Our goal this summer was to share our “2013 Summer Bucket List” with some great friends. Which we did and we had a blast. Here are some notes on our adventures.
The first day of our camp we started at the Zoo for a nice stroll and a yummy picnic. The Zoo turned out to be a top 5 favorite! Who knew?? Next we stopped by our favorite toy store: Biggle Snorts.
The little puzzles and card games are some of our favorites of any toy store. This gem of a store is always a great motivator for saving money.
We also used as many 2 for 1coupons at 31 Flavors Ice Cream that we could get our hands on! 🙂 Some other treat favorites included “Pop-Pops” Italian shaved ice and Romero’s Cafe in Old Town.
Volunteering at Los Poblanos Organic Farms was great fun and we learned how to plant and water in a better way. This was really hot and we didn’t have many options for finding a cooler time since our camp started at 9:00 am.
Hinkle Family Fun Center day pass turned out to be #2 favorite of the summer. The kids liked it so much that we abandoned our second Cliff’s trip to go to Hinkle a second time. We played lazer tag over and over, and the spraying boats were always fun in the sun. Some of the kids were too short to ride the go-carts on their own, so that was disappointing at times, but there was still lots to do instead.
The Christmas week was fun, especially making the Christmas window cookies with Grandma. Though we didn’t get to the gingerbread houses, the cookies were fun to make and we enjoyed eating them just as much.
From all the summer activities we did, the trampoline parks were the favorite by far, but with a $12 per hour price tag (which is more expensive than Disneyland prices per hour) we could only do the trampoline parks a few times.
Explora, The Natural History Museum, The Aquarium & Old Town were great favorites as well, especially the Dynamax Movies.
The math flashcards were very successful. Though kids don’t really WANT to do flashcards, it went fast, the older kids helped the younger kids, and as such the older kids also had a little math review.
The most fun were the amusement parks with friends. These were also the most popular and made the most sense to do as a group.
The smaller groups really worked well for the rock climbing, trampoline parks & the day trips around town. We were very mobile in 1-2 cars and could split up if someone wanted to stay at the Climbing Gym while others needed to eat or go home, for example.
Having 2 activities per day was a good amount, with a nice lunch break in between. Keeping activities on the same part of town was great to save from having to drive too much. Also, doing one activity inside and one outside was a good combo.
Movies in the car, and movies at home were a big hit. So were water balloon fights.
Going to the baseball games was really fun!
The ages worked together. Having each child responsible for their own lunch and snack worked out…though some of the kids saved their “lunch” money, didn’t buy lunch, and spent the money on other things. Bringing a sack lunched worked better than having money.
What We Would Change:
There was too much scheduled, so we would add more down time, more down days and have less planned on any given day.
The kids were so worn out by Tuesday, that some weeks we wouldn’t meet again until Friday!
We would plan more arts & crafts at home, with everything organized and ready to go for a good 2-3 hour project. We would also make more healthy snacks to show the kids how to do these on their own.
The igloo made out of plastic milk cartons needs 600 milk cartons, and needs to be finished in 1-2 days. When more time is taken to finish, the base falls apart without the upper part to help keep it together. Collecting 600 mild cartons takes 3 months.
We would go on the Tram, to Santa Fe’s Children’s museum & into the mountains. This summer, we didn’t get those done. We would also do more dollar movies & picnics in the park.