Summertime!

By on 5 May, 2012 in Fun, Heather Coleman with 0 Comments

Summer vacation starts in a mere six weeks. For us, things always start off beautifully with trips to the splash pad, pool and the parks, hikes around Fort Toulouse, trips to the beach, etc. After July 4th it all goes downhill. It is too hot to play outside for more than a few minutes, and we get tired of driving across town to swim at the Bell Road YMCA every day. We end up holed up in the house in front of computers and videogames, with the curtains drawn and the AC on high. By the beginning of August I had broken up one too many fights over whose turn it was to play the Wii, and I vowed that this summer I would have a plan.
Life moves quickly though. When I was at dinner with a couple of girlfriends the other night, talk shifted to summer plans and I realized that before I know it choruses of, “I’m bored, can I play the Wii?” will be far too common. After dinner I came home and immediately starting searching for fun things to do this summer.

Really learning to swim is a priority for us this year. Last year both boys got the basics at the YMCA, but I felt like they might benefit from a more experienced instructor. Several friends have recommended Adventure Sports. I love that they are in midtown, so I don’t have to spend two weeks of my summer trying to make it across town by 9am. Their website lacks a little info on the group classes, but give them a call. They are scheduling for the summer now.

Both of my boys attend Bear, and Camp Invention comes highly recommended. Camp Invention is a week long hands-on science camp for kids in grades 1-6. It is held at Bear (but isn’t just for Bear students) and runs June 12-15th. The cost is $215 per kid, so a little steep for us if both kids are interested, but it looks amazing! They have multiple themes that you can choose from, and the focus is slightly different for each.

Zoo camp is also a possibility for my younger son Simon. He loves animals and I feel like $135 for a half-day camp is pretty reasonable. I love that it is educational but by no means does it sound dull! From the looks of their  website, they are filling up quickly, so if you want to get in on it, contact them ASAP!

Neither of  my children really excel at art, but I feel like that in part it is because I haven’t really let them explore a variety of art mediums. The art supplies at my house have always been on lockdown because Simon loved to cut his own hair and color all over furniture. He has outgrown that (I think!), but we have never really pulled the art supplies back out. In my hunt for summer entertainment, I saw that Barb’s on Mullberry will be offering art camps this summer. The Museum of Fine Arts will also offer both half and full day camps that sound really neat. Wonder if  the boys will think so?

Simon is a very dramatic kid, and for several years I have thought, “Man I should get this kid into theater.” I mean he is 7 and can literally cry on cue 🙂 . Cloverdale Playhouse hasn’t gotten their summer schedule out yet, but I am waiting patiently! I love that they are community theater, and you can’t get much closer to home, so my first preference is to get him involved there. I did see that ASF has classes, but they are for older kids. If I lived in Wetumpka, I would definitely get him involved at the Wetumpka Depot, and if classes at the playhouse don’t pan out, I may decide to make the trek out there anyway!

My ten year old, Liam, has  really gotten into fitness in the last year, and so I decided to look for general fitness classes for kids. MJ Yoga has Saturday classes in June and July, but it is for teens. The Armory has gymnastics, but that isn’t exactly what I was looking for. Golf camp was a possibility, but I wasn’t sure that it would hold his interest. A friend just told me that O’Connor Tennis Center offers lessons for kids during the summer, so I am going to give them a call. I think that tennis might be a good sport for him. Huntingdon also offers tennis clinics, so if this is something that he enjoys, then maybe we will try out those next summer. Huntingdon also offers baseball and basketball camps, but those seem to be for kids more skilled at sports than mine!

When I was a kid, I participated in the summer reading program at our local public library every summer and LOVED it. It was probably the highlight of my year. With the ability to order books and have them delivered to my house the next day, visits to the library have gotten few and far between for us. My seven year old is turning into a voracious reader though, and he is already working his way through his brother’s book collection, so I see a lot of trips to the library in our future. As of yet they don’t have info up on their website about the summer reading program, but hopefully it will be up soon.

We always spend time during the summer at the splash pad downtown, bowling at ACE bowling and riding bikes at Gateway Park (one of Montgomery’s best kept secrets if you ask me!). There is also something pretty awesome about going into the cool, dark planetarium on a mid-summer day. The Capri offers cheap kid entertainment in the form of children’s matinees on Thursdays and Fridays throughout the summer. We will probably also spend time skating at Looney’s since both boys learned to skate this year.

Hopefully with all of these options, coupled with a few out of town trips, we won’t end up with the same mid-summer slump as we have in previous years!

Heather Coleman is a freelance writer and part-time DIY’er who mostly manages to fit her projects in around her family and her volunteer work. She lives with her husband, two boys and two pets in Midtown. She is on Google+, Linked In, Twitter and Pinterest.

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