Food for Thoughts: Chime In and Win Dinner Out!

sunimages.jpgEdited to add: We’ll select a winner at random today (Wednesday, May 20) at 4 p.m. Quick! Tell us what you’re doing this summer with the kids!

Summer is fast approaching and chances are you’re starting to think about that upcoming 2 1/2 months. We are. With public school and preschool programs coming to a screeching halt in about two weeks, Gwen and I are cobbling together summer care for our kids mixed with a good dose of pool visits, craft projects and lazy days.

We know we’re not the only ones who’d love to hear how YOUR summer will play out. We always learn the most from our fellow mamas. Since everyone has different situations, we’ll give you three questions to choose from for a chance to win some delicious food for your thoughts.

Just comment on one of the questions (or all!) and we’ll select three moms at RANDOM to win a gift certificate for dinner on the town, courtesy of We’ve got gift cards for Copelands, Bonefish and Chili’s.

swimming-stuff.pngOn to the questions:

  1. We know this summer that money might be tight. What’s your favorite “budget-friendly”summer activity around NWA or beyond? (Public pool, park, library?)
  2. What are your go-to rainy day activities at home or out and about? (Art supplies on the ready? Local mall? Jump Zone?)
  3. How do you handle summer child care when you work full-time? (Babysitter? Day camps? Relatives?)

If you’re shy about posting a comment, please remember that you don’t have to give your full name. A first name is absolutely fine. If you’ve got one of those unforgettable first names, just go with your first initial. But make sure to give us a valid e-mail address so we can reach you if you win (e-mail addresses don’t show up with the comment).

Click the word “comment” in the lower right hand corner of this post (under the dotted line) and let us know what you think. We can’t wait to see — and steal — your ideas!


  1. 1. Neighborhood pool, library, bicycle trails
    2. We usually stay home on rainy days because all the indoor play places are packed on those days. 🙂 We have a little “castle” we set up only on rainy days, so it’s something the kids look forward to.

  2. I been very happy with the programs at the library and park

    I work so my child goes to day care and one or two day camps.

  3. We spend lots of time at the neighborhood pool and there are so many great parks to choose from in NWA. We’re also planning to take advantage of the $2.00 movies at the Malco theater. Both of my girls also love the Shiloh museum in Springdale and walking the trail and looking at the buildings at Prairie Grove Battlefield.

  4. Pine Crest Private School has a wonderful summer camp for school-aged children. My daughter loves going there! She goes part time so that she doesn’t get bored at home. I teach school, so summer is a sacred time for me. I get some wind down time while she is having fun.

  5. 1. We love to go to all of the parks in Fayetteville. We have been trying to visit a new one each week. The public library is also a great “free” family acivity to enjoy.
    2. On rainy days we love to go to Fun City and the mall…anywhere inside with a place for the kids to run and play!

  6. Camping is a great and affordable getaway if your looking for some not too far away weekend entertainment. My husband and I work so our kids do the summer program at their school. Weekends are the time for our summer activities and we like to have friends over for kid-friendly cookouts and the local pools are great. Rainy days are great for taking in movies (rented or in theatre).

  7. We go swimming at Springdale Aquatics Center & Fayetteville Athletic Club quite frequently. We also visit a new park each week & have a picnic lunch there. Roller skating is also a must & they have reduced prices in the summer at Roller City. Bike riding, rollerblading, or just walking is a must everyday!

  8. We actually enjoy rainy days – we break out the tent building materials (blankets and pillows) and have a “camp out”. My kids love to make a picnic and eat in the tent and tell stories. Then, nap time is a “snap” because they actually ENJOY sleeping in the tent. Sometimes, I actually look forward to a rainy day. :o)

  9. My friend Marian got an “aunt” gift from her sister of a small bouncy castle she sets up in her living room. It is perfect–and we loved visiting her on a rainy day! So I say next time it rains we’ll all go to Marian’s house!

  10. We plan on taking full advantage of the Walmart gym/pool, and activities as well as the library. For the most part I am new to the area so I don’t really know where to go. I’ll definitely be reading all the other comments to get some ideas.

  11. I agree with what’s been written: visting the parks, library, also Little Sprouts Storytime at the Botanical Gardens (if you are a member, there’s no additional charge). Lowes and Home Depot workshops are free but I dont know if these go on in the summer?? Sometimes Toys R US has activities in the summer.

  12. The Reptile Museum in Fayetteville.

    On rainy days: Picnic on the living room floor, building forts/caves out of blankets and sheets. Our magic sand and playmobile only comes out on rainy days.

    We visit the pet store or the shelter for entertainment.

  13. I work in a school and have a 3-year-old son. I take a couple of hours in May and put together a calendar of all of the things that I can find in NWA to do during the summer. I put the library storytimes, farmers’ markets, the open play times at JumpZone, Botanical Garden events, the free concerts, Naturals games, etc on a calendar. We put the calendar on the fridge and have a “menu” of options to choose from everyday. In one of the empty squares, I post the times that the pool and splash park are open and other daily options like the park, library, etc. It keeps us from wondering what to do every day – if we decide to do anything at all!

  14. The Bentonville library is great and so are all the trails in Bella Vista, Bentonville, and Fayetteville.

  15. We love a good puddle jump on a rainy day. The Boys and Girls club indoor pool is a good place for a swim rain or shine. There is also the option of the rock wall climbing or running around in the gym. Parks are a must during the summer … especially the shady ones. We’re also looking forward to lots of play dates with good friends. I’ve loved reading these other great suggestions!!


  16. 1. We love Roaring River State Park, the kids can feed the fish, DH can drown some worms. We also love to spend a day at the Wild Wilderness Animal Safari in Gentry.

  17. Being an active mother who thinks physical activity are important for health, when my kids were in Jr. High and middle School I would make them run/walk a mile while I ran 3 in order to do something fun in the afternoon. We would either go swimming at the public pool or to the library. Sometimes we would take nature hikes and gather interesting objects.

    Also, having them journal or write short stories about adventures they would like to have lets them have a creative mind during the summer months. As parents,my husband and I banded any type of computer games, and we don’t have cable TV, so coming up with fun activities was important when my kids were young.

  18. I send my youngest to the Rogers Activity Center during the summer. They love it; they get to go swimming, bowling, chuck e cheese, and even go to the Zoo. They have skate days and movie days; all meals and snacks are provided and they have awesome Camp Counselors. Most of them are still young enough to keep up with the kids! 🙂 My oldest has gone to Camp War Eagle; she loved it there. Hope this helps!

  19. I have 3 boys and they really enjoy being outdoors. We love to go to the Lake Bella Vista Trail. They can play in the sand at the park then ride bikes around to throw rocks in the river and wash off the sand. Only thing is the equipment at the park gets really hot on those sunny summer days!

  20. Malco has $1 movies for the kids in June and July. It is a great air conditioned activity for the long hot summer days. They are older movies, but the kids usually don’t care!

  21. We spend a lot of time a the library. My son loves the Mad science one day camp.


  22. For a cheep day and a great time with the kids chick fl a(playground) petco (zoo) library (magical adventure). That’s right my kids are going to look back and say wow my mom really tricked us!

Comments are closed.