Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Summer Bucket List: Giving My Kids a Summer To Remember

"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose."  ~From the television show The Wonder Years


     Every summer, I swear it will be the best summer ever and quite frankly, it never is! I start out the kids vacation with well-intentioned promises on where we will go and what we will do, how adventurous the summer is going to be, but I can't ever seem to get past the initial promises, and in no time the summer passes us right on by. So this year has been a lot better, especially since we moved to a lake town. I told the kids before summer that we would spend most of the summer days and evenings at the lake, and I have happily delivered. It has seriously been raining nonstop in Jackson GA for the past week and a half, so we haven't been able to do that AT ALL. (And my tan is fading!!!!) Luckily, my two oldest kids (Evie and Savannah) have been in Myrtle Beach, S.C. with their aunt and uncle, so at least they have been having some fun. Anyhoo, today I decided to make a summer bucket list for all the things I want us to do since the older kids will be coming back tomorrow and since the summer is halfway over. I want to make sure we get to do EVERYTHING this year! Here's what my list consists of. And if you live in Georgia or will be visiting this summer, I'm going to add the websites and info on all the places I'm listing. (I urge you to write a summer bucket list too and pin it up in an very visible place so that you don't forget about it. That has honestly been one of the reasons why our summers are usually so fruitless, adventure-wise.)

(This has been copied from my actual list that I hand-wrote.)


-Museum of Arts and Sciences: 

       Hours: Tue.-Sat. 10AM-5PM, Sun. 1PM-5PM
       Admission: Adults: $10, Kids 3-17: $5

-Ocmulgee National Monument: (I've been here and it's awesome!)

       Hours: Open Daily 9AM-5PM (closed on Christmas and New Years Day)
       Admission: FREE!!!!!!

       Hours: Open Tue.-Sat. 10AM-5PM, First Friday of the month: 10AM-7:30PM 
       Admission: $5 per person, Kids 2 and under: FREE; Free on the 1st Friday of the month

-GA Sports Hall of Fame:

       Hours: Open Tue.-Sat. 9AM-5PM
       Admission: Adults: $8, Children 6-16: $3.50

-Hay House: (Featured on the TV show, "America's Castles)

       Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10AM-4PM, Sun. 1PM-4PM, Tours on the hour every hour, last tour starts at 3PM.
       Admission: Adults: $11, Ages 6 and under: FREE

2. Stone Mountain: (There is an app for this.)

- Climb the mountain
- Watch the lasershow

       Admission: Parking is $10, but the other attractions inside cost some money. Check out the website to plan your trip and see how much each individual activity costs or you can get an "everything included" pass. The activities I listed above are both free, as I'm trying to stay frugal. :)

       Obviously, this one is one of the pricey ones. But to keep expenses low, bring a cooler filled with drinks and sandwiches to keep in your car. You can get a stamp that allows you to leave and come back. I don't know if you can actually leave the parking lot and be readmitted though.

       Hours: Check calendar for days it may be closed but it's open daily 10AM-10PM
       Admission: Online: $44.99 ( If you buy tix online 7 days prior to your visit, you can get them for $39.99. 3 days prior you can get them for $42.99)
                            General admission: (at the gate, day of) $59.99
                            Kids under 48": $39.99, 2 and under: FREE
                            Parking: $20

4. St. Simons Island:

-The Pier: FREE and open 24/7

       Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10AM-5PM, Sun. 1PM-5PM
       Admission: Adults: $10, Kids 6-11: $5, under 6: FREE

       Hours: Daily 9AM-4:30PM
       Admission: Adults: $3, 15 and under: FREE

-Christ Church: This church is absolutely breathtaking and it's cemetary houses some very old graves.

       Hours: Daily 2PM-5PM, except on holidays
       Admission: FREE

5. Juliette, GA: (Where parts of the movie, "Fried Green Tomatoes" was filmed. The cafe is still there.)

       Hours: Mon.-Sun. 11AM-4PM

- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge:

       Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8AM-4:30PM, Weekends 9AM-5PM, closed on federal holidays
       Admission: I'm gonna assume that it's free because I didn't see anything saying they charge a fee on their website. 

       Hours: Daily 7AM-10PM
       Admission: $5 parking

       This is a great place to take the family camping. They have tent and RV sites as well as some "tents" called Yurts that you can rent out. The yurts are $75 dollars a night, with a minimum of two nights on the weekends. You can also rent canoes, paddle boats, and john boats.

       Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:30AM-5:30AM, Sat. & Sun. 9:30AM-6:30PM last admission is one hour before closing time on all days. The zoo is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.
       Admission: Adults: $21.99, Kids 3-11: $16.99, Kids under 3: FREE

8. Dauset Trails Nature Center:

       Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9AM-5PM, Sat. 9AM-7PM, Sun. 12PM-7PM (extended summer times)
       Admission: FREE, but bring quarters so that you can get food pellets to throw to some of the animals.

       This place is great. It's a foster home for animals of all kinds, i.e. lions, tigers, bears, oh my! It also won the DRAGON-CON Charity Poll! They will receive half of the proceeds received from the DRAGON-CON convention, including a $50,000 matching contribution from DRAGON-CON! It was featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer! Watch the story here:

       Hours: Tue.-Sat. 12PM-3PM
       Admission: FREE but donations are accepted

1o. Indian Springs State Park:

       Hours: Daily 7AM-10PM
       Admission: $5 parking

       And there it is. There's not a lot on my list but I want to make sure everything is obtainable money-wise, as well as time-wise. A couple of the things are a little pricey but those things can be enjoyed on a small budget if you have one. I'm going to be adding this list to my Facebook fan page too, so stop by that regularly to see if I have updated it as I come up with new, cheap ideas.

       I hope y'all have found my list helpful. I put all my lists in outline form cause I'm just weird like that, but you can just use this as a guide for your own list, no matter where you live. In fact, I would love to see y'alls lists too! Feel free to share them in my comments section! Hope y'all have a safe and fun summer and don't forget to subscribe to my blog! Also, please feel free to click the Top Mommy Blogs badge on the right hand sidebar to help shoot me up to the top. 

~XoXo Jess


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