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Our Lovely Little Fourth!

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We could so get used to having 4th of July on a Friday! A long weekend with the family, not having to rush back to work and what made it even better was the weather! It was not the usual scorching, Georgia July heat but a nice, cool breeze and temps in the 80’s.  It surprised us all! We stayed outside the majority of the weekend and the kiddos played and played and played. It was wonderful and so relaxing!

So how did we celebrate the 4th of July in a good ole’ Georgia small town?

First up the local parade and festivities:

Parade 1

You never know what you will see in our hometown parade!

Parade 2

The men were drooling over this truck.

parade 3

Hayden is ready to join these guys! We’ll see…:)

Ty best

Ty and Lily watching the parade.

Lydia best

Lydia doing her thing!

Hayden llama

There were llamas

Snow cones

and snowcones

ice cream

and ice cream.

Then we headed to a family baby shower, can you believe we took no pics?!? Oops! Just use your imagination – she is having a baby girl, so there were lots of cute dresses and all things pink. 🙂 The boys were hilarious, Ty said, “I have never been to a baby shower before, are we all giving a baby a shower or taking a shower with a baby…..?” Poor kid, but he wonders no more because the family “showered” the expectant mommy with lots and lots of wonderful presents.

After the shower we headed to real water – the swimming pool! And what a great day to go, we practically had the pool all to ourselves. We did get pics there!

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The kids were spoiled – an Olympic size pool all to ourselves, score!

swimming lydia

Lydia loved the diving board and she is just like her mama – has to hold her nose. 🙂

Swimming Hayden

Hayden has the best expressions!

swimming ty

Smiling Ty!

Swimming

Lydia and Mama D

The day ended with a family dinner – with everyone! It has been years since we all have been together and enjoyed a meal. It only took us 7 tries to find a restaurant open on the 4th but the hunt was worth it. The absolute best way to spend your 4th of July – with family!

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Of course, we got a pic! Excuse the tired faces, we had quite a busy day! 🙂

How did we end this already fun-filled, jam-packed day?

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With fireworks

fireworks ty

and sparklers

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and brisket!

 What a wonderful day! Next year has quite the challenge to live up to! 🙂
Hope your 4th was just as amazing as ours!

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It’s time to make some summer-time memories! (and of course, as cheap as possible)

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I officially want this kid to join our family, he is the cutest thing ever!

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And now that you have watched that adorable summer-time video, let’s talk about fun, cheap things to do with your family this summer.

  • The Library! We always love the library but during the summer it gets even better. From science fun to drumming to puppet shows to a Star Wars Day – so many fun, FREE things to do. And do not limit yourself to the Athens Library drive a little further to the Oconee County Library or to the Madison County one. Each one has a different summer schedule so you can find something to fit your family.

                                           * Oconee County Library Calendar

                                           * Madison County Library Calendar

                                           * Athens Library Calendar

  •  Sandy Creek Nature Center offers many family activities throughout the year but even when there is not a scheduled event the Center itself is worth going to. My kids can explore for hours and it’s FREE!

Their next scheduled event:

Snake Day 2014

Snake Day 2014

  Join Sandy Creek Nature Center for Snake Day on June 7 from 12pm to 4pm . See lots of live snakes, make a snake craft, play snake games and more. Several speakers will be presenting information on snakes too. Food is available on site (Shane’s Rib Shack & shaved ice) and more.
This year; authors Whit Gibbons, John Jensen, Carlos Camp, and Matt Elliott will attend. These experts will answer questions, do presentations and sell and sign copies of the book “Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia”.
Admission is $3/person for ACC residents, $5/person for out of county. Visitors under 3 years of age are free.

  • No pool in your backyard? No problem! Athens has 5 swimming pools/splash pads that your family can enjoy and super cheap too! Day passes are $1.00 per person but if you think you will be enjoying the pools all summer long then I highly recommend getting a family (up to 4) pool pass for $30. You can purchase the pool pass at any of the locations.

    The kids enjoying the Memorial Park pool!

    The kids enjoying the Memorial Park pool!

The kids love the splash pad at the East Athens Community Park!

The kids love the splash pad at the East Athens Community Park!

  •  Georgia Museum of Art hosts family days once a month and they are FREE! The next one will be on Saturday, June 14 at 10am.

    Check out the beautiful southern pottery in the exhibition “Women, Art and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise” upstairs, then create and decorate your own pot in the Michael and Mary Erlanger Studio Classroom using air-dry clay. Join us at 11 a.m. in the galleries for a special interactive gallery games tour.

    Check out the beautiful southern pottery in the exhibition “Women, Art and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise” upstairs, then create and decorate your own pot in the Michael and Mary Erlanger Studio Classroom using air-dry clay. Join us at 11 a.m. in the galleries for a special interactive gallery games tour.

  • Cheap kid movies at local theaters – yes, please!
University 16 Summer Movie Series  $1/admission

University 16 Summer Movie Series
$1/admission Tues/Thurs at 10am

 

Carmike Summer Kid Series

Carmike Summer Kid Series –  Seats $4.00 includes admission, small popcorn & drink Thursdays at 10am

  • Skating is always a cool way to beat the summer heat. 🙂 There are several great skating rinks nearby and most offer summer deals.

Here are the specials for Fun Galaxy Athens:

TUESDAY: 1-5p.m. / PRICE: $6.00 Summer fun session.

TUESDAY: 5-8p.m. / PRICE: $5.00 It is open for anyone to attend. It’s a great session for elementary age kids.

THURSDAY: 1-5p.m. / PRICE: $6.00 Summer fun session.

THURSDAY: 5-8p.m. / PRICE: $5.00 All You Can Eat Pizza with your paid admission. Summer fun session.                                    

FRIDAY: 7-11p.m. / PRICE: $9.00 Friday night is kid hangout night. It’s basically the best blend of Hip Hop, Rap, and Pop. It’s just a BIG party to get your weekend kicked off right.

SATURDAY DAY: 12noon-4p.m. / PRICE: $7.00 Welcome to our birthday parties. Every Saturday morning it’s time to throw the biggest parties with HUGE prizes given away all morning. Don’t worry, you can still show up even if it’s not your birthday because this session is for the whole family.

SATURDAY NIGHT: 7p.m.-10p.m. / PRICE: $10.00 It’s time for family night at the Galaxy. Every Saturday night it’s on. FREE PIZZA and all the fun your family can handle. You don’t want to miss a single Saturday night.

*Take $2 off if you have your own skates except for Thursday and Saturday night sessions. All kids must pay to enter. We do have a $1 admission charge for any non-participating parents. All prices include skate rental & taxes. Sorry but NO checks.

Great Skate in Jefferson is another skating local rink that offers summer specials – and here you go:

Great Skate in Jefferson

Great Skate in Jefferson

  • A summer must in Georgia is the Stone Mountain Laser show. It has been revamped this year with more lights, more lasers and more music. We started our summer out this year by visiting Stone Mountain and it did not disappoint. The only cost is $10 to park, the laser show is free!
Stone Mountain Laser Show

Stone Mountain Laser Show

  • Kids Bowl Free! Yep, you heard that right (disclosure: you do have to pay for shoe rental) you get 2 games of bowling per child for free per day! And all you have to do is sign them up at www.kidsbowlfree.com. There are over 1,050 locations to choose from, the closet one to Athens is in Lawrenceville at Stars and Strikes – that place is amazing by the way! We did this last year and have already signed up for this summer.
    Please use my email msmattox@gmail.com in the “referred by” field.  We’ll both be entered to win some cool prizes including iPads and a trip to Walt Disney World!

    The kiddos bowling last summer at Stars and Strikes.

    The kiddos bowling last summer at Stars and Strikes.

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This list will, hopefully, help you get your summer started and as the summer progresses and I find more free, cheap things to do I promise I will share. I am always on the lookout and please share your great ideas as well!
Have a safe, memory making summer!