1. Lowe's Build and Grow and Home Depot Kids Workshop
This is for an older child but both of the home improvement stores have events each month to make a project in the store. Depending on your child's skill level (there is hammering involved) you may be the one doing the hammering for the project so be prepared. For Lowe's the current schedule has Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon and in August some Monsters vs Aliens projects. You have to preregister and it is on Saturdays at 10 am. You normally receive an apron and kit in the beginning and upon completion a badge and certificate. A full schedule can be found at lowesbuildandgrow.com/pages/default.aspx
Home Depot currently has on their schedule building a riding lawn mower and a bug house. Their projects are on Saturdays too but start at 9 am there is a registration as well. You also get an apron and a completion badge as well. The schedule for this is workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops
Both stores offer these events for free so these are great if you have a little builder in your family. Plus the sense of accomplishment on their little faces will probably put a smile on your face too.
2. Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express
Dreams of seeing a movie at the movie theater? Although this list is probably not your dream list it is quite possibly your little ones. The best part of this program- it is only a $1 each for admission. What a great way to accustom your child to going to a movie theater where there are theaters full of kids in attendance (Still not your dream experience I know but we have to get out of the house and who doesn't like movie popcorn???). The movies are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 am and for participating theater location and movie schedule go to www.regmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express
3. Pottery Barn Kids Storytime and Summer Reading Program
Now I am not going to lie this Storytime is probably going to be packed but it is all in proportion to your desperation to get out of the house. That said, if you happen to have a Pottery Barn Kids near you on Tuesdays at 11 am they have Storytime and after 5 visits, you receive a stamp per visit, you can get $10 off an in store purchase (it's the little things). Also, there is a summer reading program that has a completion list for older kids as well as younger ones. This is one of the few summer programs that I have seen that includes toddlers as well. With your completed list, you can get a free book in exchange. Here is the link with all the info including the book list requirements http://www.potterybarnkids.com/design-studio/articles/summer-reading-challenge.html
4. Local Splash Pad
This one seems pretty obvious but in my area at least there are tons of local splash pads, (one of the perks of living in Orlando-heat and I are not friends) many of the splash pads are free or a few dollars. Get some outdoor fun and avoid a possible heat stroke. Bring swim diaper for little ones and don't forget the sunscreen. Some great local splash pads are Capehart Park, Tanja King Splash Pad, Dr. Phillips Splash Pad, and Downey Park. All the ones I listed are gated which makes keeping track of your little ones so much easier. FYI: Downey Park is $2/person so come with some cash.
Tanja King Splash Pad
Finally, my last suggestion, and this is for you and your little one(s) is to join a play group for the summer. It is great for interaction for the kids but also for you. You can make some new friends and maybe even schedule some mom's nights out (Aaha.., now I have your attention!!!). Everybody needs a break so make sure you get one it will be great for your sanity. If you are looking for a play group go to www.meetup.com and look under your area for a local play group.
One of the best things I ever did, after becoming a mommy, was start a play group and I have met so many great mommies and have made some great friends. Including my friend who created this blog with me over drinks at a night out at Epcot over some strong Strawberry Margaritas. So take a chance step out of your comfort zone and make some friends :)
Since many of us have experienced baby amnesia I think many of us also have what I call "Fun Amnesia". Fun Amnesia is getting excited about going to do something with our kiddos anything from the mall to as big as Disney or beyond and into hour 2 you realize what was I thinking this is either exhausting/stressful/crazy I am never doing that again. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your outlook-you forget about all the stress from your last outing and go out again. I guess this is a great design otherwise, when would we ever leave the house??!!
These are just a few suggestions if you like this post or have suggestions for unique summer activities that we can all have "Fun Amnesia" for please comment and share with your friends.