In May I put together a list of Field Trips we could take that kept us within an hour from home. I then emailed the list out to many families that we know because I knew my kids would have much more fun (and there would be far less whining) if other kids joined us. I just did the list for June to see how well it would go. I am now in the process of putting together a list for July and August because we have all had so much fun!
The nightly question from one of my boys is always, "What are we doing tomorrow?" We've learned to expect it every night as we tuck him in. Having a list of of pre-thought-out activities has been helpful for all of us. (I'm sure other moms of school aged children will admit that when they are all hounding you for something to do, you just can't think creatively. The other thing that is difficult to do last minute is rally a whole group to go with you.) The field trip list has provided groups of 20-30 people at each activity and all of us have had a lot of fun. It has also helped us explore places around town that we have always thought would be fun to go to but just haven't made it.
I knew June would need to be a transition month. The kids were used to going to school everyday. They would still be feeling a need for something everyday in June. (It just takes a bit of time to convince them that summer is meant to be slower.) I decided to do about 2 field trips a week a June, transitioning to one a week or so for July and August. I also waited to put together the list for July and August until I could have some input from some of the other moms who were joining us regularly.
Here is a copy of the beginning of our list for you to use as an example. The majority of the field trips have been free or inexpensive so it helps us keep within our "Summer fun" budget. So make a bucket list of the things you want to still do this summer and invite others to join in on the fun!
Field Trips for Summer Fun
In an effort to be a little more ready to entertain kids this summer, we've put together a few opportunities for field trips during the month of June. We would love to have families join us. It is always more fun when other kids come along. All of these activities could accommodate large groups so feel free to invite others to join in on the fun.
Thursday, May 31st -9:30am - 4pm Day trip to Bruneau Sand Dunes near Mountain Home - about an hour drive from here. The sand dunes are the tallest in North America. There is fossil hunting, a visitor's center and playing/hiking on the sand dunes. Some people have told me they have taken tabagons to slide down the dunes. I'm sure other sand toys would be well used. Everyone will need to take a picnic lunch. There is a $5 fee per vehicle. Meet at Andrus Elementary Parking Lot at 9:30 am so we can carpool. We'll plan to be back home between 3-4 pm. For more info check out this link. (We leaned a hard lesson this year. Please keep your shoes on because the sand can get VERY hot. One of the boys who was with us burned his feet very badly.) http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/parks/bruneaudunesstatepark.aspx
Monday, June 4th - 11:00am MK Nature Center (the park where you see the fish through the windows) and picnic lunch at Municipal park in downtown Boise. Meet at the covered picnic area (back by the parking lot and bathrooms) of Municipal park at 11:00am.
Thursday, June 7th - 4:30-6:00 Boise Art Museum - The 1st Thursday of every month admission is free and they do an art experience beginning at 5 pm where the kids can do a directed project for free.
Monday, June 11th - 10:00 am Capitol building tour, Paddle Boats in Julia Davis Park, and picnic lunch. Meet at the Liberty Bell in front of the big staircase of the Capitol Building at 10:00 am. There is on the street 2 hr parking a couple of blocks behind the Capitol if you don't want to the pay the meter. A tour usually lasts about an hour. We will then go to Julia Davis Park and ride the Paddle Boats before eating lunch. The paddle boats cost $8 for 1/2 hour and carry 3 people each.