Free summer fun things for kids in Lakeville (1 – 10)

“A little, done often, is much.”

Got that in a fortune cookie. It guides me through guilt-laden parenting of not spending enough time with our kids. Especially in summer, when they have more free time (and I have less).

This summer, I set out to spend at least one completely uninterrupted hour each weekday with our youngest, Caroline. Here’s what we’ve done so far, most of it over my lunch hour from my home office. After 13 days, it’s already adding up to great fun!

We went to Dairy Delite, a little treasure downtown--and even got the gazebo for our cool yummies!
We went to Dairy Delite, a little treasure downtown–and even got the gazebo for our cool yummies!

1. Cleary Lake

We walked the 3.2 miles around this gorgeous lake, enjoying her very first day of Summer Vacation. We also scouted out other things to do there, and found many, so we’ll be back!


2.  Antler’s Park

We took a dip in the lake, which was very cold after thunderstorms churned it up the day before. She enlightened me about how the weather can change lake water temps. We also built a sand castle around a dead fish. She named that part of the castle grounds “Dead Fish Monument.”

3. Pool time

Our awesome neighbors invited us for a visit to their neighborhood pool. She ran into school buddies.

3A. More pool time

We hung out at the Lifetime Fitness pool, where she ran into more buddies and we cooled off with a quick dip.

4. To market, to market

We visited the Farmer’s Market (Wednesdays, noon – 5 p.m. downtown by Ace Hardware). It’s early in the produce season, but we found sweet lettuces, herbs, honey and of course lots of samples!

5. Theatre

We went to watch a community ed theatre class perform the montage of songs and dance they’d learned over a few days of theatre camp. Big sis Julia and her friend were helpers for the week.


6. Bonus: We signed up for Cara to do theatre class this week!

7. Library

Instead of rushing through like we tend to do during the school year, we dawdled a bit, checking out lots of great summer books, movies and cd’s.

8. Culinary arts

Cara planned a special treat (jell-o parfaits and fruit pizza), we bought the supplies and she created them for the family.


9. Playground

We biked to a playground, I didn’t bring my iPhone, and we swang our cares away!

10. Matinee movie

We saw Million Dollar Arm, on a day before a softball game. It got us both in the mood for her pitching that night! Of course, we sneaked in waters, candy and splurged on popcorn.

Okay, not free, but there are free movies at 10 a.m. on these days at these nearby spots:

Burnsville, Tuesday

Lakeville, Wednesday

Apple Valley, Thursday

Already, I feel less guilty, less stressed and more summer-y. That’s all good!


One thought on “Free summer fun things for kids in Lakeville (1 – 10)

  1. What a beautiful, admirable goal to fulfill, enjoy and continue fulfilling.  Also, laudatory to add a bit of “routine,” reminiscent of the busyness of routines during the school year to help balance some of the absence thereof during summer.  And it certainly enriches your shared relationship.  Congratulations, Mom! Love, Dad

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