Summer isn’t fully here still in Oregon but the holidays are!
Alternating between a drizzle, a cloudy sky and a hot afternoon, the weather still remains inconsistent making it difficult to build a routine around outdoors.
On the very first day of school holidays, I woke up to a house scattered with toys and ear piercing screams of the girls pulling at each other’s hair. That kind of gave me an idea of things to come. The best course of action would be to keep them occupied as much as possible, I decided. That also meant that I had to be on my toes with them but till date it has been well worth the peace of mind.
So here’s a roll of what we have already covered in the first three weeks of the holidays….
Park picnics – we have had a couple of those already. Taking the kids to a nearby park, in my opinion, is the cheapest, easiest and the healthiest form of entertainment. Playing outside is good for the minds and bodies, plus its free so you don’t spend a dime and because it is so convenient you can just pack a picnic lunch or snack and even make a play date out of it. The kids can play together in the park and moms can chat while keeping a watch.
The beach – playing at the beach is one my favorite things to do whether its dipping my toes in the cold water or running around to catch the Frisbee or building sand castles with underground tunnels. The sight of rising waters coming to the shore and then going back in is soothing beyond words. The beach is an hour and half away from where we stay, close enough to head for it when the temperatures rise. Of the two times that we went to the beach this season, each turned out to be memorable in its own way.
During the first visit we enjoyed the sun and sand to the fullest, played on the beach, had a picnic lunch and jumped on the cold waves as they came crashing to the store. The kids also had ice-cream and a ride on the carousal. The other trip we made was with friends who came to visit from out of town. It wasn’t as warm that day but we took our chances and went to the beach anyways. Luckily the weather improved as the day progressed. We picked up fresh berries of all kinds on the way from an organic farm store and had a delicious lunch at the beach town.
The best part of the trip was when we rented a bicycle which could sit all 9 of us together and paddled on the streets, along the beach singing songs. The bike ride is not going to be forgotten for a long long time.
The library – books are a savior. I can’t express how lucky I feel to be staying near a library. Even if you chart a ton of things for the kids to do there are always days when you have nothing planned and then some days you are too tired or in no mood to entertain them; recovering from a previous day’s outing. Books come in handy, especially so on those days. In my house, everybody reads, so we don’t really have to wait for a spare day to read books but whenever my 6 year old complains there’s nothing to do, we take a short walk to the library and bring back a stroller full of books, enough to last a week or so. Most of the times, my 2 year old decides half way that she’s big enough to walk all the way to the library, we still take the stroller anyways and always put it to good use!
Fireworks – This year, the 4th of July brought with it some nice weather and a lots of fun. After a nice lunch and a relaxed couple of hours near the lake, our group of 15 people including kids took a long walk to gather at a place where the neighborhood had organized fireworks. The fireworks were spectacular but our walk to and back from the venue was even more memorable. The small dim lit road that had a few cars going at that time of the night and never any pedestrians that late was bustling with people walking, sidewalks crowded and bubbly as neighbors/families came out to enjoy this dazzling event. It was a rare sight, watching the street come alive and the night so full of life.
By the time we walked back home, it was almost 11.30 p.m. The kids were tired but so excited with all the outdoor fun; it took a little bit of convincing to put them to bed. And as we settled on the couch with a bowl of strawberry ice-cream to watch a movie, it seemed like the perfect ending to a gorgeous day of summer!