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Jessie

Family, Las Vegas Kids, Las Vegas Moms, Things To Do, Tips and Tricks, Travel

Tips for Creating a Great Summer Bucket List

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Summer is almost here! The last day of school for most of Las Vegas is June 8th and it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to keep the kiddos entertained all summer! You don’t want summer to pass you by without having some fun!

Creating a summer bucket list can help!  Since the summer of 2010 we’ve been putting together a family summer bucket list and we look forward to it every year.  What exactly is a summer bucket list? It’s just an awesome way to have an intentionally fun summer with your family and make some great memories! The list doesn’t have to be big or filled with expensive outings to be fun.  Just think of some things you all can do together as a family in the summer, write it down, then go have fun! 

Here are a few tips that have worked for us (through a bit of trial and error) on creating a fun and successful summer bucket list that everyone can enjoy.  

  • Get the whole family involved.  Everyone will be more excited if they have a say in the list, so we make sure to talk about it together. Dinnertime or driving in the car work great.  Kids will come up with some pretty far fetched activities sometimes, so it’s good to give them boundaries and suggestions as to what kinds of activities you can/prefer to do, especially if this is your first time putting the list together.  The key is to get input from everyone and although not every activity will make the cut, they’ll be happy to have had a say in it and will be super excited when it’s time to do their activity!the_emerics_san_diego_california_ensenada_mexico_family_vacation-5
  • Include traditions.  Most of our traditions became traditions purely unintentionally, but now that we have them we are intentional about keeping them.  We make sure to include them each year in our bucket list and look forward to them each summer.  I’m sure you probably have summer traditions yourself already and just didn’t realize it.  Things like, BBQing with friends, watching fireworks, swimming parties, these may all be things you may do each year that can easily be incorporated into your family’s summer bucket list.

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  • Limit your list.  We found that keeping the list to about 10-12 activities is much more realistic than trying to include 20+ things.  Putting too much on your list can get stressful and pricey.  Your list should be about having fun together, not just doing stuff!DSCF8012
  • Don’t be too ambitious.  Every day doesn’t have to be jam packed with activities and weekends don’t have to be spent at a theme park or away from home for it to be fun and memorable.   Kids just want to spend time with you.  Your summer bucket list doesn’t need to be super elaborate or expensive.  This is especially true for younger kiddos.  Some of our fun and simple activities have included: going out for frozen yogurt, bike riding, geocaching, and watching the sunset. Need some ideas? Check out sites like Groupon and Living Social for great deals on fun things to do, like acrades, mini golf, bowling, go kart racing, laser tag, paintball, etc! 

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  • Display your list.  static1.squarespaceOnce you have your activities all picked out, make sure to display the list in a place where it can always be seen.  The last thing you want to do is create all this excitement and then forget about it. Believe me, if you put your list in a spot where the kids can see it everyday, they won’t let you forget about it! Through the years we’ve put it at the bottom of the staircase, on the fridge, and on a banner across the kitchen window. Bonus tip: Get the kiddos involved in creating a fun way to display your list 😉
  • Plan.  Once we have the list ready and displayed, it’s time to set a plan in motion.  Depending on your list, this could require lots of planning or little planning.  Our summer bucket list usually consists of smaller activities (frozen yogurt, water park, hiking, water balloon fights) with 1-2 big ones, such as a trip to the beach or family vacation.  Obviously, planning a trip will require a lot more planning, such as hotel stays, flights, rental car, etc. and most likely you’ll have your dates set for that. But I even find it helpful to at least pencil in the smaller events, just so that they are on the calendar and ready to go! 
  • Document.  Now that you’ve put some effort into creating and displaying your list, you have to go out and do all those fun things!  And, don’t forget to document along the way.  Whether you use a professional camera, a point and shoot, or just your iPhone, it’s important to snap a few photos for posterity’s sake.  We tend to use all 3! Here are a few ideas on places to document your summer: personal blog, special hashtag on instagram (ours will be #emericsummer2017), facebook album, scrapbook, chatbooks, or even a yearly calendar.  There are lots of options!  Whatever you choose, it’ll be great to look back at the end of the summer and relive all the cool things you did!

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So what are you waiting for? Grab the kiddos and start thinking of ideas for your summer bucket list! Your family will look forward to all the big & little adventures you’ll have throughout the summer.  Let’s make this summer your best one yet! 

Feel free to check out our summer bucket lists from the past 2 years to get ideas and inspiration for your own – 2016 and 2015

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Events, Family, Fitness, Health, Kid-Friendly, Las Vegas Kids, Las Vegas Moms, Things To Do

Las Vegas Kid Friendly Running Races

groundhogday5k-1After having kiddos, eating healthy and less processed foods became super important to me, but exercise was not a big part of our family life until about 5 years ago when I became passionate about running and living a more active lifestyle.  It’s been the best thing for us as a family to get outside and enjoy nature.  I’ve also enjoyed obstacle course races, like Spartan Race and Tough Mudder and my kids have really loved that too.  I mean who wouldn’t think it’s fun to run through mud and climb walls?! When I first started running and signing myself up for races, I began to notice that a lot of these races are kid-friendly and/or have kid races as part of their race weekend too!  I loved this idea of making running a family activity and I’ve signed up my kiddos for many races and they’ve always had a blast running them! Plus, it really makes them feel good about themselves too and a good self-esteem is so important for little ones!     

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So, if you’re interested in getting your family running together or just want your kiddos to have fun running some races, I’ve put together a list of local Las Vegas race organizations that are family-friendly and/or have kid specific races.  I’ll also include non-local race companies that put on races here in Las Vegas!

  • Desert Dash – Little Dashers 2k/2m trail race for kids 12 and under.  All races receive a kid water cup and bib. No medals. Kid races are on the same day as the adult races, just with a later start time.  
  • Triple Dare Running Company – Seasonal kid races that offer 1 mile fun run and a 5K competitive run. All runners receive a tshirt and 5K runners receive a finisher medal, as well as awards for top runners.  
  • Bristle Cone Events – 5K community runs.  No shirts, no medals, no pressure! Just a fun time together as a family.  
  • Desert Sky Adventures – Fun family-friendly 5K during the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving Day. All participants get a t-shirt and a finisher’s medal.  
  • Run Away with Cirque du Soleil – Family friendly 5K run/walk event at Springs Preserve with music and performers of Cirque du Soleil.  
  • Spartan Kids Race – Spartan Race is an international obstacle course race with races in lots of cities throughout the year.  Las Vegas is usually held in the spring.  Kids can participate in 2 mile, 1 mile, and 1/2 mile races depending on their age.  Each child will receive a T-shirt and Finisher’s Medal.  
  • Mini  Mudder – Tough Mudder isn another international obstacle course race, with a Las Vegas race usually in the fall.  They offer a 1 mile race for kids ages 7-12.    
  • Terrain Racing – National obstacle course race, with a Las Vegas race usually in the fall.  They offer 5K races for ages 7 and up where they’ll be running with everyone on the regular course and also a mini monkey 1/2 mile race for little ones ages 2-8.  Everyone receives a race big, t-shirt, and finisher medal.
  • Kids Dash – Badass Dash is another national obstacle course race, with a Las Vegas race usually in the spring.  They offer a 200-yard dash for 4 – 6 year olds and a 1 mile course for the 7 – 13 years olds.  

Aside from these races, there are tons of fun 5Ks that are family friendly that come to Las Vegas every year, such as Super Hero Run, Inflatable 5K, Bubble Run, and Color Run.  

I’m sure there are other races I’ve missed, so feel free to share in the comments some fun family races you know of and/or have participated in!