5 Simple Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day

We love moms, grandmas, aunts, cousins, girlfriends, and chosen moms! So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we cannot wait to celebrate Mother’s Day in less than two weeks on Sunday, May 9. This year, we’re imagining many more (safe) gatherings and time spent together after a year mostly spent apart. And, we think you might feel the same way. This year, more than ever, we want your favorite gal to feel loved and celebrated. Below, you’ll find five easy ways to spread the Mother’s Day love!

Get Cooking:

Whether mom typically creates meals in the kitchen or she’s a foodie at heart, think about cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for her! For breakfast, we’re eying a little something indulgent, like this French toast casserole. For lunch, why not make one of these savory toast recipes? Once dinner rolls around, think about whipping up a family-style favorite, like burgers, taco, or pizza.

Frame Kids’ Art:

Kids are only little once, and we have a feeling mom has a favorite piece of art made by the littles she adores! So, frame it! You can purchase a frame at Target or Walmart, opt for custom framing at a craft store, like Michaels, or send off the piece to become an heirloom with Framebridge. For an added surprise, create a new art piece for mom. Anything with hand or footprints is always a great idea!

Create an At-Home Retreat:

Moms love family time, but sometimes they crave a little time and space away from the chaos. So, create an at-home retreat that encourages mom to step away to read a book or magazine, indulge in a bubble bath, sip on wine or coffee, or catch up with a friend. She’ll come back feeling refreshed and grateful!

Pick Flowers:

Rather than picking up flowers from the grocery store or a florist, think about visiting a you-pick farm and cutting your own flowers for mom. This would be a great outdoor activity for a warm spring day. Plus, you’ll likely capture a few great shots for Instagram too! Quality family time + flowers? It sounds ideal to us!

Send Her to the Spa:

Similar to our suggestion to create an at-home retreat for mom, present her with a gift card to visit a spa or nail salon on Mother’s Day. Many of us have missed our pampering sessions throughout the past year, and Mother’s Day is a great day to resume self-care.

How are you planning to celebrate Mother’s Day? Let us know on Facebook!

8 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs

We’ve made it to spring, Shopkickers! Who else is ready for warmer weather, more time spent outside, and blooming flowers? Though you may not be able to see us, our hands are raised up high! As we prepare to welcome this new season once again, we’re also eagerly awaiting the return of one of our favorite holiday traditions: decorating Easter eggs.

For years, one of the only ways to give your eggs a little extra flair was to dunk them in dye. While this classic way to decorate is still exactly that – a classic – there are now countless ways to make your Easter eggs standout. From using nail polish to adding stickers, we’re sharing eight ways to decorate Easter eggs below. We think you will find there’s an Easter craft for families of all ages!

Shaving Cream: 

Have you ever dyed Easter eggs using shaving cream? We see these eggs floating around the web every year, and we’re eager to give them a try! You add drops of food coloring to shaving cream, twist the egg in the mixture, let dry, then wipe away the shaving cream. The result is a cool marbled look! P.S: You can also use whipped cream instead of shaving cream. 

Natural Dye: 

Sure you can use store bought dye, but for an extra challenge you can create your own Easter egg dye from the colors found naturally in foods! You will want to follow this tutorial that describes the colors found in specific foods and drinks (see: wine). Once you’ve chosen your colors, bring water, salt, vinegar, and your food or beverage of choice to a boil. Once done, strain, cool, and dye! 

Stickers: 

If you’re looking for a no-mess Easter craft, this is the one for you! Although you can definitely dye your eggs first, there’s no need because stickers add plenty of whimsy on their own. Simply purchase stickers or use some from your at-home stash and place them on Easter eggs. If you want to add more creativity, you can follow this tutorial where your kids can color their own stickers! 

Nail Polish: 

Did you know you can dye Easter eggs with nail polish? We didn’t either! This article walks you through the steps, and they’re simple. You’ll add a few drops of nail polish to a cup of water, swirl around, dunk your egg, and let it dry. The result will be a marbled Easter egg made with a beauty product you likely already have at home. 

Glitter: 

As long as you don’t mind a little mess, decorate your Easter eggs with glitter! Similar to other decorating ideas, you can still dye your Easter eggs first, or you can let the glitter shine entirely on its own. The steps to add glitter are simple: place glue on your egg, sprinkle on glitter, let dry, and enjoy! 

Temporary Tattoos: 

Temporary tattoos are not only for people, they’re for Easter eggs too! And, these are so quick and easy to make! You will want to source temporary tattoos (you can find them at Amazon). After you hard boil your eggs and allow them to cool, you will add your tattoos to your eggs by placing them face down, dabbing on water to allow the design to transfer, and pulling the paper away. Voila! 

Baby Chicks:

Chicks are synonymous with Easter, and this tutorial shares how to turn your eggs into darling baby characters! The steps involve first dying your eggs yellow, then dip dying. After that, it’s all about creating a mini beak and drawing on clothes and details with a Sharpie. We think older kids will really enjoy this Easter craft!

Tie Dye: 

Tie dye is everywhere, so add the trend to your Easter eggs! You will need paper towels, dye, and a spray bottle filled with water to create this Easter craft. The process of creating your tie dyed eggs is so similar to making a t-shirt. We hope you give this method a try!

How will you decorate your Easter eggs this year? Share your craft day with us on Facebook!

How to Safely Celebrate Halloween

For many of us, Halloween is a holiday we look forward to all year long. It’s a chance to get creative, join together with friends and family to dress up, enjoy all of our favorite treats, and maybe attend a party of two. And, that’s before we even mention all of the fun that Halloween has in store for kids from costumes and school parties to parades and trick-or-treating. Needless to say, we are with you in searching for fun and easy ways to safely celebrate Halloween this year. So, we’re sharing five ways to celebrate Halloween from home!

Carve Pumpkins:

Aside from trick-or-treating, the most quintessential Halloween activity is definitely carving pumpkins. So, plan to purchase pumpkins just like you do every other year! Then choose your pattern or carve your pumpkin free-hand. You could even encourage a little friendly competition amongst family and friends and ask participants to virtually cast votes for their favorite designs. The winner gets a gift card to purchase their favorite treat! 

Decorate + Drive:

Similar to carving pumpkins, plan to decorate your house this year. Big and bold designs are always fun to see, and the neighbors in your community will love driving by to catch their own glimpse. On Halloween (or even before!) plan to drive through your town with your family to peek at all of the decorated homes. 

To make this idea a little more social, you might think about decorating your car for Halloween and meeting at a friend’s house for a drive-by Halloween parade. Your kids can even put on their costumes!

Make DIY Costumes:

This is definitely the year to dive into more involved projects at home, so think about creating your own Halloween costumes with your kids. Something as simple as a cardboard box can go a long way (and we all have plenty of those after shopping online throughout the year!). Then save your costumes to enjoy long after Halloween as you replenish your dress up box with new one-of-a-kind outfits for fun, imaginative play.

Do a Halloween Candy Scavenger Hunt: 

Candy is synonymous with Halloween, but trick-or-treating might not feel like the safest idea this year. So, purchase bags of your kids’ favorite Halloween treats and plan your own scavenger hunt (like an Easter egg hunt!). Hide candy inside your home or outside in your yard and encourage your kids to dress up while they search for their treats. You can even set a timer to see who can find the most candy the fastest! Post hunt, unwind with chili, candy, and a Halloween movie. 

Watch a Halloween Film:

As we mentioned briefly above, plan to watch a Halloween movie! We love enjoying a Halloween classic like “Hocus Pocus”, “Casper”, or “The Adams Family”. Maybe this is the year when you gather for a movie marathon and watch more than one! Plan to pop popcorn and enjoy your favorite candy or dipped apples. If the weather allows, you can even project your family’s Halloween movie choice onto a sheet or screen in your backyard. 

How are you planning to safely celebrate Halloween this year? Share your ideas with our community on Facebook!

Fall Apple Crafts for Kids

There are many reasons to celebrate the arrival of fall, and we think one of them is definitely the start of apple season! We highly recommend choosing an afternoon to go apple picking in your local area. But, if apple picking isn’t quite your speed, there are still plenty of ways to craft with them. We’ve scoured the web to find five apple crafts we think kids of many different ages will enjoy. Let’s jump in! 

Apple Stamping:

Kids love to paint, and apples make wonderful stamps. We found two apple stamping tutorials that you should try! One involves creating an apple basket, while the other will lead your littles to make painted apples with faces you can hang. This is a simple way to encourage your kids’ creativity and love for color!

Apple Weaving:

If you have kids that are slightly older, challenge their fine motor skills with this apple weaving craft. You will need cardboard, paint, ribbon, and a few extra (common!) tools. Weaving is great because it acts as a great way for kids to create patterns using texture and color, and the apple is a fun seasonal touch.

Apple Watercolor:

By using makers and water on coffee filters, your kids can create their own unique watercolor art. The great thing about this craft is you likely have the core supplies at home, which means you won’t have to spend additional money. We love that the end result is apples with a creative twist you can hang up all season long! 

Apple Sun Catchers: 

To add new seasonal fun to your windows, think about creating apple sun catchers! We found two different tutorials to create new accessories for your windows, and both are equally unique. The first involves collecting fallen autumn leaves in your yard and then piecing them together to create a sun catcher. The second involves creating apple shapes using plastic beads. You can’t go wrong!

Apple Keepsake:

Kids grow and change quickly, so it’s sweet to make and hang up crafts that include their hands and feet. This apple keepsake asks makers to stamp their painted feet onto paper and then turn the stamp into an apple. You could also create a similar look by repeatedly stamping a finger. Either way, the result is a project you will treasure for years.

Which apple project will you make with your kids? Share your creativity on Facebook!

How to Embrace Back to School Season

Over the past few months, we’ve discovered a new appreciation for our schools and teachers, especially as we look ahead to back to school season. This time of year always feels like the holidays for many parents and students. While this year likely continues to look and feel different for many students and families, we still believe back to school can (and should!) be celebrated. No matter if you’re prepping to learn virtually from home or return back to the classroom, below are four tips for embracing back to school this year. 

Start Incorporating Learning: 

Depending on where you reside, you’re either days away from returning to school or you have another month filled with summer fun. Either way, one of the best ways to start getting into the school mindset is to ease it back into your everyday routine. Set aside time for your kids to read, switch to an educational game on a computer or iPad, dive into a math game, or complete a science experiment. By welcoming learning back now, students will feel more ready to fully embrace a school schedule in the days and weeks to come.

Create a Schedule: 

The summer is when we all relax our schedules and embrace a go-with-the-flow mindset, but schedules are key during the school year. Take a moment to revisit first grade teacher Mrs. Lamb’s tips from the spring. She and her kids discovered how they can best learn while at home. Mrs. Lamb said sometimes that involves incorporating more focused work during the morning followed by an increased emphasis on play in the afternoon. Start determining how you think your family’s ideal school day will look and feel now. Then give it a try in advance of your official start date.

Shop for School:

We know how much students love shopping for new school supplies, and this year should not be any different even if you’re planning to learn virtually from home. Purchase new folders, notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, tech, and more just like you normally would. This nod to normalcy will feel comfortable, familiar, and exciting to your kids, and we think you will enjoy it too.

Also, consider shopping for back to school clothes! We’ve found it’s best to make a concerted effort to get dressed every day even if we’re working at home, and we think the same is true for kids. Think about shopping for new tops, pants, dresses, and shoes from their favorite stores, like Carter’s, OshKosh B’gosh, GAP, Kohls, Dicks Sporting Goods, and more through your Shopkick app as you embrace the fall season together. You’ll earn kicks, and your kids will keep up with their fun school year style. 

Embrace the School Season:

Just as you did during the spring, now is the time to embrace the school season whether it involves learning from home or returning back to the classroom. The more you and your student lean into learning, the more fun and normal it will become. Many of us are facing the same challenges, so keep this in mind: We’re all learning together, Shopkickers!

How are you and your kids embracing back to school this year? We would love to hear your thoughts on Facebook! 

P.S: For more on our “How to Homeschool” series with Mrs. Lamb, click here!

Camp Shopkick: Camping Week

We’re back with the latest theme for this week’s edition of Camp Shopkick! In case you’re new to “camp”, we believe summer isn’t summer without themed weeks of fun to enjoy with your family, whether you try a new activity each day or plan a packed day to fit in as much as possible. We hope you and your family have already made wonderful memories during Barbecue Week and Family Fun Week. This week, we’re taking “camp” literally – it’s Camping Week!

Have you ever taken a camping trip? Whether you’re an outdoor camping novice, someone who frequently pitches a tent in the backyard, or a camper with plenty of experience in the great outdoors, we thought we would dive into everything you need to know to take a camping trip at a campground. Let’s dive into the essentials! 

Where to Go:

Once you have decided camping is officially on your agenda, it’s time to decide where to go. Parks are a great place to begin your research because many offer both camping facilities (wash houses are wonderful!), campsites, and plenty of information to review before you arrive. You can also look into official campgrounds. These can range from sites you will need to hike to, to locations where you will drive up and keep your car parked nearby. Some sites even include amenities, like pools, to encourage you to have even more family fun while meeting other families in the process.   

What to Do:

When deciding where you would like to go on your camping trip, you will also likely need to decide what you hope to do as a family while you’re there. One decision will help to guide many others! Many camping sites are located in wonderful areas to hike. If hiking will be a new experience for your family, you will want to research trails that are clearly marked for beginners. Some trails are even flat, which are excellent for young kids! You will also want to be prepared in advance to swim, so research if your camp is near a stream, lake, or beach open to water play. 

Must-Have Items: 

Some of your must-have items will largely be driven by the activities you plan to do while you’re camping, but there are also plenty of other items you will want to have on hand. Keep the following in mind: 

  • Tent (P.S: One Crazy House has plenty of tent tips!)
  • Foam Flooring/Air Mattress
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Clothes
  • Flash Light
  • Kitchen Items & Food
  • Toiletries
  • Hiking Gear
  • Toys for Kids
  • …and plenty more!

We discovered this packing guide for camping, particularly camping with kids, on the blog Em for Marvelous. Make sure to open the PDF she created titled Master Packing List. It’s excellent and so thorough! 

Recipes to Cook:   

Before you set out on your camping trip, you will want to create a meal plan. This will help you to know what you will be making well in advance, so you can make sure to have all of your groceries on hand. Cooking over a fire is a must while camping, and we thought we would think beyond hamburgers and hotdogs. So, we highly recommend trying Camping Breakfast Burritos from Taste & Tell, Grilled Cheesy Buffalo Bacon Fries from Tablespoon, and Campfire Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches from Homemade Heather. All three recipes sound delicious! 

Of course, our top tip is to simply have fun on your camping trip! We are so excited to hear about the adventures you either experience or plan to experience on a camping trip with your family. Keep us in the know on Facebook!

Camp Shopkick: Family Fun Week

The summer fun themes continue, Shopkickers! Last time, we shared activities, recipes, and even crafts for you and your family to enjoy with your grill in mind. And, this week, we’re back with 10 new ways you and your family and play together in your backyard this summer and well into the fall. Let’s get started!

Tie-Dye:

Tie-dye is the must-do craft this summer, and we think it’s because it’s quick and easy (albeit a little messy!). There are all-in-one kits for sale online from most craft stores, and we also discovered great tutorials from the dye brand, Rit. On their site, Rit shares new methods for creating tie-dye patterns, how to best prep your fabric before you dye it, and even faster ways to encourage your pieces to dry. Take a look!

Open a Little Free Library:

This summer, we have been reading non-stop! Although we have all largely been keeping our physical distance from our friends and neighbors, one fun way to help your community to feel more connected is by building a Little Free Library for your neighborhood. The idea is neighbors can stop by and take a new book, and the hope is they will add a new or used book to your library in return.

Put on a Play:

Put your family’s acting skills to the test and put on a play or talent show! You can encourage your kids to create a show of their own or have them recreate an old favorite. You can also encourage them to show off their talents. If friends and family want to see the debut performance, encourage them to stop by with masks and their own chairs placed 6’ apart.

Design a Fairy Garden:

We have suggested planting vegetable and fruit gardens, and flower gardens are always a given. But, we have a new garden idea: create a fairy garden! Country Living has great inspiration for you to use to create one of your own at home.

Jump Rope:

Whether your kids have already experienced the old-fashioned fun of jump rope games or they have yet to play, embrace this classic game at home! For new jumpers, consider having them begin by jumping rope on grass. This way if someone does trip, they’re falling on a soft surface rather than on hard pavement.

Make Popsicles:

What is summer without a cool treat to enjoy outside? Try your hand at making your own popsicles. With a few simple ingredients, you can create smoothie inspired popsicles your kids will love making and eating. Thank you to Lemon Tree Dwelling for sharing this delicious recipe! If you’re allergic to dairy, try adding extra fruit and orange juice in lieu of yogurt.

Add Swings:

If you have a large tree in your yard that feels like it’s simply waiting for a swing, now is the time to install one! Try shopping online, make your own, or stop by your local hardware store for a pre-made option. Another idea? Install a porch or deck swing!

Play Mini Golf:

Put your golfing skills to the test from home! Consider purchasing a mini golf set to enjoy in your backyard, or task your kids with coming up with a course for everyone to play. Don’t forget your clubs, balls, and scorecards!

Play Life-Size Memory:

We love playing backyard games because they feel even more fun when they’re life-sized. So, try creating your own version of memory! Make the cards big enough to create a large game in your backyard on your lawn. Who can match the cards the quickest?

Car Wash:

With soap, sponges, and a hose, you can create a few hours of fun for your kids outside with a car wash! Think about having them help you to wash the family’s cars, or create a “kid’s car wash” where they wash their own bikes and scooters. Everything could likely use a good clean. Why not make an afternoon out of this form of water fun?

How has your family been spending time outside together in your backyard this summer? Chime in on Facebook with your ideas!

5 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained in Summer

Since you and your family may not be able to head out on your typical vacations and day trips this summer, you might be running out of ideas of how to keep your kids entertained. Leave the brainstorming to us! We’ve got you covered. We compiled some of our favorites and ditched the typical suggestion to just “put on a movie to keep them busy for a couple hours.” Let’s get the kiddos moving, thinking, and out into the fresh air for a change all while staying safe at home. Take advantage of this time together and have a fun-filled summer making memories as a family! Start out by trying one of these activities:

1. Sidewalk Chalk:

A tried and true classic, you can’t go wrong with a little street-side art! Get the creative juices flowing by heading to any dollar store or craft store and picking up a pack of colorful chalk. There are so many options for activities you can do with chalk and your sidewalk as a blank canvas. Try guessing games like hangman, a game that gets you moving like hopscotch, or make original masterpieces! You could even try using your collective imaginations to create your own game – maybe something resembling a new version of a favorite board game like Candy Land or Pictionary!

2. Cornhole:

Try playing a fun lawn game like cornhole (or as some people call it, bags)! This is a great way to get everyone outside and moving and start up a little friendly competition. Is this a tired game for your family? Try tweaking the rules and turning it into a game similar to H-O-R-S-E. Show off your fancy moves and see how creative, silly, or impressive you can get with your trick shots. Can your family members match your skills or are you the one true cornhole master? Go find out!

Don’t have a cornhole set but are feeling handy? Try building your own! It’s a great way to try something new or if you’re a seasoned craftsman, you can teach your kids great life skills while having fun building something that you’ll enjoy together. Check out this guide!

3. Water Games:

If it’s too hot to be standing in the sun for long periods of time, turn to water games! Try setting up your sprinklers to turn on for a couple hours during the day while you’re burning up in the house. Head outside and just run around through the water to cool off, or make a game of it. Who can last the longest without getting sprayed? Better start practicing your duck and weaving skills! Also, don’t forget about other fun water games like water balloon fights. If you don’t have water balloons, try throwing household sponges to soak each other. You can also break out a Slip ‘N Slide, but if you don’t have one, you can also use any old water resistant tarp like you’d have for camping or painting. Just lay it out on the grass, spray it down with the hose, and get to sliding!

4. Themed Dinners:

If your family is really missing going out to your favorite restaurants, try having a themed dinner! Dress up like chefs and waiters and prep your kitchen and dining room for the evening. Pull out tablecloths and set out silverware to make it more realistic, and try making copycat versions of your go-to dishes from your restaurant of choice. Some fun ideas could be trying a hibachi night like at Benihana or a made to order burrito night like at Chipotle.

If you’re REALLY feeling creative, kick it up a notch by making it a whole event by dressing up for the part. For example, have a luau-themed night with fish or chicken teriyaki, fresh fruits, and fun cocktails (or mocktails). Don’t forget to wear your beach party best – think: leis, Hawaiian shirts, pool floaties, whatever you got! You could also do a Disney-themed night dressed as princesses or animal sidekicks with foods like Ratatouille or even ~the gray stuff~. Check out these Disney recipe ideas. Other ideas would include dressing up like characters from your favorite TV shows and movies like Scooby Doo, Tiger King, That 70’s Show, and more! 

5. Build a Fort:

Really set on the idea of staying in to watch movies? I totally understand! Maybe try spicing up your time on the couch by working together with your kids to build the greatest castle in all the land (read: pillow fort). Grab all your pillows, blankets, quilts, and stuffed animals to make it super cozy. Spice it up by adding some Christmas lights, ribbons, and other decorations! Turn it into a legendary movie night by heading into the kitchen and making some snacks to make it feel extra special. Popcorn and hot chocolate are always hits, but you could also get your kids involved with baking cookies or making hot fudge sundaes. 

Send us pictures of your summer fun on social media. We can’t wait to see what you came up with!

Camp Shopkick: Barbecue Week

Our summers may look different this year, but that means it’s time to get creative and make sure all of the fun of summer’s past is still in the mix at your home! To help you foster meaningful memories with your family, we’re launching Camp Shopkick. We believe it’s not summer unless your weeks are themed with plenty of activities, so we’ll be introducing a new batch of fun each week. To kick things off, it’s Barbecue Week!

Prep Your Grill:

Grilling is a summer family favorite, and there isn’t a week that goes by when we’re not cooking lunch or dinner outside over the flame. With that in mind, it’s important to keep your grill clean. For that task, we turned to the pros from Home Depot who shared this step-by-step article on how to clean charcoal and gas grills. Take a look!

Do a Craft:

Any experienced summer camper knows that a week at camp simply must include a craft! If you and your kids are going to be cooking on your grill, we thought you might want to add to your attire.

When we spotted these no-sew DIY aprons from Say Yes, we knew we had found the ideal craft for you to make with your kids. All you need is a dish towel (the author scored a $1 towel from Ikea), bonding tape, glue and glue gun, ribbon, fabric scissors, and an iron. The steps are simple, and this craft can be completed in no time. Plus, your kids will have a new apron to wear!

If your kids love to paint, another idea is to purchase canvas or fabric aprons and fabric paint. Encourage your little ones to paint their own designs on aprons for them or aprons for the adults they love. A sentimental idea is to have them add their handprints. These are pieces you will use and treasure for years to come!

Get Cooking:

Of course, the ultimate goal with grilling is to create new recipes. To help you to cook something new, here are a few ideas: 

  1. We shared three new-to-use recipes in the Shopkick app. As a fun hint: None of our recipes include hamburgers! We’re thinking beyond the classics.
  2. Check out this blog where we shared fruits, vegetables, and complete meals you can make on your grill. Pineapple, peaches, quesadillas, and pizza are all on the menu!
  3. Epicurious is a wonderful source for recipes for kids! Their team rounded up 16 barbecue recipes for kids that reach beyond hotdogs on their site. Take a look!

Have fun at camp during Barbecue Week, Shopkickers! Let us know what your family makes on Facebook.

Simple Ways to Get Outdoors This Summer

Summer feels a little different right now, so we have to take matters into our own hands and make the most of it! We are all definitely not trapped inside, so let’s keep making sure to get outside into the fresh air. Whether you’re a homebody or an adventurer, we’re sharing fun and simple ways to get outside, and we think you’ll find a perfect match among these suggestions! 

Host a Cookout

Not feeling up to planning a full day trip or excursion? Why not spend the day with loved ones by hosting a backyard barbecue?! While this may not be the most outdoorsy option, you’re bound to have a good time. Get creative by putting your own twist on classic recipes to make new traditions in your household. Plus, get active by pulling out a soccer ball or corn hole boards to get a little friendly competition going. Kids not around? Throw it back to your college years and dust off the old beer pong skills. Whatever activities you enjoy, getting out into the sun is key!

Start a Garden

Whether you have a small plot of land in your yard or a little planter box on your balcony, you can turn it into something beautiful and beneficial! Just by putting in a little bit of research into the types of plants that will thrive in your environment or based on the level of care you want to commit to, you’ll find something great that works for you. Will fresh herbs or tomatoes elevate your cooking? Will your favorite flowers (we love wildflowers and sunflowers!) liven up your space? Let’s find out! Grab some soil, seeds, and get to work! 

Check Out a Local Park

No matter where you live, there’s a park nearby to explore! An easy way to get out into a greener environment is to check out open, public spaces. Maybe it’s a metro park, neighborhood park, dog park, or even national park. Make a day out of it by bringing the kids, dog, frisbee, and picnic. Just getting some fresh air and a change of scenery can make a huge difference if you feel stuck in a tired schedule.

Go for a Hike (or Walk)

Hey outdoor enthusiast! You’re our type of gal/guy. A great way to get outside and embrace the natural world around you is to find a trail and get those steps in. Maybe you have a favorite hiking trail, or maybe you want to take up hiking as a new hobby. Either way, a great place to start is alltrails.com! You can plug in your location and find a spot that fits your desired location, activity, difficulty level, length, and so much more. Enjoy the warmer months by getting out and exploring nature! 

If a strenuous hike isn’t really your thing, you can still get moving with a low-intensity walk around similar trails, parks (see above), or even your neighborhood. Got kids? Building healthy habits and fun hobbies together like going on walks as a family is a great bonding opportunity.

Go Camping

If you’re really vying for a chance to get away from home, try planning a camping trip. It’s super easy to go online and reserve a campsite at a drive-in campground, or you could even backpack into a remote area if you’re feeling ambitious. Either way, just being immersed in nature and soaking up the sights, sounds, and smells can bring peace of mind and soul. Getting out of the house and finding adventure and/or tranquility within the natural world is an easy way to have a vacation on a budget. If you don’t have the time or energy to round up the troops and get away for the weekend, try pitching a tent in your backyard to have a fun but low-stress “getaway” with the kids!

Fruit Picking

It’s summer fruit season (a personal favorite of ours)! If day trips are more your speed, fruit picking is a fun, quick way to try something new, get out into the sun, and get your grocery shopping done. There are lots of fruits and veggies in season this time of year, so check out berry patches, stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, etc.) orchards, and local vegetable gardens that allow you to pick your own produce. If something like this doesn’t exist in your area, try hitting up a farmer’s market! You’ll still be able to find the freshest goods and greens, but the hard part of harvesting is already done for you.

How will you get outside this season? Keep the conversation going on Facebook!