June is the start of summer vacation. School age children are excited to enjoy the "dog days of summer" and will be itching for activities to keep them busy and seeing the friends they have made during the previous school year. Check out these ideas to make this your child's favorite June yet and make the most of the quality time you have together.
- Sign up for a summer reading program! Many local libraries and bookstores have child, teen, and adult programs and some include the opportunity to win prizes by turning in minutes, pages, or books throughout the program. Contact your library or local bookstore to learn about what programs they are running in the summer months. Some have deadlines by which you need to register - so don't delay! Grand Rapids Public Library, Kent District Libraries, Schuler Books, Barnes and Noble, and Baker Book House are a great place to start.
- Look for local farmer's markets. Some vendors will have recipes that can be made with their fruits and veggies available on their carts. June is the perfect time to explore a farmer's market - it's Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month!
- Summer is a time for outdoor concerts and festivals - check out your local chamber of commerce and regional websites (such as KZooKids.com or GRKids.com) and look for events calendars with these options. Many of them will be free to attend. Festival of the Arts (June 5 - 7), Start of Summer Celebration - Rockford (June 12 - 14), West Michigan Chalk Art Festival (June 19 - 20), Grand Rapids Balloon Festival (July 24 - 25), Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival (July 24 - August 2), and Hudsonville Community Fair (August 24 - 29) are all annual favorites throughout the West Michigan area.
- Michigan's Free Fishing Weekend - Do you have a little one that is itching to get out on the water? During the weekend of Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14, take advantage of all applicable fishing license fees being waived.
- National Get Outdoors Day - June 13, 2015 (the second Saturday in June) - Purchase a tent or borrow one from a family member or friend and camp in the backyard if you can't get away to a campsite. Consider making a fire and enjoying quality time with some s'mores and campsongs.