Summer fun for not too much dough

Ivy says:

Recently Meredith and I had an email exchange where she asked me what I had planned for the kids to do over the summer. I never answered her, because as anyone who has ever emailed back and forth with me knows, I’m spotty about answering email. It’s not y’all, it’s me. I put things to answer later when I have more time, and when I realize I’ve failed to respond to someone, it’s too late.

Well, better late than never, and I figured I’d share with you guys here what my plans are.

I plan to drop some more specific posts about what we’re doing throughout the summer, but in general, I’m planning to do lots of fun things. Since sending the kids either to sleepaway camp or day camp is not in this summer’s budget, I plan to have a “camp at home” kind of thing with lots of fun field trips. We’re lucky to live in an area with lots of wildlife and fishing spots, and I intend to hit many of them with the kids.

For the locals, I’m specifically planning on hitting many of the Civil War battlegrounds for both some history and wildlife/plant learning. The Stones River Battlefield in Murfreesboro, Tennessee is home to cedar glades, which only occur in our part of Middle Tennessee.

I’m going to take the kids to some u-pick farms to teach them about farming and where their food comes from. I’m also searching for a local farm with some farm animals so my kids can “meet their meat,” heh.

As far as a longer trip this year, with gas prices being so expensive, we’ll have to stay fairly close. I’m thinking of taking the kids to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky for some “cool” fun.

And, of course, we’re going to make things. Messes, primarily, but I’m also going to work on teaching my daughter to sew (and yes, sewers, I’m going to get back to my sewing tutorials!) and we’ll probably paint and make clay stuff from the mud in our yard (clay soil: good for making stuff, bad for growing things).

So, that’s the grand plan. I can’t wait until school is out! This is the last week! Tell me, Home Eccers, what are you doing with the kids this summer?


  1. noodle on June 4, 2008 at 1:37 am

    If you decide to go to Mammoth Cave, definitely hit Kentucky Down Under as well. We just got back from a vacation in that area.

  2. Malia on May 22, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I wrote about this on my blog a few days ago. My kids always want to know what we’re doing and where we’re going, practically on a minute by minute basis! I’m working on a calendar of activities so that I have at least a general plan for our days. We will have pool days, field trip days and do nothing days (though not as many as I’D like!) The Stones River Battlefield sounds like a great idea! As does Meredith’s suggestions of the TN history museum.

    We’re taking our annual trip to PA in June and combining it with a short trip into Washington D.C. to sightsee and visit family up that way. I’d also like to do at least one weekend getaway (Mammoth Cave sounds interesting!) as well…but we’ll see how the timing and most importantly the budget work out on that!

  3. Leah Ingram on May 20, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    So funny you would ask this. I just wrote about the notion of the “locavacation” here:


  4. Angela on May 20, 2008 at 10:09 am

    For two of my kids, whos birthdays are two day apart, I bought them a family soo membership. We have a very little zoo where I live, but big enough to wear them out at. We also plan on some fishing and swimming in the lake. That is free and always fun to do on a hot afternoon.

  5. Veronica on May 20, 2008 at 10:02 am

    My favorite thing to do with the kids in the summer is go to the drive in movies. There are so few left, but we just love going. There’s a great one on the Tennessee/Georgia border that we went to when I was at the Cornbread Festival. It’s very family oriented and they have pretty tasty food (for a drive in!). Here in CT we have to drive a bit to get to one, but the kids love it.

  6. Mom of three on May 19, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Other than a family trip to the beach, I plan on doing very little with mine. 🙂 The oldest is happy to sleep till 2 and then stay up late. He loves to read so he stays busy doing that. The middle one is in LUV, so I am sure they will find lots of movies, the mall etc, to keep them busy, and the youngest loves to swim, and play Webkins. We are so busy during the school year that I have no issues with them zoning during the summer. In fact, that’s what I plan on doing as well. If I am not by the pool, I plan on being in my easy chair. August comes much too soon.

  7. JayMonster on May 19, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks to the fact that we have to burn so much time during the school year for days off, half days and other times we don’t have any aftercare, we have relatively little time left outside of our one week in the Poconos… so we are stuck spending entirely too much dough to ensure she goes to a camp that is more than just sitting around. And then try to keep our weekend day trips relatively inexpensive. Zoo trips, Caves, Buskill Falls, museums, etc.

  8. Meredith on May 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Oooh…Mammoth Cave! I had forgotten about that one.

    I knew you’d have some clever ideas.

    We really enjoyed the free TN State Museum beneath TPAC. (Very air conditioned, too!)

    Last summer we spent a lot of time at Percy Priest Lake’s beach, and we did our own 5-day scavenger hunt at the zoo. (Studying a different area each day)

    I want to come up with a plan for this summer so I don’t let too many days slip away.