What we can do on summer vacation

May 09, 2012

At my son's parent/tot pre-school class earlier this week, we created lists of things we want to do this summer. The thinking is that if you write them down, putting pen (or pencil) to paper and put them somewhere for everyone to see, you're more apt to do them and less likely to ignore them.

(I'm also somewhat copying colleague Marissa Gallo, who wrote a similar etc. column for today's Aegis.)

So here's what I want to do this summer, some of these involve the kids, others they may not be so interested in.

Take Henry fishing. I'm not sure that Emily, at 18 months, is really old enough, but I think it's something Henry, at 3, would really enjoy. Especially if he caught a fish. We have lots of options – the pond at my parents' house, Bynum or Friends ponds or even the Susquehanna. We're probably more apt to catch something at one of the stocked ponds, so for my impatient 3-year-old, my parents' house is going to be our best bet.

But fishing the Susquehanna brings me to another thing to do this summer, and both kids can have fun – hiking the Susquehanna.

I'd like to start at the Conowingo Dam so the kids can get a good look at the dam from an angle besides driving over it. I think it would fascinate Henry. Then he can ride his bike and Emily can walk the trail along the river. One of the moms in my class had the idea to give their kids a magnifying glass to get good looks at things they find – sounds like fun to me! It would be a great way for them both to get some exercise and to see nature in a different way.

I want to take one of the walking historic tours of Havre de Grace. I know bits and pieces about the city's history, but it would be interesting to have it all put in perspective for me and see what roles the various buildings played. While we're there, we'll also check out First Fridays in town. After walking for an hour and a half, it will be nice to relax outside and listen to some music, maybe grab a bite to eat. Sounds like a good date night for me and my husband.

While we're in the area, maybe we'll head over to Hollywood Casino in Perryville and spin the reels a few times. My husband and I like to gamble a little (I like table games better), but we're really too cheap to waste too much money. We're both realistic, we know we're not going to win big. Instead of staying the night in Atlantic City, a few hours in Perryville may satisfy our itches.

The kids would have a good time at an IronBirds game. Henry might like to actually watch the game for a little bit, Emily not so much. But there's lots of other stuff for her to do – or I could just chase her around for a while. I can get their pictures taken with Ferrous and let them bounce around on the kids amenities. Maybe Henry could get an autograph of a player, one he'll be able to follow through the minor leagues into the majors as Henry gets older.

I'm looking forward to the 4th of July and celebrating twice (partially selfishly because Emily has a few cute outfits). Henry loved the parade last year and sat in rapture as the fire trucks and cool cars and other neat floats made their way down Main Street in Bel Air. What he didn't like were the fireworks, but I'm hoping that's changed this year.

The 4th has become fun for us – we go to a party hosted by my husband's high school friend, then walk up to the parade and stay until the kids have had enough. It makes for a fun, inexpensive evening.

I'd like to add Havre de Grace to our celebration this year. Heck, everyone loves a parade, so of course they'll love two of them!

Really, what I'd like to do is enjoy the summer. We don't have any grandiose plans or big vacation and I don't want to get bogged down with the projects that have to be done or errands that have to be run. Instead, I want to do new, inexpensive things as a family to expose our children to as many things as possible. Painting this or cleaning that can wait until fall and winter – we plan to be outside as much as possible.

Now that I've put these things to paper, it's time to cut out this list and start crossing them off before summer passes us by.

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