Thursday, September 7, 2017

Summer Bucket List: Complete

I love summer so much and all the fun activities that go along with it! For the first time this year I put together a summer bucket list of things I wanted to do with the kids, that way we could make sure to do them all. We had a blast and enjoyed these activities along with various others throughout the summer months. I guess now that Carter has started school it''s time to post about how we did.

Summer Bucket List:
  • Complete the summer reading program. We picked up our prizes from the program on June 25th. As always we loved participating in the program! It was adorable to see Carter and Elise go up to the summer reading table all on their own to get their stickers each time we visited the library.
    The kids with their summer reading program medals after reading 8 books and visiting the library 4 times.
The kids with their toys from completing the summer reading program.
With all their loot after finishing the program by reading 20 books and visiting the library 4 times.

  • Visit the splash pad. I would add a date here but we went too many times to keep track! Splash pad visits were pretty much a weekly occurrence.
    Carter with a new friend he made at the splash pad.

  • Have a picnic. This was another one we did too many times to keep track. We did picnics at least once a week. We'd do them at picnic tables as well as on blankets in the grass. When Wal-Mart starting having lunchables on sale for $1 a piece we did those a few times for picnics too.
  • Get ice cream from the ice cream truck. One day early in the summer while I was running Ty treated the kids to ice cream from the ice cream truck and I'm glad he did because I haven't seen an ice cream truck since! There used to always be ice cream trucks posted up at our favorite park but they haven't been there this summer!
  • Go for a hike. There were quite a few hikes over the summer but one of my favorites was on my birthday at Keystone State Park. I love exploring new places and it was the first time we'd ever been there. Another favorite was hiking at Natural Falls State Park where "Where the Red Fern Grows" was filmed. After seeing the beautiful area as we hiked, I just had to read the book!
  • Take a bike ride. We did lots of bike rides during the summer. There were a few where Carter just rode and we went on sidewalks. Other times he rode his bike to the playground to play. Most weeks he rode his bike to the library for storytime. Sometimes Elise wanted to ride her bike as well and we even went on a group bike ride when I was watching a friend's kids one day. The first bike ride of the summer was just me and Carter. He was so fast on his bike, I had to run to catch up. After that I gave him designated stopping points where he had to stop and wait for me to catch up.
    Group bike ride to the park.
  • Go to a swimming pool. June 11th was our first trip to the pool and we had quite a few more trips throughout the summer. We enjoyed the kiddie pool in my hometown as well as a friend's pool multiple times, and an aquatic center near Ty's work that was a lot of fun.
  • Set up the water slide in our backyard. This one ended up bumming me out. Carter was so excited to get out the water slide and asked to invite one of his friends over for a playdate just to play on the water slide. We got everything set up in the backyard and started out playing out there but had to move inside because we were having trouble with mosquitoes. Carter's friend's little sister was getting them on her even with bug spray on!
  • Make s'mores over a fire. June 9th was the first time we did it but we ended up doing it multiple times over the summer which was so much fun! I love s'mores. Of all the seasonal flavors and treats, I'd have to say s'mores are probably my favorite!
  • Go fishing. July 3rd, Carter even caught his first fish! We had plans to go again but it never happened. We'd like to start taking his pole with us when we visit state parks so he can fish in the kid ponds.
  • Get sno cones. June 10th we got sno cones at Tropical Sno, the awesome sno cone place I grew up going to! Elise picked blue cotton candy and Carter had regular cotton candy. They both loved them and finished the whole thing! We walked there with the wagon which was fun!
  • Go to a free evening concert.  We finally made this happen on August 17th, one of the last concerts of the season. One of my friends told me they were going to have bounce houses there so Carter was really disappointed that there were no toys like I'd told him, but he still enjoyed himself. Ty met us there after his run and the kids enjoyed dancing around while listening to music.
  • Enjoy a free kids' summer movie at the movie theater. We ended up going to quite a few of these. It was hard to pass up when we got to see a movie for free and were also given a free kid's pack for a snack. The kids couldn't eat all the popcorn along with fruit snacks so they always shared popcorn with me. They didn't both need a drink either so they would share a lemonade and I'd get a soda. It was a sweet deal! We saw Trolls on June 6th, Madagascar on June 13th, and Megamind on June 20th.
    Ready to watch Trolls at the theater.
    Ready to watch Madagascar.
  • Have a water balloon or water gun fight. June 11th was our first one. We used water balloons and water guns. Pretty much every time we visited my parents Carter played with water balloons and we played with water balloons some at home as well.
  • Go on a day or weekend trip somewhere fun nearby. August 20th we went on a family day trip to Natural Falls State Park. We enjoyed going for a long hike and visiting the waterfall as well as playing on the playground. It was just over an hour away and as we were headed home we saw a fun looking swimming area just down the road so we will definitely go back next summer too! The kids and I also went on a day trip to the Oklahoma City Zoo on August 23rd for half-price admission day. We had so much fun! It worked out even better than I'd hoped and the kids did great with the drive. We decided our zoo is better than the OKC overall as far as the number of animals and how modern it is. The OKC Zoo has a better Children's Zoo area with a fun river to play in and interactive exhibits and their elephant exhibit is amazing! I'll be honest, I go to the OKC Zoo just for the elephants.
    Playing on the playground at Natural Falls State Park.
Ready to check out the waterfall.

The pictures I took just don't do it justice. The 77-foot waterfall was beautiful!
The kids posing on a rhino statue at the OKC Zoo.
Playing at the playground at the zoo.

  • Camp out inside. We decided to go a step further and actually camp outside at a state park near our house but the weekend we planned to do it they were forecasting thunderstorms so we decided against it. Thank goodness we made that decision as there ended up being a tornado that night! We just camped out inside instead but both the kids decided they'd rather sleep in their own beds than in the tent. We had the tent set up on August 2nd.
    Hanging out inside the tent watching tv before bed.
  • Have a movie night complete with sleeping bags. We watched Fievel Goes West, a favorite from my childhood, and even did popcorn along with the movie on July 20th.
  • Go out for ice cream. On August 3rd we took the kids out for ice cream using some of my birthday money. I wanted to take them somewhere they hadn't been before so we went to Marble Slab Creamery. Carter loved getting to watch them add the mix-ins to the ice cream and was already talking about what he would get the next time we went as we were leaving.
  • Pick blueberries. We went to a nearby blueberry patch to pick berries on June 8th with some friends.
    Carter picking blueberries while standing under the netting with a friend.
  • Visit a state park. July 29th we visited Keystone State Park for my birthday and had a blast! We went on a hike and swam on the beach at Keystone Lake. Then on August 20th we visited Natural Falls State Park for a day trip where we hiked and visited the waterfall as well as played on the playground.
  • Take the kids bowling. I didn't use our Kids Bowl Free passes as much as I had expected but we did go a few times during the summer and the kids enjoyed it! The passes get you two free games but we only ever made it through one full game.
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk. This was another one that we did too many times to count. Pretty much anytime we played outside sidewalk chalk was involved.
  • Play with bubbles. This is another one we did too many times to record dates. At one point we had really strong winds and our bubble machine got blown off the table in the backyard overnight and broke which was super sad, mostly for me! I think I enjoy the bubble maker even more than the kids do!
  • Catch (and release) lightning bugs. We never did this because we were never up late enough. I didn't think about the fact that it gets dark so late in the summer so the kids were always in bed by the time the lightning bugs were out. We'll have to try for this next summer when Carter can stay up a bit later!
  • Visit the new Lost Kingdom exhibit at the zoo. This new exhibit is so awesome! Carter loves the larger exhibits for the komodo dragons and tigers and especially loves the new animals there, the binturongs being his favorite. We went to the special member only event before the exhibit officially opened and have been back multiple times since.
    Checking out the Lost Kingdom area during the members only event.
    Getting to touch some pelts and skeletons during the members only event at the Lost Kingdom.


  1. Sounds like you did a good job at getting it all done. Garo got worried with the music and seeing Carter dance. He watched, then I had to hold him.