North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

June 5, 2013

Keep your eyes open for summer fun

By Danielle Pelkey
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — Summertime fun is in full swing, and if you haven’t already taken advantage of the beautiful Alabama weather, then something must be wrong with you.

As beach trips and river runs are making their way around, it seems like the perfect time to get outdoors and inhale some of the pollen-ridden air that is passing you by in the car.

One of our family’s favorite things to do is to take little day trips around the state and explore what Alabama really has to offer. If you don’t have much time, but you want a good taste of the outdoors and maybe even a little water fun, take a ride down to Turkey Creek Nature Preserve between Morris and Pinson. It is a beautiful drive and once you get there, you can kick off your shoes and wade in the water, take a hike down the walking trails or set up a picnic for the family. If you’re on a budget, this is the perfect plan for a free afternoon of fun.

If you get a little tired of staying right around the area, fill up the gas tank and head to Montgomery to a dinner boat cruise. Last weekend my husband and I took a last-minute trip on the Harriott II Dinner Boat, and it was well worth the $20 to get on board. The scenery was beautiful, and the live entertainment on all three levels was enough to make you laugh, dance and sing along.

Perhaps you are looking for something a little more low key for the kids during the summer. Take a look at the local vacation Bible schools in the area for this type of entertainment. There are so many positive features to sending your babies to vacation Bible school. They will get to be around kids their own ages, meet new friends, play games, eat snacks and best of all, they will get to learn more about the Bible in a fun, constructive way.

If it turns out to be a rainy day, and you feel like all is lost this summer, just load up the car and head out to Chick-fil-A or Burger King and buy a cheap ice cream for the kiddos and let them play on the indoor play sets. This can keep a kid happy for hours, and it can restore sanity to a parent who has felt a little cooped up in their house.

If local outdoors entertainment is what you are looking for, make sure you keep up with the Fultondale movies in the park schedule. This is always a crowd-pleaser, and usually even if it rains, they will move the festivities to a nearby facility.

It is great to live in a tight-knit community during the summer months because there are always activities going on, such as church ice cream socials or neighborhood backyard barbecues. If you step outside of your box and make an effort, I feel assured that you can find something fun to do with your summertime hours.

If nothing else, get out in the yard and plant some pretty flowers or shrubbery. That’s a fun and productive hobby that many people enjoy. I’m not much of one for yard work like that, but I would be on the top of the list for a water balloon fight or a quick run through the sprinklers with the neighborhood kids.

If you feel like there is nothing to do, check out our newspaper for calendars of fun events. You can always toss on some running shoes and make your way to the tennis courts or the splash pad. If you don’t play tennis, you can make fun of the people who think they know how to, and if you don’t want to get soaked at the splash pad, then you had better not even show up at that park.

Open your eyes to all of the festivities that might be passing you by this summer. There is plenty of fun to be had in the north Jefferson area.