5 Things to Pack for 4th of July Weekend (That Most People Forget)

Can you believe how quickly this month flew by? It feels like it was just spring and now we’re just a few days away from July! Fourth of July weekend is always a favorite of ours. It’s a time spent having fun and relaxing with family and friends outdoors in the warmth of the summer sun. We get to play yard games, splash around the lake (or pool!) and eat all of the s’mores. Fourth of July weekend is when so many wonderful memories are made with those we love most!

Whether you’re going on a mini-vacation with the family or meeting up with friends at a lake house, chances are you’ve already started your packing list. This isn’t your first rodeo, so we know that you’re on top of everything each kiddo needs in their weekend bag — but sometimes it’s easy to forget some of the most essential items! Here are five things you should pack for the long weekend that are super easy to forget.

5 things to pack for 4th of July Weekend (that most people forget)

1. Sweater

When we think of summer, we always seem to picture the hot afternoons, forgetting that summer nights can get quite a bit cooler. It’s hard to enjoy the bonfire if you’re shivering non-stop! Pack a lightweight sweater or sweatshirt to toss on in the evenings.

2. A second swimsuit

When in doubt, always pack an extra swimsuit! Even on a three or four day trip, we always recommend having a back-up swimsuit on hand (because who likes putting on a wet swimsuit?!). This goes for the kiddos, too!

3. Extra beach towels

Just like it’s a good idea to have an extra swimsuit, you also want to pack extra beach towels! Whether it’s for your own kiddos or your nieces and nephews who forgot to pack their own, it never hurts to pack a few more than you need!

4. Portable speaker

Whether you’re at the lake, your friend’s pool or your parent’s house, chances are you’ll spend a lot of your holiday weekend outdoors. Don’t rely on just your iPhone’s speaker — bring a portable bluetooth speaker to enjoy your favorite songs wherever the weekend takes you!

5. Beach bag

Just because you’re not necessarily going to “the beach”, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring a beach bag! If you’ll be spending any time around the water, you’ll want to bring a bag specifically for your towel, cover-up, sunscreen, bug spray and any other essentials you want to keep dry. We recommend putting valuables like your phone and keys in a waterproof pouch inside of your beach bag to be extra safe!

Do you have any special packing tips? Share below in the comments!

     

Our Ultimate Summer Bucket List

The first *official* day of summer is finally here! We could go on and on about all of the reasons we love summertime, but instead we want to share our favorite summer activities for you and the kiddos. 

Summer Bucket List

1. Make Homemade Popsicles

Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day than an ice-cold popsicle! Popsicles are actually super easy (and fun) to make at home! All you need are some reusable popsicle molds (or even paper cups would work), plus a few ingredients. There are tons of recipes on Pinterest, but we recently found a special “hack” we just had to share! Did you see our summer watermelon drink recipe on the blog earlier this week? You can use that recipe to make popsicles instead! After you blend your ingredients (not including the sparkling water), pour into your popsicle molds and freeze for at least four hours. Boom — watermelon popsicles! So yummy!

2. Plant a Garden

If you haven’t started a garden yet this year, it’s not too late! You can look up what “zone” you live in, then based on your zone you can determine what herbs, fruits, vegetables and flowers are best to plant this time of year! Planting a garden is a great activity to do with your kiddos. Plus, in a few weeks to months, you’ll get to enjoy cooking or baking with your fresh picks together as a family!

3. Draw with Sidewalk Chalk

There’s something so therapeutic about mindlessly coloring and drawing. You can completely relax and just enjoy creating something, even if you don’t consider yourself to be super artistic. Grab the kiddos and head outside to add color to your neighborhood! Create pretty designs and write messages of positivity on your driveway and sidewalk. Not only will this splash of color bring a smile to your face every time you see it, but also your neighbors on their walks and bike rides!

4. Tie Dye T-shirts

If there is a craft that we always love, it’s one where we can upcycle something to get even more use out of it. Tie-dyeing t-shirts has been a huge trend this year, particularly with all of us spending more time at home. Whether you choose the traditional tie-dye method or the recent bleach-dye approach, this is a fun way to breathe new life into an old t-shirt or sweatshirt!

5. Water Balloon Fight!

Is it really summer without a water balloon fight?! If you really want to take it up a notch, surprise your kiddos with a “sneak attack” on a hot day.

6. Have a Lake (or Beach) Day

Even if you have access to a pool, there’s just something so special about a day on the lake or at the beach. Gather your favorite snacks, pack your latest read and round up the family for a relaxing day by the water. Whether you prefer to hang out in the shade with your book or romp around in the sand and water, there is a little something for everyone on a beach day.

7. Roast S’mores on a Campfire

One of our favorite things to do on a summer night is to sit around the campfire, telling stories and enjoying the company of those we love, all while eating s’mores, of course!

8. Make Your Own Crayons

Every summer has its share of rainy days, so it’s a good idea to have a few indoor activities in your back pocket. A fun activity to do with the kiddos is to make homemade crayons! Grab the various crayon boxes you have lying around and gather all of the broken pieces. Remove the paper wrappings and place the broken pieces into a muffin tin (with liners), then bake! It’s a great way to reduce waste, while giving your kids something to do.

9. Camp in Your Own Backyard

We know that the summer can quickly fill up with activities, so it can be hard to get away for spontaneous trips. Enter: camping in your own backyard. Set up the tent in your backyard, bring out the sleeping bags and enjoy a night under the stars. Bonus points if you have a fire-pit to roast hot dogs and s’mores!

10. Go to the Drive-In Movie Theater

With social distancing guidelines in place in many states through the summer, it’s hard to know what activities will be appropriate for this summer. However, one of our all-time favorite summer night activities was made for times like these! Enjoy a night at the drive-in movie theater. You can even wear your pajamas and pack a cooler with your favorite snacks, all while never needing to leave your vehicle. Or, bring a picnic blanket and sit out under the stars. 

summer bucket list printable

Which bucket list item are you going to do first?

     

Sparkling Watermelon Agua Fresca Drink Recipe

Summer is one of our favorite times of the year for SO many reasons! Birds chirping, sun shining, flowers blooming — we love all the sounds, smells, tastes and feels of summertime. With many of our summer days spent in the hot sun, there’s nothing more refreshing than an ice-cold beverage when you get inside! We recently tried out a super delicious and oh-so-refreshing summer beverage that we just had to share with you!

This Sparkling Watermelon Agua Fresca from the Mildly Meandering Blog is our new summer drink of choice. This fruity beverage takes just five minutes to whip up, making it a great one for the kiddos to help out with. Not to mention, with zero added sugars, you can feel good about making this drink for the whole family (without any added sugar crashes). Plus, it has our all-time favorite summer fruit — watermelon! 

Sparkling Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe

Sparkling Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 5 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 3/4 cup sparkling water
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • Optional: lime wedge and sprigs of mint for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add watermelon and lime juice to a blender and blend until well combined.
  2. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain out any remaining pulp.
  3. Pour into a large pitcher, along with sparkling water.
  4. Serve over ice, garnishing with a lime wedge and a sprig of fresh mint if you’d like.
Summer Drink - Sparkling Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe

It’s that easy! We’ll be enjoying this yummy drink all summer long!