Let's be honest: we live for Seattle summers (this year was no exception). Taking advantage of all the activities our city (+ surrounding area) has to offer is a priority once the sun is out and the daylight lingers.
At the beginning of the season, we sit down and make a "summer list". In the past this has contained a handful of lofty goals, as my youngest has been well, young. 10 mile hikes and outdoor movies sound great in theory but don't tend to bode well with the under two crowd, at least in my experience (and in my crowd).
This year we are feeling liberated for two reasons: 1) my youngest is about to turn three and 2) Uber Family is now offered in our city. The latter allows for us to all attend events where parking is tight and can be a big time constraint, or is insanely expensive (*parking a walkable distance with two younger children for a baseball game can easily cost $40).
Recently my oldest and I met my husband after work, whose office is near the baseball stadium, and headed to catch an afternoon game. We took Uber, forwent parking fees, grabbed some pre-game snacks (+ brought more from home) and enjoyed one of their favorite pastimes, sans stress or rush.
While not an expert, I have learned a few things about making the most of summer in the city with, and this is key for me, minimal stress and hassle. Here are a guidelines we use when planning our summer outings:
1. Choose non-peak times or arrive early when possible. I live in a concentrated area, but I don't enjoy having to work my way through a crowd, especially with children in tow. We try to visit museums, the zoo, the beach and the library during slow hours. When there is a definitive start time, we do our best to arrive on the earlier side so we can have our pick of ideal spots, ie: close to the bathrooms and easy access to exits.
2. Use a one-snack rule. We let our boys each choose one snack and we bring the rest from home. Typically this item is thought out and talked about well in advance, and other times there is serious deliberation. Either way, we give them a dollar amount and leave the options to them (within reason, of course).
3. Make transport simple. As I said, when time is time and parking is slim, we use Uber Family to get us to and fro. On the occasions where we can meander a little, we take the bus or the water taxi for additional adventure. In all honesty, my boys love anything that is not our own wagon.
I'd love to know, what are your summer strategies (for places big and small)? We will have some time on our hands this year and I would appreciate all the momma suggestions!
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