Summer Bucket List

Oh my mommies! I am terribly sorry for not posting this when I said I would.  It's been sitting in my "drafts" section for about a month as I added new ideas, and when we got to last Friday I got so wrapped up in 4th of July and packing for our trip to Pennsylvania that I totally forgot to push "publish".  I do hope you'll forgive me!!

Summer Bucket List 2011
A summer bucket list? Yes! How fun! The idea is that you sit down with your munchkins and decide on a list of things you HAVE to accomplish before summer ends.  They can be educational, trips, crafts, playdates, anything you want! Maybe you want to send artwork to all the grandparents, visit 1 new park each month, and ride a rollercoaster.  Maybe you want to visit an historical site, plant a tree, and learn all the words to livin on a prayer.  Whatever you want to do- write it down and check those suckers off!! It's a great cure for "what are we doing today??" and really fun to accomplish!! Here's my PWC Moms suggested Summer Bucket List for 2011.  With giveaways, of course.  I know how you all love a giveaway!

1. Pick Something.  We personally love to pick berries (especially those free blackberries that grow wild all over Virginia.  Watch for deerflies and pull the car over!) and peaches.  If you've never had a warm from the field peach you do not know what you're missing!!  We particularly love Hartland Orchard for peaches, which will start July 9th.  You drive your car directly into the fields and they give you very nifty baskets on a stick to use to get your fruit.  The more exposed to the sun (think top of the tree) the sweeter and jucier the fruit!! Want more ideas? Try THIS post.

2. Go to a PWC Waterpark.  Splashdown, Veterans, and WaterWorks are all fun!  They all also have affordable options including "playdate" times earlier in the morning and after 4pm prices.  Swimming in the neighborhood pool is great but there's nothing like adding a giant slide to make it a little more fun!! Want to cross this off your list? WaterWorks has given us 2 family 4 packs for after 4pm for lucky readers! 

3. Field Trip--DC.  We love the Smithsonian Museums and no summer would be complete without a visit to DC.  We love to plan our trips for weekdays and usually magically find street parking.  However, Metro from Springfield is a really fun option (bonus train ride!) and guarantees you won't have the headache.  Friday mornings until 2pm there is a farmer's market next to the Smithsonian Castle and the USDA provides free children's activities (think planting, digging, crafts and stories) as well as covered picnic seating.  Add that on to your trip for a totally fun (minus transportation) trip!!

4. 2 Words: Bouncy Castles.  Some days it is just too darn hot.  In those cases, we think it's time to head inside for a little inflatable fun.  House of Bounce would like to invite a PWC Moms reader to head over to their place and mark this off their bucket list- and maybe we'll see you there!! There's nothing better than wearing your kids out while you remain air conditioned!!

5. Eat Watermelon for dinner.  We have at least one day in the summer where we come inside completely exhausted and too hot to eat.  It's nights like those we make popcorn and watermelon for dinner.  It has to happen at least once- it's very exciting to have Mom throw the rules out the window.

6. Catch Fireflies.  There is nothing quite as magical as heading out at dusk to catch fireflies in a jar.  (Holes in the lid please- and let them back out before you go in for bed!).  While you're at it, why not join up with Operation Firefly and help determine where all the fireflies have gone.

7. Field Trip- Richmond.  The Children's Museum of Richmond, to be specific!! This incredibly fun museum is adjacent the Science Museum of Richmond and includes everything from creative play to dinosaurs to crafts to biomes.  If you've never been, you've got to go! Under a 2 hour ride and your kids can easily spend the better part of a day playing if they're anything like mine.  C-MOR has offered a free family pack of tickets to their beautiful museum to a PWC Moms reader so they can check this off their bucket list for summer 2011!! Delegate Rich Anderson, VA-51, who in the interest of full disclosure is a friend of our family after having worked on his campaigns, also invites any PWC Moms and their families to join him at the statehouse for a tour.  Call Ryan Galloway, his assistant (and in my experience, follow up with Ryan) to schedule at  571-264-9983

8. Host a Messy Playdate.  I started this tradition years ago when I ran a mom's group, and it's still going strong.  We run banner paper along the back fence and put out plates of fingerpaint.  We put out dishes of flour and buckets of mud.  There's glitter involved.  Water balloons, mud pies, flower planting, tie dying, the brightest colored popsicles you can find- get out anything that is typically forbidden and ask your guests to wear old swimsuits and bring a change of clothes.  Then, turn them loose in your back yard and just hose everything off when you're done- including the kids.  We have a great time each year and you can adapt this playdate to any age group from new-to-tactile infants on up. I bet tweens would love a paint fight.

9. Go to a concert.  Whether you go for free (Leesylvania, Harris Pavilion, and Sean Connaughton Plaza (that ugly 70's looking building when you enter to go to the Potomac Nationals Complex) all host free concerts throughout the summer) or pay to play (Wolf Trap, the Hylton Performing Arts Center and Locust Shade Ampitheatre offer great kid-friendly options) 

10.  Read a Classic.  We are of the opinion (this is the royal we here- my kids don't get a choice) that there is a great need for more fine children's literature in the world.  Abandon Junie B. for a minute and read to your kids from a great children's classic like "Trumpet of the Swan", "Charlotte's Web", "Black Beauty", "James and the Giant Peach", "Little House on the Prairie", "Stuart Little", or your personal favorite.  When you're done, be sure to record it to your Summer Quest form and check in at the library each week to claim your prize both for reading and for visiting the library each week this summer season!

11. Climb Something.  While we have some great options more locally, such as Hemlock Overlook in Fairfax, I've always always wanted to head over to the Adventure Park at Sand Springs School. It's the largest aerial forest adventure park in North America, and while it's definitely a field trip, it also looks totally B.A. (and no, I don't mean Bachelor of Arts).  You can join us in this one, too, because the Adventure Park has very generousl offered one PWC Moms reader a Family 4 Pack of Passes.  This would be great for an older kid- they recommend ages 7 and up, but there are restrictions for ages 7-13.  Even your teen could have a great time here, as far as I can guess (remember, I don't have teenagers, so take that with a grain of salt!)

12. Go to the Fair! It goes without saying we have to spend one (horrible, sticky, smoky) day at the fair.  My kids would kill me if we didn't.  We try to stay over in the children's barn and the exhibits as long a we can, and we'll even peek at the monster trucks or tractor pull, but I'm totally in touch with the fact that I'm going to have to buy a funnel cake and ride on the egg beater until I feel sick.  It's just a rule :) We like to watch for the discount days, and don't forget even if you can't bake you can show off your "goods" by entering your child in the beautiful baby contest!

We hope that you have a great summer- and we'd love to hear what your bucket list plans are!! If you're a blogger, link to PWC Moms and share your own bucket list.  Leave us a comment below with the link and what you'd like to win from our list!  If you're not a blogger, you can tag PWC Moms on a facebook status and share what you'd like to win for your own summer bucket list in a facebook note!  Happy Summering!


  1. Thanks for the reminder...my Summer Fun List has been on our fridge since the beginning of the Summer but I never posted mine either! I JUST DID! Check it out at http://stampincafe.blogspot.com I think that our last "thing" of "Go to a fun museum" could be checked off if we won the Children's Museum tickets! Sounds like a blast! Thanks for posting!

  2. Posted my bucket list! Nothing like waiting until the last minute, no? :)