Imagining your young child as a teenager may be nearly impossible for you. The years seem endless and the hours move so slowly at times. However, from the time your child is born to the time he turns 18, you have just 940 Saturdays together. For parents, weekends (which should be calm and restful) are often filled to the brim with less-than-memorable minutia of day-to-day life. Household projects, sports leagues, and deadline-dependent work projects dominate your weekend hours. You want to connect with your family and get the most of your weekend, but doing what? Not every weekend can include a budget-draining special event. But just a few hours carved out of your schedule can be memorable for your child and enjoyable for the whole family. Here are some quick weekend activities for summer!
- Visit the Local Farmer’s Market
For budding chefs and adventurous eaters, the Farmer’s Market can be a place of discovery. Chat with the vendors about their products. Talk about how different items grow. Discuss what part of each plant we eat. Taste the samples. Choose something new to try as a family and add it to your dinner plans. Don’t forget to buy a cookie or sweet treat from the baker’s stand as dessert. Our favorite markets are a part of The Loudoun County Homegrown Markets Cooperative.
- Explore a New Playground
Every child loves a playground. Even more, every kid loves the thrill of a new playground. Sure, they all have a slide and a tunnel, but the experience of a new place gives a feeling of excitement. Check out your local elementary schools and state parks. One favorite in our area is the Potomack Lakes Sportsplex playground, which features shaded playground spaces for kids of different ages.
- Dine Alfresco
Instead of eating inside this weekend, pack up your lunch and take it outside. Sure, your toddler may wander away from the blanket and your elementary kid may corral all the nearby ants, but they will both be creating memories. Add to the fun by offering foods that you don’t normally serve. Relax your normal mealtime rules for this special experience. Enjoy the fresh air and the leisurely time together.
- Take in a Concert
Many local communities offer free summer concerts. Some even offer kid-focused bands and performers. Get silly and dance together. Everyone will sleep well after an evening spent moving and grooving. Local favorites with free summer concert series include One Loudoun in Ashburn or the Village at Leesburg.
- Enjoy a Summer Splash
When it’s hot outside, even a little bit of water can help cool you down. Most kids love playing in water and will do so willingly for a long time. Your neighborhood pool or local splash pad are ways to go all out (and get all in the water), but even a bucket of water in the driveway paired with some sponges and will be enjoyed. Water balloons have come a long way since we were kids; now you can fill 30 at a time in under a minute. In our area, Volcano Island Waterpark offers water fun for the whole family.