Memorial Day has come and gone and we all know what that means; summer is on the horizon! A lot of schools have already gotten out but Nate's school isn't out until June 7th. He spends a larger portion of the summer with his bio dad, but I know that we really want to plan some fun activities that we can partake in as a family this year when we are all together. Ezra will be two (in just a week, oh my goodness!) and Micah will be one in August. They are getting more aware of things and are able to do a lot more. This will be the first summer in two years that I'm not either pregnant or home with a newborn, and I am ready to go have some fun myself.
That's when I decided that we should make a summer family bucket list of fun things that we would all like to do together. At first I was thinking that 50 things sounded good (I think big!), but then Sean, as usual, brought me back down to earth and made me realize that maybe 10 would be a little bit more of a realistic goal. If we do all 10 then we can just start a new list!
Here is our list. Some of it is a little more general, but some of it is specific to us here in North Carolina. I feel like this would still be great for folks who don't live in our region, because it could spark some ideas about what you could plan for your family this summer. Let me know if you have or plan on having a summer family bucket list in the comments and what you'll be doing!
Summer Family Bucket List:
- Visit a lavender farm: Lavender Oaks Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (roughly three hours from us) opens to visit in May and peak bloom is from then until mid-July. The cost to visit is only $5 per person (and kids under five are free!), and you are able to pick lavender for a fee as well as buy their lavender products. I can only imagine how heavenly it would smell and how soothing it would be to walk among fields of lavender!
- Go on an evening picnic: It can get really hot here during the day in the summer and because Sean doesn't get off work until 5, having an evening family picnic would be a great way to end the day. Two of our favorite local parks are Freedom Park and Latta Park. Both have amble seating, beautiful trees, and great playgrounds for the littles. To make it easy, picking up some premade food from Trader Joe's (y'all know it is my fave) would be super tasty; they have the best premade salads, sandwiches, and dessert. You also can't forget an adorable picnic basket, complete with your own plates and cutlery to cut down on waste!
- Take a day trip to Asheville: Asheville, North Carolina is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I love how in the summer it trends a little bit cooler than the foothills. Just walking around downtown is heavenly to me and if you are someone who is looking for vegan or vegetarian food, it is the place for you. I eat vegetarian on and off but I almost always forgo meat when I am up there. My two favorite places are Rosetta's Kitchen and Laughing Seed Cafe.
- Go to an outdoor concert at Symphony Park: The Charlotte Symphony has a Summer Pops series at Symphony Park, a beautiful small amphitheater right in the heart of the South Park area of Charlotte. The symphony is going to be performing music from Star Wars on June 16th, and as much as we love Star Wars? I think that one will be a must!
- Go to a Charlotte Knights baseball game: It is no real secret that we are not exactly the most sporty family in the world (none of us actively play or watch sports) but going to a baseball game is actually a lot of fun! The team here in Charlotte, the Charlotte Knights, plays at BB&T Ballpark which has the most beautiful views of the city of Charlotte. Plus on Saturdays there are fireworks!
- Take the littles to a splash pad: We are wanting to get both littles in swim lessons this summer, but while they are learning how to swim it would be really cool to take them to a splash pad to help them get used to the water and to cool off on super hot days! Charlotte Parent just posted a great article with the six best spraygrounds and splash pads in the city, and I know we will be checking a few of them out. Summer always means new swimming attire for the kids, so I put together a few cute trunks, swim shirts, and water shoes from Target for all three of my boys according to their (almost) ages (13, 2, and 1).
- Go to and outdoor summer movie: All over Charlotte their are opportunities to go see a movie outside; they are generally in parks and start after dusk. I found a great list of options here.
- Have a family sleepover: A fun idea would be for all of us to 'camp out' in our living room and have a sleepover! Staying up late, watching movies, having pizza and snacks, and then making blanket palettes on the family room floor to sleep. I know that might not be the greatest idea for every family but we already bed share with the littles and if we had a big enough bed even the almost teenager would want to come chill too, ha!
- Go to a Juneteenth event: If you aren't in the know, Juneteenth (June 19th) is the celebration of the end of chattel slavery in the United States. I have always wanted to go to the Junteenth Festival of the Carolinas that takes place here in Charlotte, and I for sure want to make this year the year it happens. Sean and I feel like it is so important to share important cultural events with our kids so they know their history and are proud of where they came from.
- Visit local farmers markets: There is nothing better than super fresh produce and there are so many great local farmer's markets here in the area that have so much to offer. From produce to spices to baked goods to fresh flowers, there is something for everyone to enjoy. A couple of our faves are the Davidson Farmers Market, the Kings Drive Farmers Market, the Atherton Mill Farmers Market, and the Matthews Community Farmers Market.