Summer bucket list

Every summer, the 4th of July seems to be the signal that summer is halfway gone. I guess it all depends on your school schedule and perspective. But if summer begins at Memorial Day and school starts 12 weeks later, this is, in fact, the halfway point.
We always start the summer with a long list of places we want to go, people we want to see and things we want to do. This year, we actually got a jump start because our academic co-op ended on May 15. It’s the first summer in a while that we have a real deadline for going back to school. We will start again on Aug.23.
I’m already feeling like our summer bucket list is well over half full. We’ve had some great adventures, and the list of things left to do is shorter than what we’ve done!
Here’s a list of some of our summer adventures so far:

1. We went to Cantigny (a couple of times). The kids love playing hide and seek in the beautiful gardens and climbing on the tanks. I love taking photos. It’s always a nice relaxing day.
2. We went to Brookfield Zoo.

3. We visited the Chicago Botanic Garden for the first time. The place was so large that we only had time to see half of it. I guess we’ll have to plan another trip there!
4. We took our bikes to the BMX dirt track.

5. We got to visit my side of the family at my sister’s place in central Illinois. This trip was extra special because we got to bring a cousin home with us!
6. The boys went to Survivor Camp.

7. The girls and I went to the Morton Arboretum

8. and Blackberry Farm.

9. We got to visit our good friends in St. Louis, go to the Arch and see Busch Stadium.
10. The 11-year-old got to go to his first Junior High event at our church!

11. My parents came for a visit and we headed back to Cantigny.

12. Kent’s parents came for a visit and got to see one of Matthew’s baseball games.

13. We took a train into the city, went to the top of the Willis Tower, visited some other Chicago landmarks and rode in a water taxi!

14. We got to go to work with Dad for a day.

15. We spent five days visiting family on the farm in southern Illinois.
16. We went to Holiday World.
We also spent lots of time at the pool, finished a full season of baseball, had play dates with friends and spent time with several families we’ve been wanting to catch up with! We also cleaned out our basement and transformed my son’s bedroom down there to be a cool place to hang out.
Some of the things I still hope to do this summer:
1. Go to Starved Rock.
2. Go to a beach.
3. Go camping.
4. Take a short vacation. (We would love to go to Michigan or Wisconsin for a few days, but we’re not sure if this will be able to happen.)
5. Take the girls to the American Girl store in Chicago.
6. Send the three big kids to summer camp (in late July).
7. Go for a few bike rides at my favorite forest preserve, Waterfall Glen.
By the time we have completed the list, I think I will be feeling good about sending the kids to school for the first time in three years. We’ve already had a fantastic summer, and I’m so thankful for all the things we’ve been able to do!
What has been the highlight of your summer so far? What would you still like to do?


  1. We did so much in NC with my fam, but I feel like summer just started, even though the kids got out of school on May 20-sometihng. I feel like everything has been on hold until we could show up here in TX this week.

  2. That is a ton of stuff!!!!! I don’t think we will get even close to doing half of that. I do hope we can do a few fun things though. School starts for us on Aug 20 and Sept. 4.

    1. Yeah… It made me feel better to actually sit down and write down what we have done! I realized that list IS pretty long. As the kids get older, there are a lot more things they can do.

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