Am I the only one who gets melancholy after the Fourth of July? I always have a wistful feeling that the best days of summer are over by the time we get to that halfway point. This year, I’m determined to savor the last days of summer and continue to make memories—even if we start school in mid-August. Here’s how I plan to make the most of the last weeks of later bedtimes, a more relaxed routine, and hotter temperatures.
7 Ways to Savor the End of Summer with Kids
1. Plan an extra-special weekend to look forward to as summer wanes.
The last few years, we’ve done a hotel staycation in Dallas over Labor Day weekend. In 2020, we stayed in the Granite Park area of Plano. A pool, kid-friendly restaurants, and movies in our room were all that we needed to put the exclamation point on the end of summer. Last year, we stayed at the Hilton Anatole and enjoyed Jade Waters for two days. My kids are officially obsessed with any sort of lazy river. We finished our weekend with full hearts and sun-kissed faces.
This year, we’ve rented a cabin in Broken Bow at Beyond Pines for the weekend before school starts for lots of time on the wraparound porch, smore’s by the firepit, and just to reconnect. Our family has never been to Broken Bow together and I can’t wait to get away for a couple of days. Want to do something similar? Be sure to check out our post on planning a family getaway to Broken Bow & Beavers Bend State Park.
2. Rethink that unfinished summer bucket list.
We’ve seen the memes of the fresh-faced mom equipped with crafts and amazing snacks on day one of summer. And we’ve seen her alter ego at the end of summer, frazzled and tired of being cruise director. If you feel maxed out and bummed that you didn’t do all the things you set out to do this summer, give yourself some grace. Remix that bucket list and remember that some of the most special times with your family aren’t an all-day trip to the beach, zoo, or another big-ticket item, but can be as simple as popcorn and a movie you’ve been wanting to watch together.
Or alternatively, if you have a bucket list item you REALLY want to make happen, get creative with your time and intentions. Trying to get your kid to learn how to swim? Commit to more time at the pool or look up swim lessons that may be still available. Our local YMCA still has open slots. No time to finish the beach read you took on vacation because “it’s a trip, not a vacation”? Start with 15 minutes of reading time each night and enjoy that beach read!
3. Start a new tradition.
Just because you didn’t start on week one of summer, doesn’t mean it’s too late! We decided that we are moving our Friday family pizza and movie night to the pool for the rest of the summer. So, until at least Labor Day, we plan to pick the kids up from school, go to the pool, and order pizza every Friday evening.
4. Relive your memories.
Did you take a fun trip? Attend a family reunion? Did the kids learn a new skill this summer? Create something memorable from your summer experiences. Send a postcard from Touchnote to the family members you met up with, create a photo album from Chatbooks, or print out a photo of your tribe at the beach.
5. Bring the vacation to your mailbox.
Do you know any friends or family taking a late vacation? Ask them to send your kids postcards from their trips so you can live vicariously through them. Even better, provide the stamp and an address label to make it easy on them.
6. Reconnect with school friends.
Are your kids missing classmates they haven’t seen since the last bell back in May? Arrange a late summer playdate with a few school friends to help them reconnect and get excited about the coming year before things get hectic with back-to-school activities.
7. Work back-to-school shopping into a fun day or a new tradition.
August 5–7 is Tax-Free Weekend. You probably have items you need to buy for the kids, so why not make it special? Head to the mall for some shopping, but throw in a stop to recharge at a movie. Or take your kids on one-on-one shopping dates and out for a meal. Get them excited about going back to school and make the process less of a chore and more of a summer milestone before that big first day back.
Summer is one of my favorite times of the year, and I dig my heels in every time it comes to a close. I look forward to trying new ways to prolong that summer vibe. Even as I think about ways to transition back to school, I plan to incorporate special moments and savor that free-spirited outlook that comes with the warmer months.
How do you plan to savor the end of summer? Or are you just looking forward to that back-to-school routine? Let me know in the comments!