My summer of magical Mama and Milo adventure is coming to an end. My goals this summer were pretty clear: make a routine that Milo and I can really get into, see as many friends and family as possible, and find lots of stimulating activities and day trips. Check, check, check. This is the only summer that Milo and I will ever share as a duo. It’s going to be precious to me my entire life. Here are a few highlights:
1. The Horribles Parade in Gloucester
This is one of my favorite pictures of all time, taken at Gloucester’s Horribles Parade. Even though it sounds like a Halloween event, this is held every year the day before the Fourth of July (a ‘horrible’ is actually a parade float). Ben has a tradition of going every year, and this time we met Nona and Grampy and got an awesome spot up on the main street in the shopping area, away from crowds. Aside from typical sponsored floats and marching bands, there were also some life-sized characters in mascot costumes; Milo recognized Elmo and lit up like a Christmas tree. It lasted about two hours and we only had to pay for snacks from a nearby cafe. We had an amazing time, and It was really special to watch Ben pass this tradition on to his son.
2. Playgrounds around Leominster
We spent a lot of time out in our little neighborhood this summer. A few times I laid out a blanket and some toys for us to watch the traffic and pull at the grass. Just a few days ago, Ben and I discovered a really great 2-5 year-old playground right around the corner from our house. It’s unofficially called “the dino park,” but it’s really the Fay Schmarett Memorial Playground, and it’s notable because it’s designed for toddler children specifically. The slides, swings, and make-believe cars are just right for little explorers, and all the structures sit next to a huge field that’s perfect for crawling, chasing, and flopping down to watch the bugs fly around. Being outside with your son making little piles of bark mulch and grass just seems right.
3. The Boston Children’s Museum
The Boston Children’s Museum was one of the most exciting finds of the summer. With my teacher’s association card, I can get into many Boston museums for free, and this is one of them. Taking a kiddo under one was free, and because of that, I was worried that most things would be over his head, but there was a lot to entertain even the littlest. Milo loved the musical chairs and the giant checker board, the water and sand tables, and, of course, the under three room, complete with an area that was padded and full of toys specifically for crawlers. I personally enjoyed the dollhouse exhibit and the Arthur world. We went twice, with Laurel and again with Ben, and everyone had a blast.
This is only a tiny taste of what we got into during my first summer as a mama, and I have a ton of tricks up my sleeve for next year, when the fun will be doubled. What are your secret spots for summer fun?