along, making the most of this sweltering season, as long as it makes my littles happy <3 Bis bald, friends — I hope you all had amazing July 4th holidays!