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Some families bask in that first hot day of november, knowing that as the day reaches up into the 30’s that it heralds the soon to begin scorching, sublime, summer. I see people quiver with excitement about the beginning of the cricket season, joyfully finding the looses, softest clothing they can and relishing in the knowledge that soon sunny beach days, mangoes and pavlova at christmas will be upon us and then the long days of school holidays begin, pool time in excess, late dinners, the smell of sunscreen and cicada song carrying us into late evening.

It all sounds glorious! But our family tend to greet that first day of breathtaking heat a little differently. I check on our stock of 50 plus sunscreen, make sure everyone’s full length rashies still fit, begin stocking the freezer with ice and brace myself for the crowds, the oppressive heat and noise, not to mention sand in all the places it should never be on those days that we can no longer distract the kids from demanding a day at the beach. It’s not that i don’t love the idea of summer, we just burn to a crisp in literally 10 minutes flat (I’ve developed a deep shade of beetroot from hanging the washing in the early morning before – i kid you not). And no-one in our family finds the heat energizes us or sparks joy. But we are determined not to simply endure summer (praise God for  air conditioning). So we set about making fun in our own way, and below i’ve listed some of our family’s bucketlist faves.I think these are especially good for families with young children too. If you are the person who delights in 30+ weather, develops a beautiful healthy glow in the summer sun and finds the thought of an entire day at the beach absolutely inviting, then we love you!, But we won’t meet you there til just before sunset. 😉 xxx

Summer bucket list for the (almost) summer phobe!

Make your own ice cream – so many no churn/no gadget required recipes out there now! We love several from Wholefood Simply


Eat outside as much as possible, and use nature treasures from your backyard to decorate your alfresco dining area


Go to a local art gallery to escape the morning/midday heat, they are almost always air conditioned and often have kids trails/treasure hunts. We love the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Braemar in Springwood and Lewers in Emu Plains. Blackheath also has lots of little galleries and then you can head to Memorial Park afterwards for a play

Water gun fights! We don’t have a pool, so every christmas our kids get new water guns that get a great workout and are inevitably broken by the end of summer.Our dog goes nuts over these fantastic all in water fights


Sprinkler play – we do this with the added extra of several flexi tubs filled with water. So good!


Buy trays of  mango at their cheapest and cut and freeze in ziploc bags. If you freeze them flat they are easy to cut into icy cubes of heaven. Also can be used in ice cream, to make a mango cheesecake

Sushi Making! While requiring a little prep, our kids LOVE this and it has become a bit of a family summer tradition.


Peach picking at Bilpin. Oh the joy of summer fruit!  A glut of peaches is perfect for making peach syrup which is divine over/in icecream, iced tea and the leftover pulp is delicious with col coconut chia pudding for breakfast


Storm dancing! When it does rain in summer, get amongst it, ESPECIALLY mum and Dad, Gold moments made right there!!

Chalk drawing on cement, create your own mural then hose it and yourself down. 🙂


Antarctic baths – on those days that it’s just too hot to leave the house… Fill a bath with tepid water and add blue/green food colouring. Pile on icebergs of cheap shave foam and when the kids have just begun to lull from the excitement, dump a load of icecubes straight from the freezer straight into the bath! The squeals are the best.

Make decadent iced chocolates and sip in the late afternoon sun


Host friends over chilled watermelon – this is perfect paired with sprinkler play


Stay up late to light Sparklers, just because you can. Its the kind of magic that stays in childrens memories.

Do a surprise  beach run! Surprise the kids by yelling “Beach Run!”, and piling in the car to head to the coast. With pre-packed necessities you can almost literally run out the door. Our family loves to do this late afternoon, landing in time to get fish and chips on the beach


  In addition to beach sunset picnics, sunset picnics at Blue Mountains lookouts are the bomb!

So there you go, some of what our family enjoys in summer. Of course these are in addition to lazy days constructing all of our christmas lego and reading on the lounge underneath the air con and we do venture out to do some of the more traditional australian summer activities, but these might just spark some extra magic and etch the glory of summer into your kids minds a little further for you too.




Author Gillian

Gillian is a mother of 3 with her husband Dave. She has an amazing 'Mother Earth' vibe about her- homeschooling her little family, she is passionate about nurturing them creatively in all aspects of life.... and she is absolutely Nailing it I think. B.C (before children) she worked in child and family counselling and child protection- so you could say she has always had a heart beat for enhancing the experience of family, and she is incredibly creative with how she engages with her kids. Follow her in instagram at @gatheringgoldmoments to be inspired by her and how she does will not be disappointed.

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