Summer Days: One NOLA Family’s Plan

I have a hard time answering the question, “What’s your favorite season?” For me, anything that lies ahead in full is something to anticipate. So at the start of a new season, all the possibilities of that particular season seem novel, idyllic, and waiting to be explored. (Although I’ve noticed there isn’t really a fall season to be anticipated and enjoyed in New Orleans!)

Bubble FunI, for one, enjoyed this year’s slow farewell to spring, but there is no doubt summertime is here now! Summer in New Orleans might seem to have some major drawbacks and I have often wondered how people handled the heat pre-AC, BUT there is also a lot to look forward to.

First and foremost, summertime makes me think of a slower pace (probably genetically programmed into the inhabitants of hot places). Lazy, light-filled evenings, children on break from school, a pause in many activities. My main worry this summer is that we have a lot going on (travel, with work) so I worry we won’t get to enjoy this prime attribute of summer.

So to ensure this doesn’t happen, I’m listing out my six top hopes for summer fun with my family this year:

A beach vacation! 

Last year, we used to find a vacation rental in Gulf Shores, packed up our 7-week and 2.5-year old and spent 3 awesome days, just us. The days were relaxed and we made special memories as a young family of four. Finding time for a similar trip this year is a high priority for me.

Water time!

Baby Cora was born last June and I couldn’t get on top of water play. I loved the idea of a baby pool in the yard. Never happened. I kept hearing about the free public pools. Never went. But this year, I have a water baby and a big kid who loves the pool, so we’ll be visiting the public pools in our neighborhood for free!

Summer Novelties!

Beach FunThese are the special programs and events that only come around this time of year. We’ll kick this off tonight at Audubon’s Zoobilation. Jack is signed up for the New Orleans Public Library summer reading challenge and I’ve got the summer program events on my calendar. The Prytania Theater has summer kid showings on Friday and Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m. for $5.75. Our goal is to read Charlotte’s Web before it shows!

AC Respites!

It’s naïve to think we can go hard in the sun for long, so I have a list of cool indoor spots to visit. The Parenting Center’s Friday Water Wonderful Day is on the list as is the Louisiana Children’s Museum. As Audubon members, we’ll be making at least one visit to the Insectarium and the Aquarium. And at 3.5, Jack may be ready for his first IMAX trip. In addition to our library trips, I’ve found inexpensive adventures can be had to the book store, craft store, and even the grocery store if you set a one treat rule!

Summer snacks!

Watermelon, homemade lemonade, Crescent City Farmer’s Market blueberries and strawberries, snoballs, hamburgers and squash from our garden on the grill, homemade popsicles, corn on the cob, light and fizzy summer cocktails…the list goes on.

Summer Fun with BabiesPlay as if I have nothing else to do!

While that will never be true, especially this summer, I need to pretend it is so that I can bask in the magic of SUMMERTIME. I’m going to let my inner child out and suggest nature walks, backyard picnics, puzzle competitions, tea parties, art projects, and if we never get around to getting a baby pool, I can at least turn the sprinkler on!

When I think back to childhood, so many vivid and happy memories come to mind. I want NOLA summer 2013 to leave the same mark on my kids’ minds!

What about you? Do you have fun summer plans you can share?



  1. I love this list Courtney- we love summer at our house, too- we have a pool, so we spend a lot of time swimming and playing in the water. We also love the library summer reading program, going to the Farmer’s Market, and we are hoping to also go back to the aquarium and insectarium at some point this summer for a little family date!

    and we just got back from the beach!!! 🙂

  2. LOVE this Courtney!!! I just told Josh the same thing last weekend!! I decided to stop trying to catch up on cleaning and errands on the weekend (since it is easier with him home from work) and just have fun! I don’t want summer to pass by without doing all the fun summer things I remember loving as a child!


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