Well, it happened. The school somehow came to a close. There are no more Zoom calls scheduled with teachers and no more trying to balance kindergarten virtual learning with working from home. My daughter’s first year in elementary school is over, despite it all. Now, it is time to start looking ahead to warmer days and summer vacations. It’s time to create our annual summer fun list.
However, this year, with social gatherings limited and many of our normal family fun spots still uncertain about opening at all, we are trying to adjust our usual plans to fit the reality of a post-quarantine summer.
Normally, our summer fun list would include lots of local favorites like Worlds of Fun, Summit Lanes (the Kids Bowl Free program is our fave), and Paradise Park. But this year, while we are still crossing our fingers that these will still be safe options at some point, we are adjusting our expectations to fit a COVID-19 summer.
The new summer goal is to stay healthy and safe while still managing to have plenty of fun! Here’s some of the top things on our list!
Visit a New Park
Every summer, we try to seek out at least two new parks. This summer will be no different. While playgrounds may or may not be open, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Plan on finding a park with plenty of green space to throw down a blanket and run and play while maintaining a safe social distance if necessary. Pack a picnic lunch, bring some games and yard toys from home, and just enjoy the extra dose of Vitamin D.
Tour Kansas City
In Kansas City, we are lucky to have lots of options for taking a tour around our fabulous city. Check out the fun murals that are painted on the sides of many buildings around town. These are all great photo ops that will create fun memories with your family. Take a tour of some of the 200 fountains that make Kansas City—The City of Fountains. Whether it’s Kansas City history or just local pizza joints, there is plenty of fun to be had in KC.
Find a New Favorite
There is no better time than now to be supporting our local businesses. Make an effort to visit a new ice cream place, order pizza from a new spot, or pick up Saturday morning donuts from a local favorite. With many businesses continuing to offer curbside pickup and delivery options, there’s really no excuse not to try a new place. You will be supporting a locally owned business and enjoying a fun treat with the family.
Just Have Fun
From sidewalk chalk murals to s’mores in the backyard, summer is a time to rest, reset, re-energize. This year more than ever, we deserve to take a break. We’ve spent the last few months stuck inside, we are either trying to work from home or braving the world as an essential worker, and teaching our children how to adapt to Google classroom and Zoom meetings all while trying to maintain our homes, relationships, and sanity.
So, this summer, take time to breathe and enjoy creating a family memory that doesn’t require a theme park, plane ride, or even a beach. Teach your kids a new board game. Pop some popcorn and turn your kitchen into a concession stand for family movie night. Blow bubbles. Roast marshmallows. Take photos. Run through the sprinkler. Ride a bike.
Whatever you do, just remember to stay smart, stay healthy, stay safe, and have fun!