How to ensure that your family has a great summer

Enjoy free fun. Towns and cities are putting their best foot forward when it comes to entertaining families during the summer. Manchester and Nashua offer free musical performances and movies all summer; you’ll find free things to do in Hampton Beach on any given day, including the annual weeklong Children’s Festival in August; even smaller communities such as Milford and Lebanon have an impressive slate of free fun. For a ton more ideas, get your copy of PNH ’s Family Summer Fun Guide at your favorite pickup location or view it online.

Be aware. Maybe you’ve noticed there are more vehicles with out-of-state license plates in your area. It’s not an illusion — millions of tourists will visit New Hampshire this summer. So naturally the highways and turnpikes are going to be more crowded, with many drivers who might not know where they are going opting to take that highway exit at the last second. This time of year it’s more important than ever to keep your eyes on the road, have more patience and keep the speeds down. Along those lines …

Watch out for motorcycles. Even when wearing helmets, they are the most vulnerable in a crash. It’s harder for them to stop suddenly, navigate around road hazards and they aren’t surrounded by airbags.

Read. Find time to relax and get lost in a novel, check out a new cookbook or listen to a book on your phone. Start at your local library where they’ll be happy to give you a few reading suggestions and tell you how to access digital books, magazines and more for free. During the summer, libraries are also great places to take the kids for summer reading fun. Most importantly, if you are reading, your child will be reading, too.

Do nothing. Do absolutely nothing. It’s hard for busy parents to find those moments when they can just be. Send the kids out to play, drop them off at a summer program or wait until the fall asleep. Be still, even for a few minutes and revel in the peace and quiet. You are allowed.

Don’t feel guilty and don’t sweat it. Parents often feel the pressure to make sure their kids have the summers of their lives — every summer. They hear about all the “fun” other parents have lined up for their kids. But what summers do you remember? It could be the summer you spent in your neighbor’s pool or the one when you slept outside in the backyard and had a campfire or maybe it was the summer you visited Grandma. There was time to make your own fun.

Your children won’t necessary remember all the money you spent and all the activities that they did. What they will remember is being happy and the good times they had with family and friends.

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