Blog by Gaye Techanchuk
Nana, Mimi, Grandma–you may be referred by your grandchild by another name – but you know who you are! You are the fun one, the giver of sweets & the one who usually says “yes”.
It is summer and you may see your grandchildren during the summer months, or they may visit, or even come for an extended vacation with the grandparents. The most terrifying question–WHAT WILL WE DO TOGETHER?
Well, I will start with some things to ponder before they arrive- what are you going to do on…
- Raining days
- I have sun burn days
- I don’t want to go outside days
Depending on the age of your grandchild, there are multiple places that are great on a budget & that also happen to be inside: Best to have your own plan, you may not like theirs.
* go by local library and see when story time or any summer reading programs begin. Barnes and Noble usually have delightful guest readers – they usually have a print out of those activities.
* Inside playgrounds at malls for toddlers up to age 5 is always a fun time.
* My granddaughters love to ride Harry the Dragon at Harris Teeter for 1 penny – then we get the free samples of cookies, deli meat, bread and sometimes cheese inside the store. If we are planning a special meal they get their own cart and we purchase the food items so we can surprise the family later with something we have made.
* If you have cable, they will watch the same movies over and over again. The Public library also has movies. Create hype around these outings – special drinks, popcorn, special pizza and of course plenty of laughter make for great memories at grandma’s place.
* Some Cinemas have cheap movies on certain days/times. Locally in Virginia Beach Regal Cinemas will have animated movies for $1. If you join the Regal rewards, you might even get a free drink, or popcorn to split with everyone. Check around for great deals or talk to other moms or grandmas for deals in your local area.
* The trusty sprinkler is always a thrill at grandma’s place – often followed by a picnic.
* Many sports complexes will have an indoor playground that is reasonably priced for younger children. It is a place to get out wiggles and you to observe.
* Have fashion shows with little granddaughters, even some of the older ones might join in, they usually like to create the music or be the manager.
* Create a new sandwich with them and name it after them.
Not for the faint at heart:
* Ocean Breeze or a local water park – be prepared for loads of walking, monitoring of water activities, you might need one parent to come along. You cannot bring food in, so you are at the mercy of the park for food.
* Botanical Gardens – they usually have a lovely area with water and things for little ones to have some wet fun.
* The Zoo has a fee to enter, but can keep many children entertained most of the day. There is usually food to buy or you can pack your own. The animals entertain all of us.
* The ocean front is a great place for children to climb, play in sand and have some fun at the ocean. Usually you just need to pay for the street parking or a parking lot fee that should be good for the day. Then if you get hot take a little dip in the ocean or go under the shower to get the sand off. Bring a chair, because many of us will have the benches occupied. The beach in general is a great place, walk the Boardwalk, fly a kite, eat a picnic lunch garnished with sand! You may even get to do some dolphin spotting too.
* Locally we have many historical places to visit – First Landing, Colonial Williamsburg. Just walk the main street, you may be surprised by a parade. Busch Gardens has something for everyone – mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt or uncle. You can relax during the shows.
This list is not everything, but it gets the juices flowing!! Summer is to be enjoyed by everyone – make memories with your grandchildren. If they are older, chaperone them at Busch Gardens – they will think you are pretty cool. Whether you give them cooking lessons, swimming lessons or take them to camp – enjoy your summer, it’s never too hot to have fun!