School is officially out for summer and I couldn’t be happier. Slow mornings, packing lunches is no longer on my “to-do” list and we have plenty of time to relax and recharge. Well, a mom can dream right? I can hear my kids saying “I’m bored” already. I am determined to make this summer both relaxing and fun and the only way to make sure it happens is to make a plan. I have quite literally penciled fun adventures into our calendar while also making room for relaxation days (if there is such a thing with kids) and I’m here to share some of my plans with you, most of which won’t cost a fortune.

At the top of my list is a beach day (or two). A few of my favourites include Sugar Beach Park (Toronto), Bluffers Park and Beach, and Kelso Beach. Sometimes there are hidden gems right in your backyard and they are absolutely worth exploring. I like to make a day of it, pack a lunch and copious amounts of snacks, sand toys and a frisbee. Find a comfy spot in the sand and hang with (or without) the kids! Pretend you’re on a beach vacation in Mexico and enjoy the hot days of summer that we so long for in the winter months. Don’t forget your kids’ ponchos, and your House of Jude Oversized Towel to avoid turning the car into a sandbox once it’s time to leave!

Turkish towel on beach chair

Next on our “to do” list is nature trails. One of my kids’ favourite things to do is go for scavenger hunts. Usually we do them around the house but this summer, I plan to expand and make a day out of it. I’ll print out a list of items they have to find, take them to one of my favourite trails, have a picnic and enjoy. My kids love checking things off as they see them and I suspect we will come home with leaves, rocks, sticks and other items that we craft with, making it a double adventure! Not only is this a free activity, I know my kids will talk about it for days. Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to disconnect and feed your soul so check out nearby parks and get moving! 

Nature trail scene

Third on my adventure list, a little bit more costly but always worth it, is a hotel stay. We really enjoy going to Niagara Falls when we are bringing the kids, and Niagara-on-the-Lake when we go without them! Regardless of location, staying in a hotel is always a great way to escape the outside world and reconnect. Pack your suitcase, a bottle of wine, some snacks and hit the road. Something about being in a new environment with no dishes to wash, no laundry staring at you and no distractions is so recharging. Most hotels also have hot tubs/pools which is a huge bonus for both the adults and kids.

So there you have it, my top three “staycation” ideas. Having fun doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of creativity and a willingness to go with the flow. Most of us have nature, beautiful parks and beaches right in our own backyard, let’s spend this summer taking full advantage.

 Wherever your adventures take you this summer I hope you allow yourself to disconnect from the outside world, embrace imperfection and be fully present with those you love.

Turkish towel by the pool

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