You don't have to be perfect to be the perfect parent!

Summer is here! What is on Your 2014 Summer Bucket List?

summer bucket list What will you do this summer?  Share your summer bucket list, here is mine! Memorial Day is around the corner, and summer is finally here.  I love summer!  I remember when the kids were in grade school and we would leave the school parking lot on the last day of school with the windows rolled down,  the horn honking and everyone cheering….it was summer!  My kids are older now, but I still feel the excitement when summer finally arrives.  There is just something about summer and the feeling of relaxation and freedom.  I love the longer evenings sitting on our porch, the extra time with family and the whole summer “mind-set” of slowing down. Time does fly, and before I know it the leaves are beginning to turn and the days have become shorter, so I like to make a summer bucket list.  Some things on my list remain the same from year to year…those special things I MUST do every summer, and others may be new things I want to try. I remember one summer making the mistake of “over booking” our family.  The kids were signed up for too many camps and activities.  I thought it was the right thing to do, but I soon learned that we all missed out on more important things than “summer enrichment”.  Summer has to have some time for “doing nothing”, because it is in those times of doing nothing that children and adults allow themselves to recharge, play, explore their dreams, and truly live. Take the time to think about what you will do to make this summer one to be remembered….not full of busyness, but full of memories to hold on to when the snow begins to fly and your children are grown.  Fill your child’s summer with memories of the lazy, hazy days of summer fun.  Here is what is on my bucket list this summer….what is on yours?

  1.  A family trip to the beach!  I love the beach, there is something about the sand and waves.  We will be heading south, but there are a few beaches in the Indianapolis area too.  Check out Morse Beach or the beach at Saxony in Fishers!
  2. Free summer concerts.  I love to head to the summer concerts that are offered all over the area.  Pack up the kids, a few snacks and a blanket and head out to a little music under the stars.  Kids love to twirl and dance to the music and what a wonderful way to introduce all the different music varieties to your children, for free!  Try going kidless too…what a great date night!
  3. Symphony on the Prairie.  At least once this summer we will pack our “gourmet” dinner and a bottle of wine and head with our blanket to Connor Prairie for the symphony.  One of our more special “date nights” of the summer!
  4. Mass Ave.  With our oldest daughter living in the heart of Indianapolis, she is always giving us the “inside scoop” on great local restaurants and shops.  A summer evening or afternoon at an outdoor restaurant sounds like fun!
  5. Indians game.  I am not a huge baseball fan, but I love the Indian’s ballpark.  It is a great place to introduce your family to baseball…or at least baseball food! We will be throwing down a blanket on the lawn and I will be cheering, chatting, eating, and enjoying the evening!
  6. A canoe trip down Sugar Creek.  We love to pack a lunch and rent canoes for the day.  Paddling together forces kids and parents to work together!  Nothing like a water fight splashing with the paddles too!
  7. A trip to the farm.  For this city slicker, a trip to the local dairy farm or U-Pick farm is always a treat.  Take a tour of Trader’s Point Creamery, enjoy the beauty of the area and sample some ice cream, head to the local strawberry patch and pick a few berries or just take a drive outside the city through farm country.  Stop at roadside farm stands and sample the taste of summer.
  8. Read on my back porch….and maybe take a nap!  What a treat to read and maybe doze to the sounds of summer!
  9. Backyard s’mores.  I love sitting by a bonfire and roasting marshmallows for s’mores.  Great conversations are held around fires!
  10. Hit the local drive-in root beer stand.  This is a memory from my childhood that just screams summer.  I can remember the excitement of having the tray hooked to our car window and the “baby” mugs of root beer being delivered right to the car.  Healthy eating??  Not so much.   Great memories?…absolutely.  Memories win in this case.
  11. Early morning bike rides or walks.  Before the heat of the day, a cool morning ride or walk down the Monon Trail is a wonderful start to a day.  Of course, it is even better when we stop for coffee and a bagel before we head home!  Try a family bike ride or walk!
  12. Star gazing.  The summer sky will make you wish on a star, and don’t we all deserve to make wishes and believe they will come true?  We may head to Holcomb Observatory on Butler University’s Campus.  It is open most Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 8:45…stars up close and personal!
  13. Trips to nowhere.  I love to take a drive in the evening, going nowhere.  Windows down, music on, driving with no place to go…hoping to end up at Alexanders Ice Cream Shop on Morse Reservoir.  Love their soft serve ice cream!

So that is the start of my Summer Bucket List…simple right?  Just sit for a moment and think about the days ahead.  Don’t let the summer days slip by without experiencing the lazy, hazy days that will bring you and your children so much!   No pressure, just experience it.  Give your child the gift of a LONG summer…even though the moments go quickly.  Share your list…I just may add a few more “to-dos” to my bucket list!!!

Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.




  1. Very nice article! Found your blog via Northside Twins and Multiples


  2. I will take yours. It all sound good. We will hit the beach definitely. We discovered how much our daughter loved the beach last summer. This year I am sure it will be even more fun for her & for us to watch her joy.


  3. Jane

    Love, love this article!! Brings memories back….enjoy your summer!!


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