I know it's not officially the end of summer, but something about Labor Day weekend says "Let's not fool ourselves, people. Summer is pretty much over." The end of summer, official or implied, seems like as good of a time as any to look back on our 23 x 23 List for a Six-Tastic Summer.
Was it Six-Tastic? Well, it was probably our best summer as a party of four yet. Did we do everything on the list? Um, no. I think I was a tad overambitious, especially with the things that required road trips. A car trip here and there with a 2 year old is fine. A car trip every other week? Not so much. Here's the list, updated with things we did and notes on those we didn't complete. You can find a complete list of posts on our 23 x 23 activities here.
The Official 23 x 23 List for a Six-tastic Summer
- Ride the 1859 Balloon Voyage at Conner Prairie
- Have a picnic at the new 100 Acres Art & Nature Park at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and check out the Jeppe Hein exhibit (The Jeppe Hein exhibit is gone, but we still plan to visit 100 Acres. The days we wanted to go were just too darn hot, and I was warned that 100 Acres + hot, tired kids = no fun.)
- Make our own popsicles (It helps if you actually own popsicle molds. Note to self: buy some before next summer.)
- Sign up for the summer reading program at our local library
- Spend a rainy day in our pj's (It helps if it actually rains in the summer.)
- Go to an Indianapolis Indians game and stay for fireworks ( I give myself an E for effort here. We went to a Fort Wayne Tincaps game instead. Tried to stay for fireworks, but game was called for lightning.)
- Start a weekly board game night (Well now, this sounds like a great fall tradition!)
- Go crabbing while we're at the Outer Banks of North Carolina
- See a free summer movie (I'm taking this off the list. We watch enough TV at home.)
- Go horseback riding at Fort Harrison State Park (Moving this to Fall Break list, when leaves are changing.)
- "Sugar" our trees to catch moths at night
- Go fishing (I'm sorry. This just never sounded that appealing.)
- Slide down the giant toilet in Columbus, Indiana
- Make tin can telephones
- Pick blackberries
- Catch a free outdoor concert
- Spend a day in Fort Wayne
- Play mini-golf (Must do this soon. Eli killed the mini-golf course in the FFA tent at the State Fair.)
- Summer treasure hunt at Ritchey Woods (Definitely adding this to our Fall list.)
- Order pizza for dinner at the pool
- Visit the Columbian Park Zoo in Lafayette (See above note about road trips.)
- Treat the kids to Chuck-E-Cheese (God help me)
- Spend an evening catching fireflies
So all in all, we did 13 out of 23. That sounds so pitiful now, but I promise you – our summer was busy. Almost too busy for my liking, so here's what I would do differently next summer.
- Less scheduled camps for Elena. She had fun, but not crazy fun. She has 2 camps that she absolutely loves, the rest are just okay. Next year I'll only sign her up for those two, leaving more weeks open for outings or just lounging by the pool.
- Shorter list. To knock off everything on the list in 12 weeks, we would have had to do two things every week. Add to that a week at the beach and various camps, and we really only had a few weeks left.
- More unscheduled time. I thought the key to a good summer would be to keep us on a schedule. To a point, that is true. Looking back, though, I feel like we didn't spend enough time just being. Too much running around, not enough swimming, riding bikes, or running around like hooligans in the back yard.
I'll totally do this again next year, though. It really did help me complete my goals for the summer: Have Fun. Don't Kill Each Other. We had fun. We are still alive. Mission Accomplished.
What was the most fun thing you did this summer? What summer activity will you miss the most? I'd love to hear your thoughts – maybe it will make next year's list!