I started this the day that school got out, but, obviously, it hasn’t made it to the posted stage yet. We’ve been busy!
Well, as of a little over an hour ago, the big boys joined V on summer break.
And the question that I’ve been asked again and again is what our summer plans are. And, honestly, we don’t have that many. But, I will share what we typically do and some ideas to keep cool and busy over the summer.
First, swim! This is our first summer having our own pool. The last few years we’ve bought a family pass to the city pool. It’s under $100 for all of us and well worth it! Our city pools vary by location, but the one that we went to had a couple water slides, fountains to play in, and a separate dive pool. Pretty darn awesome! A link to PHX pools for locals…
To go along with all of that swimming, we’ve always done swim lessons. My big hint is to look for lessons right before or in the middle of free time. That way you don’t have to pack up and go home right away. It’s a chore getting a whole family to the pool. Might as well stretch it.
If you don’t want to swim, don’t discount other water adventures… There are a bunch of splash parks and our zoo has several splash pads as well. Link to some info on splash pads in the valley
The zoo is the most expensive option I’ve listed so far and it cans be a good deal, too. I highly recommend buying a membership.. The zoo is open an hour earlier for members. So, you can go early in the day and avoid, some of, the heat. The daily rates are pretty high, but for under $200, our whole family (and another adult) can enjoy for 13 months— there are always specials going on, we took advantage of an extra month. Phoenix zoo’s current specials are listed here.
The other thing that we’ve been doing for the last couple years is the movies. For $7 a kid (mom, too), we have weekly tickets to a kid friendly movie. It’s a total of 10 movies, but we never make it to all of them. The kids have their reusable cups and we share popcorn… It ends up being around $10 a week for all of us!
And then there’s the whole learning thing… I try my hardest to make sure we keep up some educational stuff. So, we always participate in the library’s summer reading program. And since we just moved a few months ago, we’re in a new library system and they have tons of cool programs going on. Some of the things that our library offers are year round, others are one time deals. Weekly, over the summer, they have special guests come in and do shows.. they also offer story times and some fun classes for all of the kids. D and d are going to a Diary of a Wimpy Kid party this week and next week, they get to make guacamole. How cool is that? And we love the fact that it’s free!
Oh, and while you’re at the library–look for a culture pass! They’re the coolest. Basically, you check out free tickets to a bunch of local museums.. Again, they’re free! Sometimes it’s only for a couple of tickets, others you can get four tickets for. All of them expire 7 days after they’re checked out. This has been going on for awhile now and it’s so very cool. You do need to get to our library early if you want to get a pass, but if they’re all checked out, you can still entertain the kids with all of the books and other fun stuff to check out.
Our favorite museum is the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. It’s very interactive and the kids have a blast. It is on the expensive side though. We have bought an annual pass to this museum, but because of the downtown location, I don’t know that we’ll do it again. We’ve also bought a membership to the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa. It’s much smaller than CHOP, but it still has lots to see and do. And it’s very affordable.
We also are a family that loves sports. So, I plan on taking the kids to a baseball game or two. We’re lucky because we can get tickets from time to time. But, there are ways to get free or discounted tickets to the Diamondbacks as well. First, they do have coupons in the Entertainment Book–if you didn’t buy one when they came out last year in the fall, you can now get one for a steal. Also, if your kiddos join the No Chew Crew then they can get a free ticket to a Sunday game. And the Diamondbacks have added value items to their menu so you won’t have to spend a fortune on treats. And, you can take your own food into the park. You can also take in bottled water, just make sure that the bottles are unopened. When we go to the games with the kids, we try to keep in mind that they’re kids and we try to break it up and make it fun.. there is a play area on the upper deck so they can get out some of the wiggles.
What else do we do….?
Oh, we’re also doing some sports this summer. V & B are going to play indoor soccer and the big boys will be playing flag football. I’m looking forward to it as we haven’t done sports since last fall.
And, I am going to be running. I have decided to run my first half marathon (notice how I said first, like there will be more..?) in November. So, I am starting my training now. It’s going slowly, but it is going.
So, what are you doing this summer? Any tips you want to pass along to our family?
We’re hoping to also get in a few play dates! So, call if you have free time!