summeractivitiesmistake_sized
So you think you’re gonna have a little fun with summer activities, but really you’re just setting the scene for a night of whining. And that’s not counting the kids.
You’re not to blame. There’s a lot of hype and noise about having fun in the sun! It rhymes, even. You can’t fight the power of a rhyme, you’re only human.
But beware. Some of the “fun” that summer promises is really disappointment wrapped in a theme park coupon you got at the grocery store check out. On the flip side, you can’t sit around here all day! So you might as well give all this summer entertainment a try, but don’t go unprepared. Check out these important reminders before you go. It’s either heed these warnings or be surprised by the mistake that is “backyard camping.”
1. Drive-In movies
These, by nature of being outside, can only happen when it’s dark enough, and it’s only dark enough when your kids have reached the absolute limits of their patience. Guess what they aren’t feeling at 9:45 pm? A double feature with a side of mosquito bites.
2. Camping
As soon as it’s warm enough to spend a night outside in a flimsy hut held together by bendy poles and fabric that smells like it’s been in a damp basement for the last 12 months (because it has!). It’s also warm enough for 57 species of biting insects to eat your face while you sleep. Camping equals Zika virus.
3. Glamping
Just admit you like hotels; there’s no shame in it. Because “glamping” just means you can put a Troop Beverly Hills blu-ray in the rental camper’s multi-media center, but you’re still gonna have to wear flip-flops in the dirt if you want to walk to the camp store for chocolate bars and sun block.
4. S’mores
The only thing more annoying than assembling sticky s’mores for impatient children is reminding them not to fling flaming marshmallows at each other and OMG your hair is on fire!
5. Fireworks displays
It’s 4 p.m. and if you don’t leave now to get a good spot for the evening’s pyrotechnic marvel, you might as well watch it with your eyes closed.
6. County fair
Or, call it the county unfair. Because no matter how well you plan out your ride ticket purchase, you’ll never be able to use them all, starting a cycle of trying to buying extra packs of tickets (5 for $3 or 12 for $5 or 9 million for $230) so that the kids all have exactly enough to ride one more ride. This scenario recently left one Ohio family at their local fairgrounds for seven consecutive days before finally telling their children, “Screw this, we’re carnie folk now.”
7. Temporary, drink-mix hair dye
You told your little girl she could put a streak of color in her hair, but only for the summer. If you let her, be ready for the resulting color to be not at all what you were expecting. Bottomline: Kool Aid hair dye works, but not always like you want it to, and for much, much longer than you’d like.
8. Minor league baseball
Gird your mommy loins. Your kid thinks she’s gonna catch a foul ball and you know she’s gonna go home crying because she didn’t.
9. Blowing bubbles
It’s not that a day spent blowing rainbows into existence is a bad thing, it’s that your child will spill all the bubble soap before he even dips the wand in the bottle.
10. Flying a kite
If you’re on a beach, go for it! It you’re anywhere that has a tree or tallish bush, skip it. Kites are how trees dress up for summer.
11. Kid movies
If you have more than one kid, you will have a disagreement about which mediocre animated blockbuster to see. Don’t worry if you forget to add salt to your $50 popcorn, the tears of the kid who wanted to see the other movie is seasoning enough.

There you have it, summer disappointments that really seemed like a good idea at first. Look, I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to entertain your kids this summer, I’m just saying that’s what backyard hoses, Netflix, and Pokemon GO are for.

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Photo: Getty