Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Family Fun Nights

Last summer my neighbors and I threw around so many fun ideas for summer vacation. And at the end of the summer, we had followed up on very few of them. This summer, I thought of the saying from the movie Field of Dreams "If you build it they will come". I had the idea to take the month of July, find one day of the week and plan a different dinner time activity for each week. I sent out an email to some neighbors who I'm close with. I told them the four ideas and said for each week, come if you can, don't feel bad if you can't. The activities were as follows:
1) Picnic in the park
2) Weenie Roast at the Beach
3) Lemonade Stand Dinner
4) Driveway Progressive Dinner
Each week was so much fun! Here are the details if you'd like to try them yourself.
Summer Family Fun Nights- Part I
Picnic in the Park
I sent out an email with a sign up sheet for Bread, Salad, Cut Fruit, Bottled Waters, and Adult Beverages. I designated myself as bringing the main course, for which I chose Penne with Meat Sauce. I also brought paper plates, napkins, cups, and plastic utensils.
I am happy to say the Picnic in the Park was a HUGE success. The kids were tickled to have dinner with friends at the park. And once we were done, we moved over to the soccer field where the kids played until the sun went down.


Summer Family Fun Nights- Part II
Weenie Roast at the Beach

I sent out an email for sign-ups for chips, fruit, fixings for s'mores, kid bevs, and adult bevs. I admitted that I knew nothing about having a fire at the beach, so if some dad was willing to take the lead on that it would be greatly appreciated, and of course a great dad rose to the occasion. I brought hot dogs, buns, condiments, and paper goods. Don't be discouraged if you don't live close to the beach. Any bbq pit at your local park will do. Just for fun, I created a scavenger hunt for the kids to do while we made dinner. I took some brown paper bags and wrote several items on the outside for the kids to find such as: dry sand, wet sand, dry rock, wet rock, seaweed, leaf, piece of trash, seashell, etc. The night was so much fun.
Summer Family Fun Nights- Part III
Lemonade Stand Dinner
This was certainly my favorite night of all. I always feel so bad for the kids I see in my neighborhood having a lemonade stand. They try so hard, but I'm never carrying cash when I see them, nor have the time to go back when I do. So, I came up with this idea. What if we could create a lemonade stand and promise customers will come. A Lemonade Stand Dinner! So, kids were assigned a stand for each of the following: lemonade, chips, fruit, bottled water, dessert. My stand was pizza (I went cheap from Costco). The rule was everything you sold cost 10cents. The point of it all was not really to make money, but to simulate a customer-merchant transaction. The kids worked their stands, while the adults purchased their dinners. Then, the adults relieved the kids so that they could go through the line themselves. The cutest thing was that the kids chose not to eat on the grass picnic-style like the parents did. They went back to their stands for anyone who came back for seconds.

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