CP Social Notes – HOMETOWN NEWS – July 2017

Well parents – it’s finally here – summer vacation and if you’re like me then you’re starting to think what on earth these little people are going to do for the next 2 months! Whether you have the whole clan kicking around the house every day this summer or you just have a day off here and there I thought it might be fun to start a list of some things to do. Consider it like Cole’s Notes for summer – the moment someone utters the words “I’m bored” or you just have to get out of the house – grab the list and have the littles pick a number from 1-10 and GO! Whether these are classics in your parental play book or new twists I hope that you enjoy some of my personal favourites:

  1. Road Trip – This is our go to summer day idea, in fact we keep the van pre-packed in the summer with a bag of spare clothes for everyone, towels, swim suits and a bucket of random outdoor toys. We pack a cooler with drinks and snacks and sometimes add the little propane grill and we head out. This is where it gets fun – we just drive. You never know where you might end up or what cool new hang out you might discover. We sample new chip trucks, enjoy hidden beaches, fish at different lock stations, hike the many area trails and try every playground along the way.
  2. Eat Your Heart Out – Summer in Lanark County is a mine field of Farmer’s Markets, Pick your own Farms and Country Farm Stores. Head out and pick up lunch on the way. A great way for the family to explore where their food comes from and help out local food producers at the same time. An added bonus is an impromptu petting zoo if you find one with animals.
  3. Backyard Camp Out – Not a camper? Not to worry – have all the fun of novice camping with a backyard camp out. Put the tent up next to the sand box or kiddie pool for the true campsite feel. Most towns allow small enclosed fire pits so you can even have a proper campfire and let’s not forget SMORES! Add some dollar store glow sticks and keep the party going after lights out.
  4. Fair Days Ahead – It’s the season of the county fair! Pair that with countless area Canada 150 celebrations and annual festivals, car shows and concerts and it’s hard to have a boring weekend. Pull out the Hometown News Event Calendar for the month and pin it to the fridge for ideas.
  5. Paperback Writer – Nurture your inner Shakespeare by helping your budding novelist write their first book, short story or poem. Too young? Create a summer reading list theme or record your little one’s masterpiece as they dictate. Get to know your local library! They have free activities throughout the summer so check out their websites to find out about story times, dress up days, Lego drop ins and more!
  6. Budding Entrepreneurs – Do something nice for others and have the kids raise a little money for a local charity through hosting a Lemonade Stand, Yard Sale, Bake Sale or Art Show. Not only is it fun, it is a great way for kids to amp up their math and counting skills, customer service know how and of course be charitable. If your children are older why not start a summer business – mowing lawns, weeding gardens or helping clean out a shed or two.
  7. Take a Walk Down Memory Lane – History comes alive in the small communities dotting Lanark County. You may think “my kid isn’t going to be interested” but often you’d be surprised. Learning about the heritage buildings, doing the Carleton Place Mural Tour or visiting small local museums (like Heritage House in Smiths Falls or The Carleton Place & Beckwith Heritage Museum) are a great way to spend a few hours. There are no better stories then the real ones and our communities are full of tales of intrigue and mystery, and they can even learn about their own ancestors along the way. If you’re looking to explore some larger museums then visit your local library to check out the free family passes for most of the most popular ones in the National Capital region.
  8. Lights, Camera, Action! – Make it a movie night by visiting the Port Elmsely Drive In, complete with onsite food this is an affordable way to spend a warm summer evening (Fun tip – bring a quick pop up tent or screen to ward off any bugs and a few chairs and enjoy the movie outside the car). If the Drive in isn’t your scene, most of our area communities have Movies in the Park throughout the summer – Movies under the Stars starts on June 29th in Smiths Falls and includes snacks and special themed activities too! If home is more your speed hang a sheet or use the back wall of your house to set up your own drive in. A simple projector and some plug and play speakers and your set for a summer of movie nights at home.
  9. Art in the Park– Summer is my favourite time of year for arts and crafts, mostly because the mess can stay outside but also because there is a wealth of new material to create with. Art journaling is great and your kids can start a scrap book of summer adventures. Have them dedicate a page to each day out and fill it with drawings, memories and bits collected on the way.
  10. Hunt On – Summer is the season of Auction Sales, Flea Markets and Garage Sales. Why not spend a Saturday on a special kind of treasure hunt. Have everyone in your house take $5-$10 and see what they can find for their budget. Have a little Show N Tell at the end of the day to see what deals everyone found and why they choose them. I snagged a 200 year old Family bible last Saturday at an auction for $2.00!! It really is fun for all ages!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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