Did you know that Chicago only gets about 100 days to celebrate summer? Yes, that’s right, after a never ending winter and a Spring that is over in the blink of an eye, we only get a short while to bask in the glory that is a lazy, laid back summer. Well, instead of crying over spilled lemonade at one of Chicagoland’s many Italian Ice stands, here are some fun ways to celebrate the start of summer.
Cool off with a water party
Break out the sprinkler, spray bottles, buckets and paint brushes, the always popular “bunch o balloons” and THINK WET. Yes, that’s right. Simply add water to have the most fun welcoming the summer heat. And once Memorial Day rolls around, check out the area’s best (and free) splash pads.
Host a popsicle stand
Yes, lemonade stands are fun. But you know what’s even better? A popsicle stand! Buy in bulk so that you can keep costs low and don’t forget to hang on to the packaging so you have allergy information for your customers. I mean, what better way to start the summer than by making new friends in the neighborhood?
Camp out in the backyard
There’s no need to head out into the woods in order to have a good time. Simply bring your tent into the backyard and camp out close to home. Don’t forget to pack all the fixing for spiced up s’mores, as well as the comfiest pillows you can find, flashlights, and of course, bug spray.
Create outdoor art
You know what makes drawing, painting, and coloring even better? When you do it OUTSIDE! Use the sidewalk as your canvas, paint kindness rocks…the options are endless. Sketch flowers and bugs that you see, or even collect clippings from around the neighborhood and use contact paper to display your findings. Feeling uninspired? Head out on a nature scavenger hunt for after all, nature is a great muse for artists!
Embrace the mud
Yes, that’s right, I said it. GET MESSY. Just make sure that you dress your kiddos in old clothes and shoes before you let them loose on the mud pit that Spring rains tend to bring to Chicagoland gardens. My boys have found that mud piles make for the best Monster Jam venues, and my niece has impressed me with her ability to make the most beautiful mud pies with pebbles, flowers, and other items living in our yard.
Dine al fresco
There is something truly magical about eating meals outside, whether it is on a picnic or on the porch under the stars. Clip herbs from your garden to add some extra flavor to your meals, and spend the summer caring for your own garden so that you can enjoy its sweet and savory spoils all summer long. Here are some stellar side dishes that are perfect from the start of summer and beyond.
Make a summer bucket list
Sit down as a family and have everyone write contribute a few things that they would like to do over the summer. Whether big or more low key activities, add them to the list to help you map out your summer adventures and have a list to turn to when your kids complain of boredom. Here is my family’s summer bucket list if you need some help starting your list!
So, how will your family celebrate the official start of summer? Whatever way you choose, have a happy and safe summer!