As a high school teacher who also teaches during summer school, August is a special time for me. Though the back-to-school signs are a constant reminder that the upcoming school year is fast approaching and the end of summer is near, August is when I can finally enjoy my summer break.
In years past, I’ve dreaded August. I felt anxious about the summer being over, the start of a new school year, and the impending winter on the horizon. I wasn’t living in joy — and I was letting time slip by. That really isn’t a way to live!
Now I try my best to dodge the school supply aisles and embrace the summer vibes for as long as possible. This means being grateful for the time I have off, taking more time to be outdoors doing things I love, and enjoying the beauty that is summer in Massachusetts. This August my family and I are living in the present by enjoying some of our favorite summer activities.
Adventuring in the neighborhood
We love going for long walks as a family in our Hyde Park neighborhood. Whether it’s a quick walk around the block or taking on the rolling streets of Fairmount Hill, we’re strapping on our sneakers and enjoying the longer summer days. One of our favorite adventures is taking a walk over to the John T. Moynihan spray deck. After my daughter is done splashing around, we’ll walk along the Neponset Greenway before heading over to Ron’s Ice Cream for a sweet treat to enjoy on the bench outside the Hyde Park library. You can’t beat water, nature, and ice cream all in one walking trip minutes away from home!
Exploring Trustees reservations
With more than 27,000 protected acres, there are endless options for a family adventure ranging from a hike to outdoor wood-fired pizza picnics. Our family’s favorite is the Francis William Bird Park in Walpole. We enjoy walking the windy paths, checking out the frog pond, and packing a picnic lunch to enjoy in the grassy quad. My daughter’s favorite part is the “tot lot” playground that is filled with tricycles and other toy cars for kids to enjoy.
Taking a mini vacation
Taking a big summer trip is fun, but I love the shorter one- or two-day trips. They are a perfect way to close out the summer without feeling like you need a vacation after your vacation. A quick car ride to a new town can still provide tons of summer fun. Our family favorite is spending a night or two at Nantasket Beach. We love to hang out on the beach for the day, but it’s also awesome for a nice morning or evening walk. Once the beach day ends, there’s still a lot to do — there’s an arcade, mini-golf, and a carousel! There are also many dining options, like The Parrot, Nantasket Flatts, or Local 02045. At some point in our trip we always enjoy bagels from Weinberg’s on the beach wall overlooking the ocean.
Picking fresh, local fruit
There are so many places to pick fresh fruit in Massachusetts. My daughter loves getting her own bag to fill with as little help as possible from mom and dad. She loves the idea of being on a farm. This August we’re picking peaches and nectarines at Lookout Farm. Not only do we get to enjoy their u-pick experience, there’s also a great outdoor dining setup that overlooks their farm. They also brew their own beer and cider, which is delicious! You can even enjoy the farm without picking fruit by taking a leisurely stroll on their walking path. The best part about the whole experience for us is bringing our fruit haul home and finding as many ways as possible to enjoy it, from baking muffins to grilling fresh peaches.
The school bell will soon ring. Winter’s coming. Until then, I’m living in the moment and soaking up every last bit of summer with my family!