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SUMMER FUN! Local moms team up to share family fun ideas

Ahhh, summer break— a chance for kids to sleep in, relax and enjoy life without the daily pressures of school.

Until they get bored, which happens at around day three.

That’s where “Maggie and the Moms” comes in. Every Monday during the summer, the parenting segment on WFLA’s lifestyle show, “Daytime,” shares ideas for family fun from local moms. Here are a few of their suggestions so far.

  • Have a “yes day” (Kids call the shots for one day— within limits, of course)
  • Go hiking among the oaks and discover the gentle rapids at Hillsborough River State Park
  • Sleep under the Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center
  • Hunt for fossilized shark teeth in Venice Beach, “the shark capital of the world”
  • Take the ferry to Caladesi Island and escape to a pristine oasis
  • Go ziplining at Empower Adventures in Oldsmar
  • Watch sea turtles hatch in Vero Beach
  • Enroll your children in swim lessons
  • Visit local malls for fun, free activities, including rides and art installations
  • Watch the sunset in Anna Maria Island
  • Spend hours getting lost in books at your local library
  • Explore the beaches and lighthouses on Gasparilla Island by bike or golf cart
  • Exercise together! Stretch with your toddler, go for a walk with your teen or find a workout video for the whole family on YouTube
Spend hours getting lost in books at your local library – photo by Kiva Williams

Beach Hacks

  • Take the pain out of the dreaded walk from the car to the sand by investing in a wagon to lug towels and toys
  • Set up a tent to keep cool and extend beach days by hours
  • Use frozen water bottles instead of ice in cooler, then drink the water when the bottles thaw
  • Pack a spray bottle filled with water or green tea in cooler and spritz face to keep cool and fight inflammation
  • Use baby powder to remove sand from hands and feet
  • Make it fun and easy to put on sunscreen by using a make-up sponge to apply it on your child’s face

Saving money, honey

  • Pack your own lunch to avoid spending at the beach, mall or attractions like Disney
  • Sign up for “Reading with the Rays” on to win tickets to an upcoming game
  • Visit museums on “free-admission days” (Glazer Children’s museum: Tuesdays; Ringling Museum: Mondays)
  • Be on the lookout for events and giveaways (including theme park tickets) at your local library

Road trip tips

  • Download podcasts, audio books and playlists
  • Find “road trip bingo” sheets online or at a dollar store to keep kids entertained
  • Bring dry-erase markers for kids to doodle on car windows
  • Pack snacks in a pail that can be emptied and used in case of a backseat car-sickness emergency

Get new summer ideas from Maggie and the Moms Mondays at 10 a.m. on “Daytime” (WFLA News Channel 8) and on Instagram @MaggieRodriguezTV

Feature Image: Caladesi Island by Laura Byrne

Originally published in July 2021

Maggie Rodriguez
Maggie Rodriguez
Maggie Rodriguez co-hosts the nationally-syndicated lifestyle show, Daytime on WFLA, Channel 8. She recently returned to tv after taking a 10-year break to raise her two children. During her career, Maggie reported and anchored the news in Miami, Los Angeles, and at the network level in New York as the host of The Early Show on CBS. She now lives in South Tampa, which she calls the perfect place to raise a family.

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