Trying to keep the kids occupied during the summer

School has been out for about 10 days. The first few days are heaven for the kids. They sleep in. Watch TV or play. No more getting up. No more homework. The kids love it. But the newness of it all is wearing off.

That means it is time to make sure the kids are busy enough that they don’t spend all their time bickering, playing on their iPads or driving their mom crazy. (especially this last one)

As always, I try to have things for the kids to do. But as they get older, I find it harder to find things that they both like. It was much easier when they were little and the park or an indoor play place sufficed.

We still have our old standbys – the zoo, the children’s museum, Pump It Up, Sea World. We go to the free or dollar movies offered by our local theatres. There will be swim lessons and Lexie still has her weekly gymnastics class.

We can go visit their grandparents or even let them go spend the night – or two. And we have our neighborhood pool as a wonderful free option.

And in between these activities, we do have two trips planned. The first is a short three-day trip to South Padre Island. This is actually work for my husband as he attends the annual city attorney’s conference.  While he hears lectures, the kids and I go to the beach. This year the conference is at the Schlitterbaun Resort, so we will go to the water park at least one day. My brother will be joining us on this trip. The kids are excited to have their Uncle coming to the beach with them.

Our other trip is in July. We are going to Houston for a week. For the past two summers, we have been planning to go here. It is only a three-hour drive from San Antonio and has lots to do. But something always comes up. First, it was a cruise that my parents paid for and then last summer we put it off so we could go to Disney World in December.

But this year we will get to Houston. The hotels are already booked and the City Pass tickets (which let you view five area attractions at a discounted price) have been purchased. We will be going to Houston Space Center, the Kemah Boardwalk, the zoo, the Aquarium and the Natural History Museum. Of course, I totally expect the hotel pool to be the big hit. Heck, my kids just love staying in a hotel room and will be more excited over that than the attractions.

While this seems like we have a lot planned or at least have a lot of options, by the end of July, we will probably be looking for new things to keep us busy. I will check Groupon and scouring the newspaper or Facebook looking for fresh ideas to keep the kids busy and out of trouble as school doesn’t begin until the end of August.

And while the kids will be enjoying their summer, I, on the other hand, will probably be counting the days until they are back in school and my routine returns to normal.

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