Last month I told you about some of my favorite things to do with the kiddos in the summer (you can find it here). Today I am sharing some of my top activities that would be perfect for a date with your favorite person or for some fun with friends. Hope you find something to add to your Summer Bucket List!
Stand Up Paddle Boarding: Have you tried this awesome way to get some exercise? I just got back from vacation in Austin and it was super popular. I tried it for the first time while I was there and absolutely want to do it again. What in the world is it, you ask? It is basically a big surfboard that you STAND UP on and paddle around. It was a bit intimidating to me at first but totally doable! Gray’s Lake has the boards available for rent, along with kayaks, double kayaks, sail boats, and paddle boats. At just $10 per hour, it makes for an inexpensive way to try something new and soak up some beautiful views of our mini city!
FREE Live Music with Jasper Winery: They have a few different events to get you out of the house this summer. We just went to the Summer Concert Series at the winery last week, met a few friends there, and had a fantastic time. They have plenty of space to throw out a blanket or set up your chairs. We had pizza from the Gusto food truck, and it was top notch! You can also bring your own food and your own non-alcoholic drinks, which can make this option a cheap outing. Bonus! (P.S. – this is a totally kid-friendly event, but would be great to leave them at home, too!)
I also have it on my calendar to hit up Jasper Winery’s unWINEd event. It rotates between The Hub downtown and Gray’s Lake. Think live music, yummy food, and good drinks. I am actually planning a little birthday outing for one of my girlfriends to one of these events. It is on Friday night and the perfect way to wrap up a long week!
Iowa State Fair: Angela told you a little about getting the kids involved at the Iowa State Fair last week. Now I want you to leave the kiddos at home! My husband has been to the Iowa State Fair EVERY year of his life. So we have always gone, even before we had kids. Now that we have the two littles, we pack them up and have a blast during the day, but we also schedule a sitter for the night of our trip with the kids. Read this as: free admission for the date! We eat whatever we want, ride the sky glider at sunset, drink craft beer, get JR Donuts and don’t have to share with any tiny hands, take a trip down the big slide, and eat more sweets! Oh, and I always get a lemonade for the walk back to the car- it is one of my favorite things for the whole year! This outing is a little harder on the budget, but it is always SO MUCH FUN!
High Trestle Trail Bridge: This one is a little outside of Des Moines but worth the trip. You can bike from a bunch of different places to go over the bridge, but we at our house are not bikers. We use a little parking lot just east of the bridge, outside of Madrid, to park and walk. It’s about a three-mile walk. We have taken the kids but really want to go in the evening without them and soak up the scenery. The unique bridge design is all lit up. The pictures I have seen are amazing! This is definitely on my summer bucket list!
Historic Valley Junction’s Farmer’s Market/Music in the Junction: We love hitting up the Farmer’s Market in Valley Junction on Thursday nights. I am much more of an evening person, so this event is right up my alley. Great people, great vendors, and great music – makes for a perfect summer night! I love chatting with the friendly vendors and picking up some veggies for the week. The stores stay open late, so it is the perfect excuse to stop in the shops and actually look around. I always find something I need, and it’s a little different than when I have the boys in tow! If you haven’t been before, it is a traditional farmer’s market full of food, produce, businesses, and handmade items; and then at the end of the street is a stage with a band. You can set up your lawn chair, bring in your yummy dinner you picked up at the farmer’s market, and relax, soaking up a little summer! It is a blast!
Historic Valley Junction wants one of YOU to have a great time in the Junction! Enter to win a VIP card (good for discounts throughout the district) AND a $20 gift certificate to the Junction! Enter to win below and GOOD LUCK!