Anyone who knows me knows I love the summer season. I love the heat, the sun, the sunsets, the beach, the cookouts, the water and the laughter I hear from the kids playing in the neighborhood. New England is known for their seasons, which is partly the reason I will most likely never leave. If you’ve ever been here during the months of September and October, you know exactly what I mean, it is simply beautiful.

Because D is 2 ½ this year and a bit more independent, I really wanted to ensure we took advantage of every beautiful day, every weekend, simply every chance we could this summer – and we have! There are several weeks left this summer and so many more fun activities planned. I’m so excited! Oh, and don’t forget to take pictures, lots and lots of pictures.

Below are 10 of my favorite, highly recommended things to do during the summer months.
1. Water play. At the beach, in the pool or at the lake, my son and I LOVE the water and take advantage of making a splash any chance we can.

2. Blueberry or strawberry picking. We unfortunately didn’t get the chance to go strawberry picking this year, but went blueberry picking for the first time. New England is great because there’s a season for just about everything. In the fall it will be pears, pumpkins and apples!

3. Bike rides. My husband and I don’t own one of those bike attachments for children, but we were dying to try it out when we went away for vacation. So while in Block Island, Rhode Island we rented bikes with an attached trailer. It was SO much fun and I highly recommend doing it if you get the chance.

4. Rainy weather. Unfortunately, the summertime isn’t always sunny and warm, in which case a plan B is needed (and sometimes wanted). Build a fort (which was totally Cindy’s idea), go to the movies, make popsicles, or play dress-up.

5. Playgrounds. One of our goals this summer was to find the best, age appropriate playground we could for D. He’s only 2 ½ so I’m not yet comfortable with him doing everything on his own. I do give him quite a bit of freedom, but only when it’s appropriate.

6. Family & friends! Nothing is more important to me. I live for family cookouts and get-togethers with friends. Not to mention, D absolutely loves playing with all of his cousins and friends every chance he gets.

7. City day trips. We live fairly close to Boston and certainly do not get into the city as often as we’d like, but when we do, it’s a blast. We went a couple weeks ago and D was mesmerized. He kept asking “back to Boston mommy, can we go back?” We were only there for a few hours, but that’s all we needed – and truthfully all we can really handle.

8. Gardening. This year was the year I attempted to grow a garden. We started with a potted garden and so far so good. D helped start the garden, helps water the plants and now helps to pick off the full grown vegetables. He is also obsessed with mowing the lawn and weed whacking, purely because he sees daddy doing it. It is one of the cutest things to watch. So if you have a little boy (and even a little girl) I would highly recommend getting them a looks-like lawnmower so they can help daddy with the yard work. Below is a picture of our vegetable and herb garden on day 1.

9. The park! Bring a picnic, fly a kite, kick the soccer ball or feed the ducks. This is probably one of my husband’s favorite activities to do with D, so we try to fit it in here and there – when we’re not at the beach of course.

10. Lobster. Having lobster right off the boat is an absolute must in New England. While on vacation this year, we brought D down to the docks and bought lobsters right off the boat. He loved being by the boats and by the water, but not so much the claws on the lobsters. It was rather funny, and the lobsters were super yummy.

What is ONE must-have summertime activity you do with your family?