Summer break starts today! I can't believe another school year has come and gone!
I always look forward to the kids being home. We like to do lots of fun stuff. But, boredom can set in quickly if there's not a plan.
I typically have the same general plan for summer break, ways to keep us busy and having fun at the same time.
The Tulsa area has lots of things to do. These are the things we take advantage of:
Tulsa Zoo. We have a great zoo! It's just big enough to have plenty to do, but not so big that you are exhausted when you leave! We always buy a season family pass for $60. The great thing about it is that even if we just go, ride the train to the playground, have lunch and leave, we don't feel like we have wasted our money. Also, if it's a rainy day, we can just do the buildings. It gives us something to do on days that we can't swim. The zoo is only a 10 minute drive from our house.
Big Splash Waterpark. We also purchase summer passes to our local water park. Again, it's big enough to be fun, but small enough that we can all separate and I don't worry. There's something for everybody. If you buy your passes in September, the year before, you get the cheapest price. With an upgrade (for free tube rental all summer and some guest passes), I get five season passes for about $175. It's only a 15 minute drive.
The Library. Our library has a summer reading program where you can gain prizes (food, admission to local attractions) with the books you read (It's worth it just to get free childrens' admission to the Oklahoma Aquarium. That's an expensive day trip.) Then they also have little shows you can go to if you want (We'll definitely be attending the Cartoonist that is coming). This program is free, so we try to hit the library once a week. Plus, we can check out dvd's for free, too. You can also take advantage of reading programs at Barnes and Noble and at Border's by submitting the same books you read at the local library and receiving a coupon for a free book at each of those stores. Great deal!
Movie Theatre. Our local movie theatre has a summer program where they show eight different movies (Tuesday or Thursday at two different times) for $13. It's movies that are out on video, but it is a fun way to beat the heat or gives us something to do on a rainy day. We love this!
Kids Bowl Free Program. You can go here to find what bowling alleys are participating. Unfortunately, the Owasso alley does not (although they do their own program), but Andy B's in Tulsa does participate. So, you get two free games of bowling per week for each of your kids, only having to pay for the price of the shoe rental. If you have bowled lately, you know that two games times 4 kids plus shoes can cost you around $80 or more. Andy B's is across the street from Toys R Us. So if my kids earn their allowances with our new summer system, we can stop by there to spend their money. That will be a sweet treat!
Local Museums. Tulsa has a couple of great art museums (Philbrook and Gilcrease) and a new kids' museum called Kaleidoscope (that we haven't visited yet.) We try to go to these once a summer. They also usually have some kind of free art day each year.
We try to go to Big Splash once or twice a week, go to the library once a week, go to a movie once a week, maybe swim at a friends' once a week and fit in a trip to one of the museums or a park or the water splash pad park or the aquarium here and there.
Between all of that, a week or two at grandmas, church camp and a vacation, our summer goes by in a snap.
Boredom is typically busted, and we're all usually ready to get back to school.
Or at least I am.