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It's Here...Summer Vacation

That magical time is upon us- summer vacation. My kids are in their last full week of school-this means last minute field trips and award ceremonies. School is out on May 31, and that means until August 15, these kids are all mine.

Yikes.

That also means I get to keep them from mauling each other.

How will that get accomplished?

Food, wifi, and sleep. I plan on letting them sleep until 10 AM (cut off time for the boys' meds) and going from there. I'm not one of those super scheduler moms, and if you're one of those- wow. I don't know how you even begin to do it. I just don't have the brain capacity.

Besides those three things, I have plans for fun things that I'm going to share so that maybe you, too, can keep your kids from mauling each other. The parenting struggle is real for all of us, right?


The Plan
We live in the suburbs of Louisville, KY. This means we are about a half hour from a lot of activities. I'm going for free or cheap because there's three of them and one of me. Cameron is 13 so 12 and under prices really don't work for him anymore and after this summer, Julian won't qualify for them either. He will turn 12 on July 18, a fact that shatters my soul. I also like to stay within that half hour of home because of gas prices- they just hit $3. I don't plan on going out everyday because Julian gets overwhelmed by that and I get tired out pretty easily. We tried for 2-3 days a week last year and that worked out pretty well.

Petting Zoo- Right at the half hour drive limit, there is this great petting zoo called Henry's Ark. All three kids love it, and it's free. We try to go twice a month when it's not too terribly hot, because the animals tend to hide when it is. One year, I learned that peacocks do make noise, and it's one of the most horrifying things I have ever heard. Most kids like petting zoos, so this is a win for everyone.

Parks- Bigger win if it has a splash pad. The park closest to us is really new and has a huge splash pad. We take snacks and drinks- it's almost a whole afternoon outing. There is also a 120 step silo at this park and we love walking to the top because you can see pretty far from there. Parks are free and you can stay there all day long. Don't forget sunscreen.

Mini-golf- If you can catch a deal, this isn't a bad way to spend an afternoon. There is a course a few miles from home and I am waiting to catch a deal. Like many kids, my kids are competitive and love mini golf. This can be a lot of fun.

Movies- A lot of movie theaters are running specials throughout the summer. Some are free, some are $1 each. Most run at 9 or 10 am. You can find these by using Google "free summer kid movies" or "cheap summer kid movies". The kids and I saw "Angry Birds" and a couple other movies this way last year. We plan on doing this again. Why not?

Library programs- Most libraries offer reading programs. Louisville's also offers a cultural pass, which is free admission for a kid (each kid has to get their own) and an adult to get into places throughout the city on certain days throughout the summer. I think Cameron will do the teen reading program, but I know Julian won't touch the kid one. Lily will for sure. I'm getting cultural passes for all three kids, and we can get into the Zoo, the Science Center, and other places for free. We loved it last year.

Chores- This is the summer of the cleanout and redoing of the kids' rooms. They just don't know it yet *evil mom laugh*. Their rooms need repainting and the boys are ready to get rid of the bunk beds. This means major cleaning, and Lily's room- well, it needs a makeover. Perfect timing, right? It isn't fun, but we have all the time on the planet.

Old-school fun- washing my car, water-balloon fights, slip and slides, sidewalk chalk, playing tag, the fun stuff! We have gotten a slip and slide every summer for years and everyone loves it. There's a huge collection of sidewalk chalk in our garage. I think they are old enough to learn how to wash a car.

Art things- Paint rocks, coloring, etc. I've been wanting to paint rocks and I think the kids may enjoy it. They like to color so this can be a fun activity.

Friends/Family Time- The kids want to hang out with their friends over the summer and I am okay with this. (Quiet time for Mom? YES PLEASE!) They also have cousins close in age to them that they see a lot, so this means more hanging out time. Julian's birthday party is always a fun summer event. Last year we had a dunk tank so I'm not sure what this year's party will contain.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST.....A FAMILY TRIP TO DAYTONA BEACH. Is Daytona ready for us?

What are your plans for summer vacation with the kids?

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