The summer months offer a unique opportunity for families to escape the rat race, enjoy each other’s company and make great memories together.
Instead of business as usual and letting others determine your summer schedule, consider making your own agenda - one that's full of adventure and fun. This might sound like a pipe dream, but many families know it doesn’t have to be just wishful thinking.
Your first step to summer fun is to consider all of your options. It's easy to take for granted what is right outside your door when you have lived in the area for a while, but the Tennessee Valley has some real gems that are perfect for family adventures. Here are some ideas to get your list going:
If you want an easy drive, check out the Mayfield Dairy or Sweetwater Valley Farm.
If your family enjoys the outdoors, your choices are endless. The Tennessee Valley has some of the most beautiful recreation areas around. You could spend the summer exploring parks in the region and probably would not be able to see them all. From Bald River Falls, Cloudland Canyon and Big South Fork to Fall Creek Falls, Chester Frost Park, Lula Lake Land Trust, Chickamauga Battlefield, Pigeon Mountain and the Smokies, whether you love the challenge of a rigorous hike or an easy walk, primitive camping or glamping, or just want to learn about the history of the area, there is something for every skill level and taste.
Replace technology with bike rides, swimming, volleyball in the sand, nature walks, beautiful sunsets that are hard to see from inside your house and the opportunity to make new friends. Even if you can’t do this overnight, consider going for the day.
Try to visit some of the local attractions that often get overlooked because they are right under your nose. Consider riding the carousel or playing in the fountain at Coolidge Park. Got to the zoo, attend a Lookouts game or play at the Warner Park Splash Park (Families are $5 on Mondays after 5 p.m.). Attend Nightfall or picnic at Movies in the Park at Coolidge Park in July.
Gather with friends. Have you ever talked about getting together with someone but didn’t set a date? The next thing you know, the summer is over and nothing ever happened. Make a plan!
Read the same book as a family. Let your children choose a book for the whole family to read and talk about it over a family meal.
Make a summer scrapbook. Each family member can be responsible for scrapbooking one of your summer events. Or, everyone can do their own thing for all of the summer’s activities.
Don’t be afraid to jump off the merry-go-round of life in order to provide restoration for your family. Spend time this summer with the people who mean the most to you, because life is short. Instead of wishing you had, you’ll be glad to say you did.