School's out for the summer: three lists you need + three bucket list items you'll want to attend - MetroFamily Magazine
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School’s out for the summer: three lists you need + three bucket list items you’ll want to attend

by Callie Collins

This is it: we’re counting down to summer.

The school days on the calendar are numbered.

If you don’t have summer plans yet, you’re really starting to realize the immediacy of those needs; I know I feel the pressing nature of the impending transition here as we go from a daily routine that’s timed and predictable to a really odd schedule. The sun is shining, we’ve turned on the air conditioning for the first time and this really might be the beginning of summer.

One thing is for sure: school’s out for the summer, next week in our case, and it’s time to finalize plans.

Here are three go-to links for summer info you can use today:

  • Plan the best summer ever with MetroFamily: All our go-to guides are here, on one page, for instant answers to “What are we doing today?,” “Where are your kids taking swimming lessons?” and “What’s a good snow cone stand?” There are so many lists on that page, I can’t even get through them all because my plans are made but I know they’ll be around when I need them, with headers like “Summer in the City,” “Outdoor Fun” and “Flavors of Summer.”
  • Check out our 100 Days of Summer Fun: Every year, our editors work hard to put together 100 ideas or activities that smack of summer fun, one for each day of the break, give or take a few. I don’t think kids really get bored anymore but they do need a change of scenery. So when I’m ready to put away screens and redirect everyone to something different, I refer to this list and say “Pick one.”
  • Summer camps: There are still a couple of weeks in the summer I could use some child care help or that I can foresee just being hot and long. We’re already enrolled in First United Methodist’s camps and the Edmond Mobile Meals annual Little Chefs cooking camp that gives kids life skills in the kitchen while helping fund senior nutrition in our community. Our family just started a membership at the YMCA too and they also have camp options. Find the full guide here. Want to know which camps still have room? Sign up to get our e-newsletters. We’ll send info next week with which camps still have spots open.

I also just got around to actually asking my children the question, “So, what do you want to do this summer?” with the possibility of actually being able to plan for what they want to see and do. Simple answers like “Eat watermelon from the farmers market,” “Go to the park” and “Swim more” kind of surprised me because they weren’t expensive or complicated.

We also settled on three stand-out bucket list-type items that will make our summer complete:

  • The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Chuck Wagon Festival: I pulled this drawing out of my first grader’s backpack this morning: “When I took the moon for a wok (walk), I took it to the Cowboy Western Heritage Museum.” Clearly, that venue stands out to our family. Isaac is especially enamored with its hands-on activities and he asks me every Friday if tomorrow is its annual Chuck Wagon Festival. Memorial Day Weekend is the answer to when that’s happening. You can read why Isaac loves it in this month’s Kid Review. Basically, the variety of activities is what we find memorable and charming and totally worth our time during that long weekend. We didn’t try the food last year but I hear there’s to be stew, cobbler, beans, sarsparilla and other staples of cowboy life.
  • Sleeping away from home: I don’t know why children love to sleep in places that are not their own bed but mine definitely do. When my preschooler saw this photo of a family staying in a Conestoga wagon, he decided we needed a sleep away this summer. I don’t know yet if we’ll take up one of the two options mentioned here at Robbers Cave State Park or Orr Family Farm but I will try to make his wish come true. Maybe we’ll stay in a hotel but there are some unique stay-away accommodations mentioned here that are worth a look.
  • Fireworks displays: We look forward to Independence Day every year. LibertyFest is my event of choice, or rather, series of events. They have so many different festivities leading up to the fireworks display it’s known for on July 4. Find a firework show near you with our list of eight great events.

Children tend to bounce off the walls right about this time each year. Our teachers are ready to say goodbye and I am happy to welcome my littles home, with plenty of things to do. If you have any doubts about where to turn for summer activities, we’re always here at MetroFamily; write to us if you’re not finding what you need on our website: callie@metrofamilymagazine.com.

I hope your summer is the very best ever. They’ll be back in school before we know it.

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