Ahhhh, summer vacation at last! We spent the first week of our family summer vacation driving madly across the province and back. We visited with siblings and cousins on both sides of the family and made a few new friends as well. There may or may not be a blog post about all that (oy, how am I still THIS BUSY on vacation???) but you can see several thousand words’ worth of pictures on Flickr.
But now we’re home, and we have two more glorious weeks of vacation. While I’m trying not to be too neurotic about the planning and scheduling of activities, I do have a mental checklist of things I would like to do with the family before I have to go back to work after the long weekend. It’s kind of a bucket list for summer family fun!
1. Britannia Beach
It kind of pales by comparison to our visit to Lake Huron, but I still love to visit the beach at Britannia at least once every summer. The kids love to play in the water, and I love to sit on the sand on a blanket at watch them. We must also bring lemonade and plain potato chips, because that’s what we eat on the beach. There will also be sand toys. And probably pictures.
2. Used books and ice cream
I love that we can walk to “downtown” Manotick from our place. There’s no better way to pass an idle summer morning than wandering down to the used book sale in the carriage house of Watson’s Mill and then making our way over to the Hodge Podge Shoppe for ice cream.
3. Upper Canada Village and McHaffie’s Flea Market
If you shoot straight down Bank Street for less than an hour, just before you hit Morrisburg you’ll find McHaffie’s Flea Market, one of the best in the region. (It’s where I got my delightful red wagon, star of many recent family photography sessions!) Once you’ve made it that far, it’s only a skip down Highway 2 to Upper Canada Village. One of our favourite traditions within a tradition is buying a hunk of cheese and a loaf of bread, both made on site at Upper Canada Village, and having lunch on the porch of the little general store. Also terrific for photos, if you’re so inclined!
4. Uno on the porch
Who says you have to spend money to have fun? An after-dinner Uno tournament on the porch is the perfect way to while away a sultry summer evening when it’s too hot in the house.
5. An afternoon at the splash pad
We love the Barrhaven splash pad, but there’s a great one at Riverside South as well. This is another great (and free) way to spend a hot summer day. I love the fact that the boys are now old enough to play on their own, so I can get wet or just sit in the shade and supervise from a distance. An excuse to sit under a tree and do nothing on a sunny summer afternoon? Hook me up!! Got a fave splash pad in your ‘hood? I’m up for a neighbourhood splash pad tour if you care to share.
Wait, I’m at five already? What about camping in the back yard? A picnic in the park? Andrew Haydon Park? Feeding the ducks at the dam? Maybe I should have made this a list of ten favourite summer traditions. You think maybe this is why I’m feeling so busy, even on summer vacation?
Thanks to my friends at Fisher-Price Canada for inspiring this blog post. I love working with Fisher-Price because they promote the value of play, including families playing together. And aren’t summers supposed to be about play?
Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Play Panel and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
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