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10 Activities That You Must Do with the Kids to End Your Summer with a Bang

10 Activities That You Must Do with the Kids to End Your Summer with a Bang

July 31, 2019 in I Adore Mom Life, I Adore What I Love, Local Love >/div>
10 ACTIVITIES THAT YOU MUST DO WITH THE KIDS TO END YOUR SUMMER WITH A BANG :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: www.iadorewhatilove.com #iadorewhatilove

Not going to lie, I am getting a little nervous about all the time I’ll have with my kids after camp ends in August and before school starts in September. It’s not that I can’t entertain them or do fun things or provide a few fun-filled “Camp Mom” action-packed weeks {well, for us it’s 4 weeks to be exact, eeeks}, because I can! And it’s not that I don’t want to either, because I am obsessed with my boys and enjoy spending time with them! BUT, with that said, they’ve become accustomed to DOING DOING DOING and sometimes, I would prefer to stay home because at heart, I’m a total home body and don’t mind not having anything on the agenda!!! Sadly, I don’t think that’s going to fly with both boys home 24/7!

Case in point: the first thing Brody says when he wakes up most days is “Mommy, where am I going today?” and I’ve been loving that I’m able to tell him that he’s going to Banner Day Camp because I know he’s having the time of his life and could not be more happy there! I decided that I need to have a little bit of a plan for the weeks in between camp and school and if I’m going to do some research for myself, I’m obviously going to share it with my favorite blog reader friends!!

Whether we decide to do these things or not {umm, we definitely will tackle most of them!!!}, make sure you’re following me over on my Instagram where I typically share recaps of our days {intertwined with all the #momtips} on my IG stories. Oh! And did I mention that these ideas are for EVERYONE!!! You don’t have to be local to Chicago’s North Shore to get some great ideas on where to take your kids before summer ends! BUT, if you are local, I am sharing specific places to go based on my broader suggestions! Make sense? Alright already, time for the must-do activities to end your summer with a bang!!!

Waiting for the train! The excitement is real!!

Take a Train Ride to Lunch in a Neighboring Town

This is definitely my kids’ most favorite thing to do in life! Ha! If you’re local, take a train ride from your nearest station to Lake Forest, then eat lunch at The Lantern! There are trains riding on train tracks on the ceiling of the restaurant + popcorn for all and actually delicious food, too! Then you can take the train back and not a joke, your kids will talk about how much fun they had for weeks after!

10 ACTIVITIES THAT YOU MUST DO WITH THE KIDS TO END YOUR SUMMER WITH A BANG :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: www.iadorewhatilove.com #iadorewhatilove
Levi at Hidden Creek AquaPark over 4th of July weekend!

Go to Your Local Water Park

Put your kids in their swim gear, grab their towels and a change of clothes for after, and head to your favorite local water park! We just discovered Hidden Creek AquaPark in our own community of Highland Park and LOVE it! So much fun for all – babies, toddlers, and big kids alike! Growing up, I went to Wheeling Water Park which was epic then and I just recently heard that it’s even more epic now!

10 ACTIVITIES THAT YOU MUST DO WITH THE KIDS TO END YOUR SUMMER WITH A BANG :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: www.iadorewhatilove.com #iadorewhatilove
Gorgeous giraffes at the Brookfield Zoo last year!

Head to Your Local Zoo

All kids love the zoo! And it’s not everyday that you go, so why not do it before summer ends with the fam? I am contemplating making my husband take a day off of work and heading there on a weekday with the kids! I mean, if I’m going to have 4 weeks with my kids all by my lonesome than the least my husband can do is spend one of those weekdays with us, right?! LOL. The Brookfield Zoo is awesome but there is an admission fee, while the Lincoln Park Zoo is free and pretty great as well!

try A New Park

For those days when you want to get outside, enjoy the weather, but also don’t want to get too crazy with where you go, trying a new park is the perfect thing to do! I’ve heard Vattmann Park in Wilmette has a great tot area and on Wednesdays they have story time there hosted by the Wilmette Library. Win win!

spend a morning at Your Local Nature Center

Kids thrive on nature, and it’s the sweetest thing! Most communities have a nature center so my suggestion is to head to the one closest to you, bring a picnic lunch and just walk around. The Heller Nature Center in Highland Park has miles of trails as well as a natural woods play space. Who wants to go with the boys and I???

10 ACTIVITIES THAT YOU MUST DO WITH THE KIDS TO END YOUR SUMMER WITH A BANG :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: www.iadorewhatilove.com #iadorewhatilove
Little Brody beachin’ it when we still lived in the city!

go to the Beach

We all know that I’m not a beach person but my kids are obsessed with sand. Like, seriously obsessed. So I will put on my big girl mama pants and suck it up for the sake of the boys! You can easily spend an entire morning at your local beach but first, here are a few tips before you head there: have the kids wear their bathing suits there, take a big blanket to sit on, a towel for each child, a change of clothes for after, and {this is a tip that I got from a few of you!!!} talc free BABY POWDER to wipe that sand off your kids’ wet skin before hopping in the car. Can’t forget about snacks, of course. Lots of snacks!!

Our local beach of choice, you ask?? Glencoe Beach! My friend described it as the beach that you go to if you don’t like beaches, and she’s right about that!! It’s awesome!

Play at your Local Children’s Museum

For those hot hot hot days, playing at your local Children’s Museum is the next best thing! It’s also just nice to switch it up and be inside some days, no matter the weather! Our local children’s museum is Kohl Children’s Museum. It has EVERYTHING you could ever want for imaginative and sensory play for your littles of all ages. We are lucky to have it located on the North Shore!

10 ACTIVITIES THAT YOU MUST DO WITH THE KIDS TO END YOUR SUMMER WITH A BANG :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: www.iadorewhatilove.com #iadorewhatilove

Go Bowling on a rainy day

Kids love to bowl! And if you find a bowling alley that caters to little ones, even better! On a rainy day, going to Pinstripes Northbrook is one of our favorite activities. Every weekday morning from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm they have bumper bowling lanes open for kids! It’s just $3 per hour with a $3 shoe rental. Plus, parents bowl free!! AND you can eat lunch there because they have pretty good food, too! Yasssssss.

Down on the farm!

head to a Local Farm

This is a fun one!!! And unexpected, too. Is there a working dairy farm in your area that is open to the public? If so, take your kids!!! They’ll love seeing all the farm animals and exploring where our food comes from. Here in Chicago’s North Shore, we have Wagner’s Farm in Glenview and it is a gem!!! They have chickens, draft horses, and pigs, as well as a restored farmhouse and barn. SO COOL and will definitely leave a lasting summer memory for your kids to talk about when they go back to school in the fall! There’s also Lamb’s Farm which is located in Libertyville and wonderful too. I think it’s so great that they employ people with developmental disabilities in hopes of helping them lead productive, happy lives!!

10 ACTIVITIES THAT YOU MUST DO WITH THE KIDS TO END YOUR SUMMER WITH A BANG :: I Adore What I Love Blog :: www.iadorewhatilove.com #iadorewhatilove
Check out those Chicago Botanic Gardens grass hills!

Spend the day at Your Local Botanic Gardens

Beautiful flowers and open land and gorgeous plants, OH MY!!! This definitely needs to be on your list of things to do before the summer ends! The Chicago Botanic Gardens is walkable from my house and while we’re obsessed with it, we haven’t gone nearly enough this summer! We will definitely be heading there often during the interim of camp ending and school beginning because, simply put, it’s the best!

There are exhibits, a kids area that’s comprised of a bunch of grassy hills, a little water river to get your feet wet, family drop-in activities going on all the time, and the most delicious restaurant to dine at for lunch. I say this all the time but the Botanic Gardens is truly a little haven and I feel so lucky to have it so close to home. For family events, check out their calendar.


So there you have it! You really can’t go wrong with any of these activities and your kids will thank you for making the end of their summer the most entertaining and exciting summer of their lives!! Basically, THE BEST EVERRRRR. Which ideas are your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

And please please please use the pink buttons directly below this post to share it on Pinterest or to send it to a friend! Xo

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Welcome!!

My Name is Dana Ivy.

Hey hey! I’m a MOM of two, here to share and I’m so happy you found me!! As a Chicago lifer {currently settled in the North Shore ‘burbs}, self-admitted shopping addict, and foodie, at the core I’m really just a mom {and a wife, gotta give a shout-out to my hubby!} just trying to balance it all! My two crazy toddler boys, Brody {who’s 4} and Levi {who’s 2} are my whole entire world and while being their mom is the BEST thing ever, it ain’t always easy! The chaos is real and because I adore mom life SO MUCH, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Would you?? I created this space for all the moms out there who are just trying to get by... I want to help make your lives a little easier, one blog post at a time! Join me on my quest to share allll the mom tips, simple style ideas, REALLY easy recipes {if I can do it, you can do it!!}, and our travels. Read More.

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