By: Sandra Churchill
A recent trip to Mobile, Alabama found us in an unexpected adventure as we happened upon a Saturday morning farmers’ market in one of the city parks. Amid impossible green grass and scorching rays were crafters of soap, jewelry, and summer wreaths, as well as vendors of homemade jam, freshly gathered honey, and newly harvested tomatoes. This reminded me of just one of summer’s greatest gifts: community gardens and the pleasure of wandering booth to booth supporting local farmers and crafters.
Along with planting our own vegetable garden, we have a family tradition of making jam from strawberries and blueberries to raspberries and peaches. This year we’re setting our minds on canning our own salsa, as well!
Amid the joy of traditions and seasonal gifts, we savor many treasures of summer, including:
- Bocce games on the lawn
- Outdoor band concerts offered throughout our community
- Impromptu hikes on weekend mornings
- Field trips to museums, aquariums and zoos, often with the benefit of reduced-rate library passes or close-to-free family nights
- The Bookworm program at Showcase Cinemas, which features six weeks of free children’s movies on Wednesday mornings as long as each child writes a brief book report (go reading!)
- Sunset beach walks and shell gathering
- Campfires with family and friends around our fire bowl
- Our library’s summer reading program and a myriad of children’s events featuring singers, magicians, and other entertainers
- Cookouts and family reunions
- Family and friend game nights
- Early evening tennis matches at our town courts
- Drive-in movies complete with PJ-clad children and an evening picnic consisting of meatball subs and cold drinks
- Barnes & Noble’s reading program, which bestows a free book on each child who reads eight books during the summer
- The Michaels Craft Store Passport Program offering $2 craft sessions for children Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings addressing a different continent each week
- Family walks after dinner
- Sketching and painting time at our local park
- Planning and sharing new adventures
Whatever your passion for summer traditions and seasonal adventures, I hope you savor the best the season has to offer!