Back to school? Not yet. Back to the fair!

The other day, while we were in the store, I spied a “Back to School Sale” sign and pointed it out to the kids. Even though they both love school, they cried “NOOOOO!” in unison.

Yes, we are already counting down the days until August 27, when school will begin again, and trying to squeeze in as much camping, BBQing, swimming, and playing at the park time as possible. Sure, we can do all these things after school starts – but it’s just not the same.

This summer is just flying by, far too fast, and there’s still so much my family wants to do.

The Western Montana Fair is always on our must-do summer list, and this year promises to be extra special because it’s the fair’s 100th anniversary. It starts Tuesday, August 5 and ends on August 10.

What sort of things do you consider essential summer fun? Gotten around to doing them yet? Time’s a-wasting!

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Kids ride free all summer

Wondering how to get your kiddo to a park or to a free breakfast and lunch through the Montana No Kid Hungry program?

Youth under the age of 18 can ride Mountain Line buses free June 1 through August 31.

Last year, the bus company provided more than 40,000 free rides to Missoula youth.

More information here.


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Could it be that summer’s really here?

Considering it’s Montana, the likelihood of this warm spell turning into something long term is probably a daydream at best.

Spoiler alert: this weekend calls for rain and temps in the 50s.

Still, it’s hard not to get antsy to pull out the tent, blow up the raft and head off for adventure despite my growing belly.

In the meantime, it’s nice to hear neighborhood kiddos squeal in delight at some new adventure of their own at the community park or as they race around the block on their bikes. They throw themselves into playing catch or tag as wholeheartedly as if they were preparing to run a marathon or climb a mountain. For them, everything is a grand outing, full of potential for fun and discovery.

Missoulian photo editor Kurt Wilson captured this moment that sums up the mood around town …

happy kids

I like to think I haven’t lost my sense of simple curiosity with adulthood, but I’ve got to admit, it’s been a while since I got this excited about a garden hose.

Several summer trips we have on the books do have me giddy with anticipation. But even though they have yet to happen, I’ve caught myself thinking about the trips nostalgically.

Any float trips might be the last ones we take for a few years without having to find a babysitter. Biking Going to the Sun will be exhausting with a trailer in tow. Foreign travel might not make sense with a toddler who won’t remember much, if anything, anyway. And forget about pounding out 14 hours a day in the car.

When the gray skies roll in again this weekend — or when I feel like my adventure leash is getting tighter — I might just pull up this photo. It’s a good reminder amid all the baby books and admonitions about safety that kids are antsy for adventure too.

The photo will remind me that I am excited about helping Bob experience the world and all its wonders, even the ones as simple as a hose.

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Camp Invention at C.S. Porter this summer

It’s almost summer camp sign-up season. I’ll admit, I’m already freaking out about it a little bit. This will be the first summer both the kids will need to be in camps while their dad and I work (semi-)regular office hours.

There are SO MANY camps! Thankfully, each year the newspaper puts out a guide to summer camps. I understand the first summer camp tab will be out this Sunday, and the next comprehensive camp guide will come out on Thursday – a week from today.

Until then, here’s one camp to consider:
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