Surviving Summer Pt. 1: Park-hopping Preparedness
This is one of those things that you would think come naturally, but nope. Even the most fashionable of parents and the most prepared of caregivers seem to overlook this compound tip. How do I know?! By simply taking a look around at the local parks and amusement venues. Aching feet, over-stimulated eyes, jeans in distress (there should only be distressed jeans, lol)...there's a lot going on but fun isn't one of them. This was me; hot, under-packed, overdressed and simply uncomfortable. Being out and about in the Summertime can be enjoyable for extended periods of time if you master two things: 1) Apparel and 2) What's in the bag (Parents, there should always be one!)
This one is THE BIGGEST obstacle standing in the way of extended play! Different articles of clothing are comfortable for various people but the categories always stay the same. Even if you're kid-less, comfort is key. Cute doesn't go with hot and uncomfortable contrary to popular belief ha, ha! Let's begin shall we?!
Necessary, necessary, necessary...did I say necessary?! This is such a fab reason to purchase new sunnies! Buy a few inexpensive pairs that you're ok with them falling off on rides, breaking while playing with kids, etc. Keep a pair in the armrest of the car so that you're never caught without them when plans change. These protect your eyes as well as instantly elevate your style; especially paired with a lippie. For kids, grab rubber frames that are relatively indestructible and low-cost!
Your eyes will thank you. The less layers on a hot day, the better!
There are so many option but when it comes to shoes and parks, the list dwindles significantly. Many parks nowadays have bot wet and dry areas, so you have to be prepared for both. Me and my family choose waterproof sandals with cushion footbeds and enjoy hours of fun. Teva sandals are amazing for this and last forever. There are also many companies that make a durable sneaker that doubles as a water shoe! If you prefer a sneaker, choose tennis shoes with removable soles that can be washed consistently, should they get wet.
Other than the bag that we will take about in the moment, it's a great idea to get a waterproof lanyard to carry your electronics and quick access items. I've seen many phones damaged and broken due to water or other elements reeking havoc! Safeguard your valuable with a $7 investment , please! If you don't desire to wear it, you can still utilize this and keep it inside your bag and it serves the same purpose.
I love jewelry but minimal is best when it comes to enjoying the park. I've lost one to many charm and swoon worthy earring....*inserts the sad face. The solution is to find an edgy stud earring to make your statement! For children the rounded snap safety backs are great in case you all are at amusement parks with roller coasters, jerking rides or unexpected collisions with other children (which happen often). You can pick these up at any ear piercing place or online.
Do yourself a favor and save the jeans for Fall!
I cannot tell you how many pairs of jeans I see and miserable people wearing them ha, ha! I prefer jeans but quickly realized they are a BIG no, no when park hopping. Jeans are hot, hold lots of water and don't have enough give for comfort when walking for long stretches and riding amusement rides. If you must wear jeans, choose a short with high stretch. Ideally the best outfit for parks is a semi-loose breathable top (Medium color) and above knee length short (a biker or Bermuda)
Hats! Oh, yessss!
Hats block the sun, save you from a hair mishap and pulls your casual look together without much effort. Many also opt for visors which serve many of the same purposes. Hats, in my opinion are a better cover. Make sure your hats are secured before roller coaster rides because they will fly off! We make sure to pull our hair through the back opening and pin it into a bun. this keep the hat intact should you find yourself flying fast and high on the superman.
The bag is the control center housing everything you need for just in case. A bag is also a nifty way to bring healthier snacks and plenty of water to stay hydrated. Your bag should include a small first aid kit for accidental cuts as well as sunscreen for extended sun exposure. When in the elements, its a good idea to bring epi-pens and allergy medications due to the unpredictability of nature. I always have a copy of insurance cards, a mini umbrella and a towel pack away also. Wipes, extra hair ties and additional socks often come in handy as well.
Being prepared makes the park, whether traditional or amusement, so much more enjoyable! Store this info away the next time you all are headed to play!