I recently met one of my long-time friends for coffee at the Starbucks in Oakley and we started talking about all of the great activities our kids used to do during the summer months. I had always been impressed by the number of activities she and her children did over the summer. Part of me wondered how she did it, and so I asked. The following is the list of her suggestions and advice to help Stay-At-Home parents get through the long summer days.
First Rule - Calendar Everything!
I sporadically sipped on my coconut milk latte as I took notes. The first thing she told me was, "Calendar everything. Don't leave a single day without something to do." At first, I thought that would be difficult to accomplish, but when she started listing out the activities she and her children planned, I saw that it would be a lot easier than originally imagined. Some of the days were set up for events outside of the home, and some were set up with activities that could be done without going anywhere. Like having a Backwards Day, for example, where they would eat ice cream for breakfast, cereal for dinner, and wear pajamas all day. She even let the kids be the parent for the day, too. However, when they did go out, which was often, she had a long list of places to visit that wouldn't break the bank. Here's a few of them.
Parks were always a good option, and back when her kids were younger, there weren't as many as there are now, so we updated her list. It took a bit of research, but we made a list of all of the parks throughout Oakley, and noted any special items they offered, such as the water features at Briarwood Park, Creekside Park, and Nunn-Wilson Family Park. There are also skate areas at Nutmeg Park, Magnolia Park, and Laurel Ball Fields, and a few pet friends parks, too.
On the larger scale for parks, Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex and Antioch Water Park are great places to take the kids swimming. Though that does cost money, my friend mentioned both of those parks had reduced rates later in the day, and may still offer that option now.
Even though school might be out, there is no reason to not introduce your kids to educational outings, such as going to the local library. They have a long list of summer activities, including Teen Tuesday, where older kids can hang out, play games, watch anime, and eat. For the younger kids, they have Lego Builders Clubs, Pajama Story Times, and crafts days.
There are also two museums nearby that she mentioned are worth going to. One of these is the East Contra Costa Historical Society museum on Sellers Road in Brentwood. According to their website, the museum is open every Saturday and the third Sunday each month, from April to October. The entire grounds are open to the public, including the Byer/Nail House, Homer's Toolshed and the Eden Plains Schoolhouse. The second museum is the Antioch Historical Museum located at 1500 W. Fourth Street in Antioch. You will find a Firehouse here, as well as the McCoy Cook House, and several 'themed' rooms to explore, such as the Schools Room, Military Room, Delta Room, and one room that is set up like an old Saloon.
Finally, don't forget about the Big Break Regional Shoreline located here in Oakley at 69 Big Break Road. The park also offers Fishing, Kayak and Canoe areas, Hiking and Biking trails, and Naturalist programs as well. In fact, the park has so many activities, you could find something to do at least once a week for the whole summer and probably still not complete it all.
My friend mentioned that, in the past, some of the local theaters hosted free movie days for kids. The movies were typically not those currently showing, but were still fun for the kids to watch. If they are no longer doing that, you can still check out the Movie in the Plaza nights in Oakley, and both Brentwood and Oakley also host free Concert in the Park series throughout the summer.
Festivals and Events
Throughout the summer there are festivals and events scheduled, some of which include activities for the kids! One of the best events is the Cityhood Celebration that Oakley runs every year on the first Saturday in July. The lower basin by Freedom High School is packed with food vendors, retail vendors, and an entire area of jumpers and kids activities as well. At the end of the night, after the sun goes down, the city presents a fantastic fireworks display that can be seen (and heard) for miles around.
Brentwood hosts Farmer's Markets every Saturday from 8 am to noon. This is a wonderful way to introduce kids to a Farm to Table program, and to show them some of the best fruits and vegetables all grown in the local area. Some of the local farms also offer U-Pick or Pre-Picked opportunities as well, which can be a fun way to spend a couple of hours getting the kids tired enough to take an afternoon nap!
Cypress Storage is Here for You!
Don't forget, when the summer is over and it's time to put all the toys back in storage, Cypress Self Storage will be glad to find a solution that fits your needs…and your budget! At Cypress Self Storage, we truly love our local community, and we look forward to opening our doors late in 2019.