Friday Fives | Favorite Summer Activities

Every summer our family makes a Summer Bucket List of all the things we want to accomplish before the end of summer. Some things are recurring events every year and multiple times throughout the vacation months, but some are new things that we’ve never done. Here are some of our favorite things to do as a family during the summer break!

1) Free movies at GQT Savoy 16! That’s right — FREE! If you have a GQT Rewards card, you and up to 5 people can see a free movie every Monday-Friday at 10am during the summer. They post the schedule ahead of time, and there’s a new kids or family-friendly movie every week. We LOVE it, and typically are able to get a few snacks since the movie is free. :D


2) Kids Bowl Free! Ding ding ding! FREE again! (Are you sensing a theme here?) Bowling alleys all over the country partner with this program to provide 2 free bowling games each day to kids. All you have to pay for is shoe rental. And there is also a family program where you can add adults for a nominal fee and they then get 2 games each day for the summer also. We’ll utilize this one more too as our kids get older!


3) Frozen Yogurt/Ice Cream/Custard! I’m not ashamed to say that nearly every local froyo or ice cream place is on our bucket list and we’ll try to hit all of them before the summer is over.


4) Visit the library! It goes without saying that the library is free (I mean, outside of taxes LOL), and my kids love to play and search for their own books at our library. There are also computers and headphones where they can play online games or watch YouTube, and we use it to search for my son’s favorite keywords and authors too. They also have a train table, a lightbox, and magna tiles, which usually keep them pretty busy. There are also scheduled activities on certain days — book readings, lego classes, art classes, music, and more.


5) Boating with Grandpa Mark & Uncle Nathan! Grandpa Mark has a pontoon boat on Lake Decatur, and Uncle Nathan has a speedboat on Lake Michigan. One of our favorite things to do is take the boat out on Lake Michigan, maybe swim for a bit, and then go through the lock system to enter the Chicago River. On Lake Decatur we usually grill some hot dogs, swim, and one year on 4th of July we stayed out and watched fireworks!


Honorable mention: berry picking, free Thursdays at Scovill Zoo, swimming at Grandpa Mark’s or Papa’s houses, swimming at a local public pool, playing in the sprinkler, picnic in the park

Amber + David | Allerton Park engagement session | Monticello


I loved this session with Amber + David! It was really muggy, but these two powered through and didn't even look too melty! The worst part was probably when a bug flew into my eye, but Amber came to my rescue with some Visine. :) They chose two outfits -- one more casual and one a little dressier, but they all followed the same color scheme which made this session flow seamlessly. Amber + David even hung around with me for a bit longer than anticipated since an amazing sunset was developing on the horizon and I couldn't pass it up! I'm so glad they stuck it out with me for an extra half hour! I can't wait for their wedding in October! Sun Singer engagement photos

walking engagement photos before golden hour

couple in road at Allerton Park

engagement pictures with drooping tree branches

tall tree rows with engaged couple

couple with gray house sitting on stoop

engagement poses with ivy covered doorway

couple in blue and white with ivy background

brick archway in walled garden at Allerton

couple with blue doorway and gray backdrop

engagement photos at Allerton Park

golden hour photos in field

sunset photos in rural Piatt County