Okay, parents, summer ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings…or at least until that school bell rings…or that yellow school bus brings tears to your eyes as it rolls down the road… tears of JOY. But let’s talk about ways you can eek out some last minute end-of-summer bliss in our area:
- Try out the NC Zoo. It is so beautiful and accessible. I think every family in NC should go a couple of times a year. Of course, every family in NC DOES seem to go a couple times a year, so it can be crowded. But whenever we show up early and plan to leave right after lunch we bound around seemingly alone. The Dinosaurs are still in existence now, too, (the exhibit’s not extinct yet!) so lots of fun to be had.
- Enjoy some end-of-summer midday sweet treats. Go to LocoPops or head to Durham to try out The Parlour (if you haven’t already). Of course, long-standing The Yogurt Pump still serves Franklin Street. Get some cold sweets and languidly walk around campus on one of these last long-enduring summer evenings.
- The Art of the Brick is in Graham, NC for a special 3-month tour. Want to expose your kids to some art? Take a day trip one of these final summer days and see the LEGO wonder for yourself.
- If you want to be really wild and crazy, hit the road to jump on the beach! Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach are closer than you might think (or want to tell your kids). A long day trip to dip those toes in the sand one last time? Might be worth it. I first fell in love with this particular area about five years ago and can’t stay away.
That’s what I am considering as the last bittersweet days of summer tick by. School is back so very, very soon.
How about you? What will you be doing to finalize your summer 2013 bucket list?http://chapelboro.com/columns/fifteen-five-o-mom/end-of-summer-ideas/
Throughout the month of July Waldo is hiding at favorite business all around town. There are 3 different “hunts” going on: Chapel Hill/Carrboro, Durham, and Raleigh. (Find the links for each of these below.)
My boys and I went out to do some searching this AM (which you may have seen on the MiCHill Instagram feed and on Facebook – go follow us there!). But I wanted to get this up right away since you only have until the end of July to get your completed passports in.
In Chapel Hill we started at Flyleaf Books and picked up our passport. In Durham you can get your passport to get started at The Regulator or head to the link below to print yours out at home. In Raleigh you can get your passport at Quail Ridge Books.
Then start finding Waldo! The passports will list the businesses that have a small Waldo hidden somewhere within. In Chapel Hill it is 12 businesses, in Durham this is 40 (40!!) places, in Raleigh it is 23 businesses. These are all local business, too. For Chapel Hill/Carrboro it is some of my favorite spots, so it is a fun tour of the town that you can do over multiple days.
But don’t get overwhelmed because you needn’t get ALL the boxes checked to be eligible to win some stuff. Once you get 10 signatures/stamps in your passport, turn it in to where you started (dependent on which city you are in).
And turn it in right away because there are prizes to be had! The first 100 folks to turn in passports in Chapel Hill, for example, get coupons and stickers. But each city does the prizes a little differently so check the rules. You could win stuff even if you aren’t within the first 100 entries, yet get yours in as quick as you can be eligible for the most swag.
How hard Waldo is to find really depends on the business. Each establishment treats it a little differently. One spot we went to they let the kids hide Waldo after they find him…which makes him hard to find and it seemed like a bit of a wild goose chase for a friend of mine (luckily the staff here was awesome, involved,and very helpful).
Either way, though, don’t be shy because businesses know why you are there, they WANT you there, they WELCOME you there, and they know Waldo is lurking.
No cost to play and you don’t even have to buy merchandise at any of the stores to head in. They are fine if you come in, hunt, and leave…although some of the places are going to be hard NOT to buy something in (I have my eyes on YOU scones at Foster’s).
Have fun with this one and remember, you only have until July 31st to get those passports in!
Shop Local & Find Waldo
By the way, I always love your thoughts and opinions, too. So let me know what you think about getting spraygrounds, making your child run around in large floatation devices, or pools you love! And, of course, you can find me over on my other blog if you just can’t get enough ideas of family friendly ideas.http://chapelboro.com/columns/a-chapel-hill-mom/lets-get-doused/
I have a love/hate relationship with summer, especially now that there is a child involved. I love pools. I hate having to smear sunscreen all over everyone and the inevitable crying that comes when it gets in the eyes. I love that sprinklers in the backyard are hours of easy, free amusement. I hate that when it gets too hot or when it rains, inside activities are back on the agenda and I am scrambling for ideas.
But one thing that has no downside, as far as I am concerned, when it comes to summer in this area is the local music.
Now I don’t talk music like Ron Stutts does over at his blog. But on my blog I put together our annual list of ongoing summer events. And it makes me so excited. It is my sit-here-scratching-my-mosquito-bites-but-remembering-why-I-love-this-place moment. It’s one of the reasons why we’re in this area to begin with. During the summer you can see free music every day from Thursday through Sunday. It goes something like this:
Thursdays: Weaver Street After-Hours Music, Locally Grown, OR the new University Mall Sweet Carolina Concert Series
Fridays: Back Porch at Bynum OR Carolina Inn’s Fridays on the Front Porch (depends on which side of the porch you prefer, it seems)
Saturdays: Saxapahaw Summer Music Series OR head over to Southpoint and combine errands and dining with their Music on Main series
Sundays: Weaver Street Jazz Brunch
How incredible is that list?
I know, not all of the talent is going to be seen on the Grammys anytime soon. Although you never know (Carolina Chocolate Drops anyone?). But isn’t it great to support local talent and your community? Plus if they do hit it big you can always say “I knew them when…”
And think how fabulous all of this is for kids. I love that I will be raising my family in an area that appreciates music. Because at all of these venues people dance and frolic. Proving that music is something to enjoy, revel in, and live in. Not just sit stodgily and listen to.
Not to mention how many different types of music my child will be exposed to if we can keep up the exhausting schedule as listed above: bluegrass, jazz, beach music, zydeco, rockabilly, and who knows what else.
So I say to the 100 degrees, the mosquitoes, the thunderstorms, and my wilting hair: BRING IT ON. I’ll be at The Weave watching my child dance to music and drinking a beer.http://chapelboro.com/columns/a-chapel-hill-mom/summer-music-makes-me-cool/