September National Days: New and Interesting Activities

This is my second favorite post I blog about every month. I really enjoy researching the National Days and choosing which ones for each day (there are at least three different for every day) would be good for a fun family activity or lesson.

This month did not disappoint. There are so many fun things to do in September.

 

I am completely in love with the first of September National Days! And here is why….

September 1st is…

National Lazy Mom’s Day!

Moms around the country view this day in different ways.  The majority view the day as a holiday from laundry, dishes, car pools and bathroom cleaning.  Take a break.  Delegate the chores. Place a moratorium on family feuds. That’s how moms celebrate National Lazy Mom’s Day. Well, that’s how I am going to celebrate this year. Or, at least, I’m going to try.

 

National Blueberry Popsicle Day is observed annually on September 2nd.  Whether you decide to purchase a box of blueberry-flavored Popsicles or make your own, it’s sure to be a tasty treat!

Popsicles were invented in 1905 by an 11-year old boy named Frank Epperson.  One day he left a glass of a fruit-flavored drink with a stirring stick on his porch.  When he woke the next morning, unusually frigid temperatures froze beverage solid – hence the beginning of the Popsicle!

 

Each year league bowlers across the United States recognize U.S. Bowling League Day on September 3rd.

Primarily an outdoor sport until around 1840, bowling was called the game of ninepins and popular with gamblers. To snuff out the gambling, the state of Connecticut banned the game in 1841 which led the newly indoor lane owners to add one pin to their alleys to circumvent the law.

Clubs tried organizing and creating set rules, but it wasn’t until 1895 when the American Bowling Congress came together at Beethoven Hall in New York City. The American Bowling Congress established a maximum score of 300 which still stands today. Other rules, such as lane length, widths, and distances between pins were also determined.

Today, leagues of men, women and mixed teams of all ages play in bowling competitions around the world. Weekly league bowling is a great social outing as well as great physical activity.

 

National Wildlife Day is observed annually on September 4th.

National Wildlife Day is an opportunity to learn more about endangered species, preservation and conservation efforts around the world.  Zoos, aviaries, and marine sanctuaries provide a variety of ways to get involved.  From participating in presentations and volunteering to fundraise for rehabilitation services, these facilities have something for everyone to learn.

Colleen Paige, a Pet Lifestyle Expert, and author founded National Wildlife Day in 2005 in memory of wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin.  The day serves to bring global awareness and education concerning the number of endangered animals and the need for conservation and preservation.

 

On September 5th, one of the most popular varieties of pizzas gets its day of honor.  Hold the toppings, please. It’s National Cheese Pizza Day!

  • In ancient Greece, the Greeks covered their bread with oils, herbs, and cheese which some believe is the beginning of the “pizza”.
  • In Byzantine Greek, the word was spelled “πίτα”, pita, meaning pie. 
  • A sheet of dough topped with cheese and honey, then flavored with bay leaves was developed by the Romans.
  • The modern pizza had its beginning in Italy as the Neapolitan flatbread.
  • The original pizza used only mozzarella cheese, mainly the highest quality buffalo mozzarella variant which was produced in the surroundings of Naples.
  • It was estimated that the annual production of pizza cheese in the United States in 1997 was 2 billion pounds.
  • The first United States pizza establishment opened in 1905 was in New York’s Little Italy.
  • Pizza has become one of America’s favorite meals.

Order up or bake up your own cheese pizza to celebrate National Cheeze Pizza Day!

Enjoy these cheese pizza recipes:

Easy Cheese Pizza
Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza 

 

National Read A Book Day is observed annually on September 6th.  On August 9th, we all celebrated National Book Lovers Day.  While these bookish days may seem similar, National Read a Book Day invites us ALL to grab a book we might enjoy and spend the day reading.

Don’t keep it to yourself.  Share the experience!  Read aloud either to children or to grandparents.  Read to your pets or to your stuffed animals and plants.

Reading improves memory and concentration as well as reduces stress.   Older adults who spend time reading show a slower cognitive decline and tend to participate in more mentally stimulating activities over their lifetime.  Books are an inexpensive entertainment, education and time machine, too!

Sit back, relax and read a book.

National Acorn Squash Day is observed annually on September 7th.  This day celebrates the food holiday of a winter squash that is also known to some as a pepper squash.

Even though it is considered a winter squash, acorn squash belongs to the same species as all summer squashes including zucchini and yellow crookneck squash.

The acorn squash that is dark green, often with a splotch of orange on its side or top, is the most common variety. However, there are newer varieties including the Golden Acorn and the White Acorn.  They can also be variegated in color.

The shape of the squash resembles that of its name, an acorn.  They usually weigh between one to two pounds and are generally between four and seven inches long.  Acorn squash is a hardy squash that keeps for several months when stored in a cool, dry location.

Prepared in different ways for consumption, the acorn squash can be baked, microwaved, sautéed or steamed.  It is often stuffed with rice, meat, cheeses or vegetable mixtures.  The seeds of the squash can be toasted much like pumpkin seeds.

Acorn squash is a good source of dietary fiber and potassium and also has some vitamin C and B, magnesium and manganese.

To celebrate National Acorn Squash Day, enjoy one of these acorn squash recipes:

Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing
Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
Basic Roasted Acorn Squash

 

Who doesn’t love the fun & functional ampersand? From jotting a shorthand “and” to branding corporate names, this curly, quirky little character is ubiquitously useful. It’s also quite aesthetic, as you’ll see at AmperArt.com, featuring “the ampersand as fun & fabulous art.”

National Ampersand Day was founded by designer & typographer Chaz DeSimone in 2015. His monthly design project, AmperArt, features “the ampersand as fun & fabulous art.”

To acknowledge & applaud this great little glyph, National Ampersand Day is observed annually on September 8th.

DID YOU KNOW…

The ampersand used to be the last letter of the alphabet?
The ampersand is a ligature of “e” & “t”? That’s “et” in Latin, meaning “and.”
The word “ampersand” is a slurring of “real words” run together over time?
The plus sign is actually an ampersand?

Celebrate National Ampersand Day by having fun with the ampersand:

Use lots & lots of ampersands!
Substitute “&” for “and” in everything you write.
Think of syllable replacements such as &roid, c&elabra, b&.
Send friends whose names contain “and” a special note — &y, &rea, Alex&er, Gr&ma.
Design new styles of ampersands. (Remember, the ampersand represents the letters “et.”)
Visit AmperArt.com.

 

 

National Teddy Bear Day is observed annually on September 9th.  We have all had a special cuddly teddy as a child.  Some of us still have our teddy bear from our childhood.  Whether or not you still have your childhood teddy, today is the perfect day to celebrate your childhood friend!

In 1902, American President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub while hunting in Mississippi.  This incident made national news. Clifford Berryman published a cartoon of the event in the Washington Post on November 16th, 1902.  The caricature became an instant classic.

The Berryman cartoon of Teddy Roosevelt and the cub inspired New York store owner Morris Michtom to create a new toy.  Morris Michtom wrote President Roosevelt to ask permission to name the new toy a “Teddy Bear”.

 

National Swap Ideas Day, which is observed annually on September 10th, encourages us to share creative or helpful ideas with someone and trade them for their ideas in return.

Swapping ideas today does not have to be done on a one-on-one basis.  It would be fun for a group of people to get together and share ideas.  People could share their thoughts and concepts and also learn from each other, while gathered in a social grouping.

Groups of people benefit from the skills of others, and the energy of brainstorming compounds the efforts of the entire team.  Often an idea shared by one person generates two or even three new concepts within the group creating opportunities for everyone.

Throughout the day, make sure to swap your ideas with others.

 

National Make Your Bed Day is observed annually on September 11th.

Do you want to get a better night’s sleep?  According to the National Sleep Foundation, making your bed can help improve your sleep by reducing the amount of tossing, turning, and restlessness which in return, can be good for your health.

A great night’s sleep can dependon the comfort you feel in your bedroom environment. – National Sleep Foundation

At a Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, participants learn that the sleep environment is a major component to a restful night’s sleep. In a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, people who make their bed daily more often have a better night’s sleep.  Fresh sheets, dark and cool rooms, and comfortable mattresses and pillows also play a factor in mastering sleep comfort.

Make your bed. If not in the routine of making your bed, use National Make Your Bed Day as an opportunity to start this healthy habit.  Encourage the entire family, especially small children, as creating healthful habits early in life can last a lifetime.

 

The second Tuesday in September (12th) of each year is National Ants On A Log Day.  This day recognizes this iconic and healthy food snack enjoyed by millions of people across the USA and around the world.

Ants on a log is a snack made by spreading peanut butter on celery and placing raisins on top.  The snack name was first used in the 1950s.  The typical peanut butter version of ants on a log is recommended as a healthy snack by the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Early September is a time when kids are headed back to school and more importantly, back to studying. To keep them (and their parents) fueled with brain food is an important tool for staying focused.  The designation is to celebrate and encourage healthy snacking using one of the most iconic treats that both old and new generations enjoy.

 

National Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day is observed on September 13th.

Kids and teens across the country are called to take over their kitchens on this day using their favorite recipes and make a meal for their family!  (Adult supervision and assistance as required for the younger bakers and chefs in the house!)

The objective of this mission of the Young Chefs Academy (YCA) is to empower kids and teens to become more actively involved in the planning, preparation, and cooking of meals.  The YCA is fostering family bonds and actively fighting the battle against the many serious health and social issues related to youth’s eating habits in today’s time.

Try one of these kid-friendly recipes to get your children cooking!

Herbed Chicken Nuggets
Yogurt Sundaes

 

National Live Creative Day is observed annually on September 14.  Let the world see your creativity on National Live Creative Day!

To Live Creative allows for the exploration of imagination.  Celebrate National Live Creative Day by taking the time to invent, discover and dream. Infusing creativity in our lives through a variety a media from painting and graphic art to music and gardening all have an impact on our lives. By expressing our passions and living creative lives, we experience the world.

Stepping into the Live Creative world includes a boundless sense of freedom. Rules tend to fall away when the imagination is unleashed. Authors and artists have long suspended reality in support of their work, to the satisfaction of their imagination. They live creative.

We don’t have to be a master sculptor to Live Creative. Blending a dash of creative into moments of our everyday life can have a powerful effect. Simply being exposed to the arts inspires ideas at home and in the workplace.  Renewing a hobby reduces stress just by being purely enjoyable.  Teaching someone else the craft nurtures personal expression and offers an opportunity to see the world through another’s eyes.

Challenge yourself to start your own Live Creative initiative.

National Live Creative Day was submitted by Creative Promotional Products in April of 2016.  The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared it will be observed annually on September 14.

Creative Promotional Products was founded in 1994 and has started an initiative called Live Creative.  They are a creative company with creative employees, and they want their lives to show that Creativity – they want everyone to show their creativity. Their tagline is Live Creative – This is the year you can change your world!

 

Observed annually on September 15th, National Linguine Day is a favorite of young and old alike.

From the Liguria region of Italy, linguine means “little tongues” in Italian. Made from durum semolina flour, linguine is one of the world’s oldest kinds of pasta. Fettuccine and linguine developed around 400 years ago.  While both are thin, flat noodles, linguine is more narrow and elliptical in shape causing it to be a more delicate pasta.  As a result, linguine is paired with thinner, lighter sauces.

Enjoy these delicious linguine recipes

Linguine with Clam Sauce
Chicken and Onions Over Linguine

On the third Saturday in September (16th), National CleanUp Day encourages all of us to take action to make the entire country a better place to live. Just think, what if everyone just picked up one piece of litter?
From coast to coast, organizations and individuals alike join forces to clean up parks, trails, beaches, mountains, and open spaces.

Outdoor spaces that are free of trash and litter are a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Preservation of our forefathers’ legacy is up to all of us.

Litter, debris, and trash mar the beauty of our natural landscapes. National CleanUp Day puts litter in its place – in the trash and recycle bins. National CleanUp Day provides an opportunity to make those messes right and give the landscape a fresh, clean sweep! Communities, corporations, civic organizations, parks and recreation departments and private citizens will all be uniting together to make National CleanUp Day a success.

By participating on this special day, you will be helping to send a message to your communities that you care about keeping our natural surrounding clean throughout the year. Won’t you join us to make your community beautiful?

Create a team or just bring a friend to remove litter from your favorite outdoor spaces. Spread the word! Join in and be part of the solution. Use #NationalCleanUpDay or #SeaToShiningSea to share on social media.

National CleanUp Day was founded to celebrate the importance of uniting to care for our outdoor spaces and remove litter so our trails, parks, and community spaces remain pleasant and unmarred by waste.

Donations to National CleanUp Day may be tax deductible through our partnership with Clean Trails, a national 501(c)3 non-profit.

Social Media and Contact Us
www.NationalCleanUpDay.org
www.Facebook.com/nationalCleanUpDay
www.instagram.com/nationalCleanUpDay
www.twitter.com/nationalCleanUp

Phone: 720.985.8600
Email: info@nationalcleanupday.org

 

National Apple Dumpling Day is observed annually on September 17th.  These delicious filled pastries are typically made by putting cored and peeled apples on a piece of dough, sprinkling them with cinnamon and sugar, then folding the dough over the apples to form a dumpling.  The dumplings are then oven baked until tender.

Apple dumplings are believed to be native to the northeastern United States, around Pennsylvania.  Often found among the delicious Amish recipes, it is frequently eaten as a breakfast item. However, they are also regularly eaten as a dessert and sometimes served with ice cream.

Perhaps you can enjoy eating some apple dumplings while watching the 1975 Walt Disney movie, The Apple Dumpling Gang. 

Celebrate by enjoying the following recipes for breakfast, snack or dessert!

Mountain Dew Apple Dumpling
Apple Dumpling Cake

America’s favorite sandwich is honored on September 18th with a slice of cheese.  It’s National Cheeseburger day!

There are many theories to the beginning of the cheeseburger dating back to the 1920s.  One story suggests that Lionel Sternberger is reputed to have invented the cheeseburger in 1926 while working at his father’s Pasadena, California sandwich shop, The Rite Spot.  During an experiment, he dropped a slice of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger.

There are other claims of the invention of the cheeseburger:

  • A cheeseburger appeared on a 1928 menu at O’Dell’s, a Los Angeles restaurant, which listed a cheeseburger, smothered with chili, for 25 cents.
  • Kaelin’s Restaurant – Louisville, Kentucky says it invented the cheeseburger in 1934.
  • Denver, Colorado – 1935 – A trademark for the name “cheeseburger” was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In.
  • According to its archives, Gus Belt, founder of Steak n’ Shake, applied for a trademark on the word “cheeseburger” in the 1930s.

To celebrate National Cheeseburger Day, gather some friends together, and grill up some burgers – with cheese, of course!

or….

Enjoy one of these tasty recipes:

Perfect Bacon Cheeseburgers
Family Friendly Stuffed Cheeseburgers
Mushroom Cheeseburgers
Swiss Cheeseburger with Caramelized Onions on Toast

 

Talk Like A Pirate Day sails away annually on September 19th.

All you bilge rats, Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrgh! As you are out and about on September 19th, don’t be surprised if people are saying, “Ahoy Matie,” “Avast,” “Aye, Aye Capt’n,” “Land Ho!” “Hornpipe,” and many other pirate-like phrases, because it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Anchor’s away! Get your sea legs and a barrel o’ rum. Feel free to join in anytime with your own version of Pirate-ese. Learn more on how to talk like a pirate here.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day was founded by John Baur and Mark Summers (aka Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy) in 1995.  Click here for the entire story!

 

It’s time for America to stand together in support of our love for String Cheese. Join us as we celebrate National String Cheese Day on September 20th. Whether you call it String Cheese, Snack Cheese or Cheese Sticks…there’s no denying that you call it delicious!

Pack it for a picnic. Have it on a hike. Pass it out for a family snack. And of course, no lunch is complete without this tasty treat. You’ve got to hand it to String Cheese—it’s the fun, easy and protein-packed food that is portable and mess free, Usually made with mozzarella, String Cheese melts easily when heated making it an excellent addition to recipes, too.

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of String Cheese is deciding how to eat it. Most people go for the classic “peel down and chow down” method—separating each stick into thin strands. (After all, it is kind of fun to play with your food!) Others prefer the “get down to business” approach of removing the wrapper and biting into the stick. (Why wait to get that delicious cheese into your belly?) However, you choose to eat it, get your hands on some every September 20th!

What is your favorite way of snacking on string cheese?

Galbani Cheese founded National String Cheese Day in 2017 to celebrate America’s love of String Cheese.

 

Each year on September 21, people across the United States celebrate National Pecan Cookie Day.

This delicious cookie can be eaten and enjoyed the morning, noon and night by hungry snackers everywhere. Another pecan related celebration is National Pecan Day on April 14. Pecan is an Algonquian word, meaning “a nut requiring a stone to crack”. A member of the hickory family, the pecan is native to central and southern United States.

To celebrate National Pecan Cookie Day, try one of the following”tried and true” Pecan Cookie recipes:

Doris’ Pecan Powdered Sugar Drops
Butter Pecan Cookies
Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

 

National Ice Cream Cone Day is observed annually on September 22nd.

While there is some controversy as to who invented the ice cream cone, one of the earliest mentions of them showed up in French cookbooks around 1825.  Originally referred to as “little waffles”, ice cream cones were waffles rolled into the shape of a cone.

Ice cream cones first became popular in the United States in the late 1800s.  Confectioners turned the first cones by hand. The ice cream cone made its debut at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904.  In 1912, an inventor from Oregon obtained a patent for a machine to make them. He sold his company to Nabisco in 1928, and they still make ice cream cones today.

The ice cream cone continues to be a popular treat for children and adults alike as more flavors of ice cream continue to be made available to please our palates.

Grab an ice cream cone

 

National Great American Pot Pie Day is observed annually on September 23rd.  A baked savory pie typically with both a bottom and a flaky top crust is often served to a hungry bunch.  Be it frozen, from a restaurant or home-made, it is sure to please those taste buds.

The filling of a pot pie varies from many different ingredients, some of which are beef, chicken, turkey, gravy, and seafood.   Many vegetables like potatoes, carrots, green beans, and peas are also popular choices.

To celebrate National Great American Pot Pie Day, enjoy a delicious pot pie.  Use #GreatAmericanPotPieDay to post on social media.

National Great American Pot Pie Day was created in 2002 by the pot pie and frozen food company Marie Callender’s.

 

National Cherries Jubilee Day is observed annually on September 24th.  Smitten with this simply elegant dessert, cherry lovers celebrate National Cherrie Jubilee Day with delight.
Auguste Escoffier receives the credit for the Cherries Jubilee recipe. Knowing the queen’s fondness for cherries, Escoffier prepared the dish for one of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebrations. The original recipe didn’t include ice cream.  Instead, the chef poached the cherries in a simple syrup and poured warm brandy over them.  Then just before serving, dramatically set the alcohol aflame.
Later recipes added the liqueur Kirschwasser and ice cream.

Enjoy this Cherries Jubilee recipe.

 

Every year on September 25, comic book readers, collectors, lovers, and fans participate in National Comic Book Day.

First popularized in the United States, comic books are also called comic magazines. Published in the form of sequential, juxtaposed panels that represent individual scenes, comic books often include descriptive prose and written narratives. From the earliest comic strips that later gave birth to comic books, dialogue displayed in bubbles or balloons above characters’ heads. The art form weaves intricate designs using all the elements of text, dialogue, personalities, color and imagery to form storylines that over time have distinguished eras, artists, genres, and themes.

In 1933, a comic book, Famous Funnies, appeared in the United States and is believed to be the first real comic book.  It was a reprinting of earlier newspaper comic strips which established many of the story-telling devices used in comics.

The term “comic book” comes from the first book sold as a book reprinted of humor comic strips.  

Despite their name, comic books are not all humorous in tone and feature stories in all genres.

Comics as a print medium have existed in America since the printing of The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck in 1842 in hardcover, making it the first known American comic book.
In 1896, a comic-book magazine was published in the United States featuring The Yellow Kid in a sequence titled “McFadden’s Row of Flats”. The 196-page book, which was a black and white publication, measured 5 x 7 inches and sold for 50 cents.
People who collect comic books are known as pannapictagraphist.

 

The table is set, the batter is mixed, the griddle is hot, and the butter and syrup are ready.  This means you are prepared for National Pancake Day.   This food holiday is observed each year on September 26th.

You may not have time to make a pancake breakfast, but that is okay, pancakes make a great dinner as well. Pancakes can be served at any time and with a variety of toppings or fillings from sweet jams and syrups to savory meats and sauces.

There is archaeological evidence suggesting pancakes are probably the earliest and most widespread breakfast food eaten in prehistoric societies.

Pancakes are also known as flapjacks or hot cakes.

To celebrate National Pancake Day, enjoy one of the following pancake recipes:

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes
Banana and Pecan Pancakes with Maple Butter
Applesauce Pancakes
Buttermilk Pancakes
Pumpkin Pancakes

National Pancake Day’s humble beginnings in 2005, originally started as Lumberjack Day. Marianne Ways and Collen AF Venable sought an excuse to eat pancakes and waffles with friends and as it was one week after “Talk Like a Pirate Day” and that theme had been worn out, eating lots of pancakes like a lumberjack seemed a better holiday than ever.

 

Across the country, folks enjoy a tall, frosty glass on National Chocolate Milk Day which is observed annually on September 27th.

Invented by Hans Sloane in the late 1680s, today chocolate milk can be purchased premixed or it can be made at home with either cocoa powder and a sweetener or with melted chocolate, chocolate syrup or chocolate milk mix.

While Sloane was in Jamaica, he encountered a beverage the locals drank made with cocoa mixed with water. After trying it, he reported the flavor to be nauseating.  After some experimentation, Sloane found a way to mix the cocoa with milk to make it more pleasant tasting. He brought the chocolate recipe back with him upon his return to England.  Now people enjoy this delicious drink every day.

Mix up some chocolate milk to drink

 

National Good Neighbor Day is observed annually on September 28th.  This day was created to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of a good neighbor.

It is a blessing to have a good neighbor, but it is even a greater thing to BE a good neighbor. Good Neighbors often become friends. They watch out for each other, lend a helping hand and are there for advice when asked.  Neighbors offer that cup of sugar when we are short, collect our mail when we are on vacation, watch our homes and sometimes watch our children and our pets. Simply put, being a good neighbor makes good neighbors and develops lifelong friendships.

To celebrate National Good Neighbor Day, do something nice for your neighbor today.

National Good Neighbor Day was created in the early 1970s by Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana.  In 1978, United States President Jimmy Carter issued Proclamation 4601:

 “As our Nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world. For most of us, this sense of community is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family…I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups and organizations to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

Whether getting one to go or lingering over a second cup, on September 29th be sure to observe National Coffee Day!

Ah, the perfect cup of java.  According to an expert cupper (a professional coffee taster), there are four components of a perfect cup: aroma, body, acidity, and flavor.

From the moment the average coffee lover opens a fresh bag of coffee beans, the aroma beckons, percolating the senses. Even those who don’t drink coffee tend to enjoy the fragrance a roasted bean casts.

When determining the body of a coffee, the bean, the roast, and the brew are all factors. The bean affects the texture of the coffee, whether it’s silky, creamy, thick or thin on the tongue and throat. However, the darker the roast and how it is brewed will alter the feel of a coffee’s body, too. Grandpa’s motor oil blend versus the coffee shop around the corner’s silky smooth, well-practiced grind have entirely different bodies.

The region a coffee is grown determines its acidity. The higher the elevation the coffee grows, the higher the quality and the acidity. These coffees are considered brighter, dryer, even sparkling by cuppers.

When it comes down to it, coffee lovers cherish the flavor as well as the caffeinated boost this roasted bean gives morning or night, black or with cream and sugar. Hot or cold it provides enjoyment even when decaffeinated!

There are many legendary accounts of how coffee first came to be, but the earliest credible evidence of either coffee drinking or the knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi monasteries around Mokha in Yemen.  It was here coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed, much like they are prepared today. Yemeni traders brought coffee back to their homeland from Ethiopia and began to cultivate the seed.

In 1670, coffee seeds were smuggled out of the Middle East by Baba Budan, as he strapped seven coffee seeds onto his chest.  The first plants grown from these smuggled seeds were planted in Mysore.  It was then that coffee spread to Italy, to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia and the Americas.

Brazil produces more coffee in the world than any other country followed by Colombia.  More than 50 countries around the world grow coffee, providing a delicious variety for the indulgence of steamy cups of the black drink for connoisseurs to consume.

National Family Health & Fitness Day is observed annually on the last Saturday in September (30th).

National Family Health & Fitness Day USA  promotes family involvement in physical activity in support of one of the goals of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health.

Find events and activities at fitnessday.com to join in the celebration and use #FamilyHealthAndFitnessDayUSA to post on social media.

Family Health And Fitness Day USA is organized by the Health Information Resource Center.  The day was started in 1996.

 

 

september national days

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Incredibly Fun Fall Activities for the Whole Family

{THERE ARE AFFILIATE LINKS IN THIS POST. IF YOU CHOOSE TO CLICK THEM AND MAKE A PURCHASE I COULD MAKE A COMMISSION AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU}



Every year around this time we start to get a little antsy. The season is changing, summer is ending, the air is getting a little cooler, and the kids are starting/going back to school.

It’s a lot to take in all at once, so we don’t really think about what to do as much.

I have put together a list of things to do that the entire family can enjoy doing together.

31 Fall Activities for the Whole Family

 

  1. Take a drive in the country
  2. Plant bulbs in the garden for next spring
  3. Go apple picking
  4. Get lost in a corn maze
  5. Go for a hike
  6. Go on a hayride
  7. Collect colorful Fall leaves to use in an art project (ideas)
  8. Make a pine cone bird feeder (directions)
  9. Jump in a pile of leaves
  10. Buy something from a bake sale
  11. Borrow a book from the library
  12. Watch geese fly south for the winter
  13. Learn to knit (tutorial)
  14. Go antiquing for the day
  15. Listen to the sounds of leaves crunching under foot
  16. (Adult) Tour a Winery (Winery List)
  17. Breath in the cool crisp air
  18. Carve your own pumpkins (directions)
  19. Give out candy to trick or treaters in costume
  20. Throw a Halloween Party (see link at the bottom for ideas [affiliate])
  21. Make your kids Halloween costumes or pick a family theme (check bottom of post for my”find costume” link [affiliate])
  22. Get spooked at a haunted house/walk
  23. Eat a slice of warm pumpkin bread (recipe)
  24. Drink hot spiced cider (or cold) (recipe)
  25. Bake an apple or pumpkin pie (Apple recipe) (Pumpkin recipe)
  26. Make butternut squash soup (recipe)
  27. Make and eat a caramel apple (recipe)
  28. Collect pine cones and display them as a decoration Tutorial
  29. Go to a Fall Festival in your town
  30. Go around the table telling each other what you are thankful for

 

When we think of our little ones going off to school it can be a bittersweet feeling. We are so glad they are growing and learning but, we miss them being with us all the time.

To lessen the blow, pick a few, or all of the activities from the list and spend some time together as a family.

Our kids grow up so fast, it’s like we blink and they are 16, talking back and trying to spend as little time as a family as possible.

How do you spend time with your family? Do you have any special activities that you like to do each year?

Let me know in the comments 🙂

 

Find the perfect costume at an unbelievable price. Findcostume.com

 

Kid Friendly House Cleaning Tips to Try Today (Guest Post)

This is a guest post by Michael from ThinkCrucial.com, a home improvement brand that helps people save money on replacement parts.

Kid Friendly House Cleaning Tips to Try Today

When you have a child, there is one more person making a mess and not cleaning it up, which can lead to some overwhelming clutter. While your child shouldn’t be handling toilet cleaner at the age of three or fixing light bulbs at the age of six, there are plenty age appropriate tasks your child can help with around the house. There may not be enough time in between all of the everyday tasks you need to complete to spend time cleaning, so here are some timely, kid-friendly tips for cleaning that you can try today.

Make a Chore Chart

Get creative with this tip and make a simple or themed chore chart. Your kids can be earning different items (made from paper) like Olympic medals or balloons, and once they’ve earned enough, they can redeem their earnings for a prize. You can make a chart online of different chores that need to be done and who should do them, print it out, and hang it somewhere that’s easily seen. If you put yourself and your significant other on the chore chart, you can even reward yourself for getting your work done and your child sees that they’re not the only one doing things around the house.

Don’t Use Harsh Chemical Cleaners

A quick trip to the store can get you some vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or any other child-safe cleaner. If your kids will be helping with the cleaning up, you won’t want to be using bleach or any other harsh chemical. Not only are harsher chemicals not safe for your child, but kids can spill it on other fabrics and ruin valuables. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to whiten, vinegar to get out smells, and other child safe cleaners can teach your child how to clean while not hurting them.

Have a Cleaning Competition

If you have more than one kid, you can give them separate tasks to clean the same room or different rooms as quickly and as well as they can. One child can clean up wearable items while the other cleans up trash and playthings, or someone cleans the living room while the other cleans the kitchen. Whoever cleans up the fastest gets a prize. The cleaning will be done faster and you can judge the winner by how well they cleaned up so they have the incentive to clean up quickly, but efficiently.

Make Clean Up Cards

Sometimes it’s helpful to put the different cleaning tasks in writing. If your child can read, make clean up cards that give details and pictures for what needs to be done in any room they’ll be cleaning. It can be daunting for a child to try to clean a whole bathroom, but if there are instructions written down, they can complete the task in stages to make cleaning more manageable. They also won’t forget how to do it if it’s written down for them.

Use a Song as a Time frame

Incorporating dance into your child’s cleaning routine can make the task more fun while also giving a time for the task to be completed by. You can have your child wipe up a mess they made, clean up clothes, or sweep while playing their favorite song. The cleaning is done quickly and it takes minimal effort to put on the song. Then, they can dance for the rest of the song if they complete the task early enough.

Try Your Best to Prevent the Mess

Child proofing your home is not only beneficial for your child’s safety but your sanity as well. Putting a childproof lock on easy-to-reach cabinets can help prevent a mess to clean up in the first place. Move anything breakable higher up so your kids can’t reach it. You can also purchase bowls or cups that make it harder for your child to make a mess everywhere. You have less to worry about if there’s not as much mess, to begin with.

Accidents happen, so of course, messes will be a part of your life if you have children. There are plenty of kid friendly ways to make the kids involved in the cleaning up process so you don’t have to do everything yourself. So try these tips to save time and get your kids to clean up after themselves. It teaches responsibility and helps keep you sane.

 

house cleaning tips for kids

 

These are a Few of My Favorite Things: July

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: JULY

There are so many talented Social Media influencers. Every month I try to keep track of the really great posts I see and share them with you.

I hope you enjoy these posts and find a few accounts to follow and share.

 

TWITTER

 

I think I had a little too much fun on Twitter this month. These are the best of all the posts I retweeted 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INSTAGRAM

 

I need to pull it together. RP from one of our very faves, @modernmomprobs Go follow her now!

A post shared by Mommy Dearest Inc. (@mommydearestinc) on

 

Please. Shut it. Go follow the hilarious @perfectpending for more funny and TRUTH!

A post shared by Kate Hall (@katewhinehall) on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinterest

 

Housewife How To’s

No Place Like Home

Listotic

Graceful Little Honey Bee

Mom Deals

The Bub Hub

What Moms Love

Holly Homer: Kids Activities Blog

Glue Sticks Gum Drops

I Heart Arts and Crafts

 

Facebook Pages

 

Real Time Mom

And Then There Were 2

Mommin’ it up

Mish Mash Mommy

 

Blogs

Rockin’ Mama

Scary Mommy

Rants from Mommyland

Redefining Mom

Mom Spark

 

This has been the July edition of my favorite things.

 

Have you seen any funny or interesting social media posts this month? Let me know in the comments 🙂

 

Please, check out a few of these great people and their social medias. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

August Days

CELEBRATING NATIONAL DAYS WITH THE FAMILY

AUGUST

 

Every day of the year has a new and wonderful way for you to bond with your little family.

Here are the national days for August that you may not know exist.

Marilyn Dalrymple created Respect for Parents Day which is celebrated annually on August 1st. In an effort to “make our families become united and strong by recognizing the leadership roles parents have, and to reinstate the respect for parents that was evident in the past,”Respect for Parents Day” was born.

This day was created as a reminder that parents deserve and require respect and for all to consider the value that parents have in society.

Let your children know all that you do for them/ Not only because you are their parent but because you love them and want them to do well in life.

National Coloring Book Day is celebrated on August 2.

Coloring and coloring books have always been popular with children, but in the past few years, adults have gotten more and more involved with coloring. I know I have many adult coloring books for relaxing and anxiety relief.

Adult coloring is now a huge trend and many are finding that it is not only fun but also a great way to reduce stress.

Founded in 1941, Dover Publications led the way, releasing their first coloring book for adults, Antique Automobiles Coloring Book, in 1970.

Dover now publishes Creative Haven, a popular line of coloring books specially designed for adult colorists.

Find a coloring party near you or participate online.

Spend some time coloring with your friends, children or grandchildren or by yourself.

Enjoy the creativity of making a picture come to life.

National Watermelon Day is enjoyed by many especially on August 3rd, it is a favorite at summertime events such as picnics, barbecues, and fairs.

Watermelon is 92% water, which is why it is so refreshing. It is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind and fleshy center. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon – although not in the genus Cucumis – has a smooth exterior rind (usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh usually deep red to pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, or white.

Watermelons can grow enormous, and you will find competitions across the country which award prizes each year for the largest one.

The Guinness Book of World Records states that the heaviest watermelon weighed 262 pounds.

To learn more refreshing watermelon facts, check out www.watermelon.org.

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is observed annually on August 4.

This is a day to enjoy those tasty bits of chocolate in your favorite cookies.

For the same reason we thank Ruth Graves Wakefield for chocolate chips, we also celebrate her name on National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. For if it weren’t for her curiosity and invention, we wouldn’t hover around ovens savoring the moment the timer dings.

If she had never wondered what chunks of chocolate would taste like mixed into a sugar cookie dough, we would know the ecstasy that is a warm chocolate chip cookie melting on our tongue, our eyes closing in heavenly satisfaction and perfect smiles crowning our faces.  No, if it weren’t for Ruth Graves Wakefield, entire generations would have been denied the bliss that is a chocolate chip cookie.

Grab your discs and call up your friends! The first Saturday in August is National Disc Golf Day!

Requiring less equipment than traditional golf, disc golf shares the common goal of reaching each target with the fewest number of strokes, or to put it more accurately, throws.

Disc golf parallels the traditional game in many ways. Instead of clubs and a ball, the only gear necessary is a disc or frisbee. Starting from a tee pad, which is generally a rectangular area made of anything from rubber to cement or even brick, the player progresses down the fairway after each throw.

From where the disc lands, the player throws again and repeats until the disc lands in the target. As in traditional golf, the total number of throws a player takes to get the disc into the target is equal to the score for that hole.

Disc golf has been played since the late 1960s and became a formalized sport in the 1970s.

In the beginning, targets were nothing more than tree trunks or wooden posts cemented into the ground. As the game progressed, trees and posts were replaced with metal baskets with chains, with the chains helping to catch the discs. Those metal baskets, originally called a “Disc Golf Pole Hole”, are now the modern day targets with dozens of design variations being used with the same general idea and technical specifications in mind.

Disc golf is convenient and inexpensive as well. Adding a couple of discs in the mix when packing for vacation adds very little weight to camping gear or luggage. Unlike traditional golf, a majority of disc golf courses across the country are open to the public, requiring no fees, membership, or tee times.

As a growing international sport, the number of courses is increasing all the time.

In August of 2015, the International Olympic Committee granted full recognition to Flying Disc sports providing a global platform for Flying Disc sports, including disc golf.

People of all ages and abilities play disc golf. A great low-impact, cardiovascular workout that can test both physical skill and mental determination, this activity brings the whole family together for an afternoon of laughs and enjoyment together.

HOW TO OBSERVE

The Professional Disc Golf Association encourages you to get out on the course to celebrate National Disc Golf Day.

With courses in all 50 states, it should be easy to find a disc golf course near you and play a round with your family.

The PDGA Disc Golf Course Directory is a great resource to locate courses in your area.

Each year on August 6, people around the country participate in National Wiggle Your Toes Day.

By going barefoot, wearing sandals or flip-flops, show off your toes. Be sure to give them some fresh air and exercise on National Wiggle Your Toes Day!

Today, let your toes feel the grass, the sand on the beach, the water in the pool or the pebbles along the shore. Encourage the kids to wiggle their little toes to some music!

Observed annually on August 7, National Lighthouse Day honors the beacon of light that for hundreds of years symbolized safety and security for ships and boats at sea.

At one time, the beacon of light could be found across almost all of America’s shorelines.

A lighthouse is described as a tower, building or any other type of structure that is designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways.

Lighthouses:

  • Mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs, safe entries to harbors.
  • Assist in aerial navigation.
  • Have declined due to the expense of maintenance and replacement by modern electronic navigational systems.
  • Has a source of light called a “lamp” (may be electric or oil fueled).
  • Were originally lit by open fire and then candles.
  • Differ depending on the location and purpose but have standard components.
  • Has a lantern room which is a glassed-in housing at the top of a lighthouse tower.
  • Has a Watch Room or Service Room beneath the lantern room.
  • Has an open gallery outside the Watch Room or Lantern Room.
  • Development accelerated in the 17th century with Britain’s Trinity House constructing its first in 1609.
  • Earliest in North America was in St. Augustine, Florida.  Printed on a 1791 map, it had been built by Menendez after his landing in 1586.
  • America’s next lighthouse was Boston Light on Little Brewster Island in 1716.
  • The oldest existing lighthouse in the United States is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey. Built in 1764, this lighthouse is still in operation.
  • At the end of the 19th century, the United States had the most lighthouses of any nation.
  • The 9th Act of the first Congress created the US Bureau of Lighthouses in 1789, which placed lighthouses under federal control.
  • The United States Coast Guard took over on July 7, 1939.
  • Visiting and photographing lighthouses has become a popular hobby as well as collecting ceramic replicas.

Take a nice road trip with your family to visit a historical lighthouse. (If you are in the area I highly recommend the Cape May Lighthouse).

National Happiness Happens Day is observed each year on August 8.

So on this day… just let it happen. You know. Happiness.

Happiness is encouraged all day. Recognize every moment of glee, joy, delight, and pleasure. Don’t let it pass.

A flicker of a giggle should be given its due and should it blossom into full blown happiness, don’t be surprised. It happens!

The Secret Society of Happy People is an organization that was founded in August of 1998 and formed to celebrate the expression of happiness.

The society encourages members to recognize their happy moments and think about happiness in their daily life. They have two motto’s which include “Happiness Happens” and “Don’t Even Think of Raining on My Parade.” Their purpose is to stimulate people’s right to express their happiness.

Founded in 1999 by the Secret Society of Happy People as “Admit You’re Happy Day”, Happiness Happens Day was created to recognize and express happiness. August 8 was chosen as it is the anniversary of the first membership in 1998.

Observed each year on August 9, avid readers get to celebrate on National Book Lovers Day!

A day for all those who love to read, National Book Lovers Day encourages you to find your favorite reading place, a good book (whether it be fiction or non-fiction) and read the day away.

Bibliophile – a person who has a great appreciation for or collects books.

Some History about books:

  • The very first books used parchment or vellum (calf skin) for the book pages.
  • The book covers were made of wood and often covered with leather.
  • The books were fitted with clasps or straps.
  • Public libraries appeared in the Middle Ages.
  • Books in public libraries were often chained to a bookshelf or a desk to prevent theft.

Moving forward:

Book manufacturing’s recent development included digital printing.

Book pages are printed using toner rather than ink. Digital printing opens up the possibility of print-on-demand, where no books are printed until after an order is received from a customer.

E-books are rapidly increasing in popularity. E-book (electronic book) refers to a book-length publication in digital form. They are usually available through the internet. However, can also be found on CD-ROM and other forms. E-books are read either by computer or via a portable book display device known as an e-book reader, such as a Reader, Nook or Kindle.

Grab some books with the kids and enjoy a nice time reading together. Let the books take you to far off places in your minds.

It is National Lazy Day, so we choose to be lazy rather than tell you that this holiday is observed each year on August 10th.

Just sit back, relax with a glass of lemonade and enjoy being with your family on this lazy day.

Each year on August 11, parents across the United States participate in National Son’s and Daughter’s Day.

On this day, spend time with the joys of your life.

Let your children know that you are glad they are part of your life.

Share family stories, listen to the events of their day, their hopes, and dreams.

Enjoy every day you have with them and spend as much quality time as you can.

Do something special for your children today.

If they are at home, go for a walk or enjoy a local park.

If your children are grown, give them a call and remind them how special they are to you.

Saturdays and Summertime are the perfect combinations for garage sales.

That is why the second Saturday in August is designated National Garage Sale Day.

On this day, you will see people finding great deals at these neighborhood sales.

For those having the sales, this is a way for them to find new homes for items they no longer need.

If you see a driveway full of items and a sale sign out, stop by and celebrate National Garage Sale Day.

Daniel Rhodes of Alabama came up with the idea of having a National Garage Sale Day in 2001 after seeing neighbors having sales on different weekends.

Rhodes thought it would be more convenient if they all had them on the same weekend.

Left-Hander’s Day is observed annually on August 13th.

In a right-handed dominated world, August 13th is the day that left-handed individuals can claim as their own.

Approximately 10% of the population is a Southpaw. Scientists haven’t discovered why a person is left-handed, but it more probable that you will have a left-handed child if one of the parents is left-handed.

Make a game with the kids, If you’re all right-handed, try doing everything with your left hand and see who can complete certain tasks.

National Creamsicle Day is observed annually on August 14.

This is a day to enjoy this refreshing summertime orange and vanilla treat.

Creamsicle” is a brand name of an ice cream treat consisting of vanilla ice cream on a Popsicle stick coated with an exterior of flavored ice with the original flavor being orange.

Enjoyed the whole year round, the Creamsicle now comes in many flavors.

Here are a few Creamsicle recipes for you to make and enjoy with the kids!

Three Ingredient Low-Fat Creamsicle Cake
Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

National Relaxation Day is observed annually on August 15th.

It is time to slow down, unwind and relax!

National Relaxation Day is an important day as we all need a break from the fast-paced and often hectic lifestyles we live.

Taking time to recuperate and rejuvenate our tired minds and bodies may help prevent many health risks. Like the founder of this day suggested, too much work can make us sick, run down, and tired which can lead to more stress.

It has been proven that stress can be harmful to our health, both mentally and physically.

Most doctors will agree that finding ways to relax and reduce stress will improve overall health.

What is your favorite relaxation activity?

Here are some relaxing activities:

  • Reading a book
  • Fishing
  • A picnic in the park
  • Walking along the beach
  • Taking a drive in the country
  • Spa
  • Golfing
  • Photography
  • A movie
  • Window shopping
  • Calm
  • Lunch with the family
  • Watching sports
  • Swimming

These are just a few of the many possible relaxation ideas that you may want to use to celebrate this holiday.

We are aware that not everyone is able to get this holiday off from work, so while you are at your job, do what you can to avoid stress and try not to work late today.

When you get off of work, take a deep breath, unwind, relax and begin your National Relaxation Day celebration!

What would be better than a day filled with laughter?

National Tell a Joke Day is observed annually on August 16th, and that’s no joke!

This day should be filled with smiles and much laughter from morning till night as everyone shares their favorite jokes. The more jokes you tell, the more fun you will have and so will those around you.

Jokes have been a part of human culture since at least 1900 BC.

A joke is described as something that is spoken, written or done with humorous intention. They can come in many forms.

On National Tell a Joke Day, try a one-liner or a knock-knock joke if you aren’t comfortable with the whole comedic act that can be involved in the short story versions.

Some simply rely on gestures to express humor. With humor, timing and delivery can be an essential element. Without it, the joke will fall flat.

Be sure to know the audience. Clown jokes may not go over well at a phobia convention.

In moderation, laughter is healthy, uses the abdominal muscles and releases endorphins (natural feel good” chemicals) into the brain.

Tell a joke, listen to a joke, get a joke book and get the kids to take turns reading a few… laugh, celebrate, have fun and enjoy!

National I LOVE My Feet Day! is observed annually on August 17.

This is a day to appreciate how valuable our feet are, to practice good foot care and pamper our feet.

Our feet are our primary mode of transportation. They quietly and faithfully help us stand, swim, run, walk, play sports, jog, skip and dance.

They take us to school and work. Our feet withstand all the things we do in our everyday lives and accomplish things our hands cannot.

Taking care of our feet is important for preventing long-term problems. Years of wear and tear can be hard on them, as can disease, bad circulation, improperly trimmed toenails and poorly fitting shoes.

Practicing good foot care is easy. Elevating your feet when you sit is a relaxing way to help reduce swelling. Stretching, walking or having a gentle foot massage aids circulation.

A warm foot bath is also helpful. Make sure your feet are dry before putting on shoes. Wearing shoes when outside provides your feet better protection.

75% of the adult population has a foot problem and improper shoe choices account for the majority of those problems. Wearing properly fitted shoes with good arch support, getting foot massages and regular pedicures can reduce foot problems. If you have persistent foot pain, consulting a podiatrist can help.

A good way to celebrate today would be going out and buying your children’s new school shoes. Let them pick out their favorite, most comfortable pair for the coming school year.

On August 18, we recognize a dish sizzling with savory Tex-Mex flavor.

It’s National Fajita Day!

Originally made from throwaway cuts of beef by Mexican cowboys/cattle drivers in Southwest Texas, the fajita was developed as a regional staple in the early 1930s.

These cowboys cooked the steak over an open fire or grill and served it with flour or corn tortillas. Fresh Pico de gallo (also called salsa fresca, made from chopped tomato, onion, cilantro, fresh serranos, salt, and lime juice), guacamole and southwestern spices elevated the fajita, introducing it to new audiences as it later became a destination food in the culinary world.

As their popularity grew, fajitas added colorful flair to Tex-Mex menus with sizzling platters full of bright peppers, onions, tender steak, shrimp, chicken or pork with freshly made tortillas.

By the 1980s, most Mexican restaurants in the United States served fajitas. In the modern culinary kitchen, lime, cilantro and many vegetables find their way into a fajita along with the perfect seasonings.

Grilling with mesquite adds a smoky flavor and bacon adds crunch. Of course, who could forget the cheese?

With their festive presentations, they continue to be enjoyed today. The fajita has come a long way from skirt steak trimmings!

This year National Fajita Day falls on a Friday so take the family out to your favorite Mexican restaurant for fajitas and start the weekend off right!

National Soft Ice Cream Day is observed annually on August 19th.

Soft service ice cream is the result of air being introduced to the dairy product during the freezing process.

In 1934 on Memorial Day weekend, Tom Carvel had a flat tire on his ice cream truck in Hartsdale, New York. After pulling into a parking lot, he began selling the softened ice cream to vacationers driving by.

With amazement, seeing the love that people had for soft ice cream, he concluded that a fixed location selling the new-found dessert was potentially a good business idea.

In 1936, Carvel opened his first store on the original broken down truck site, selling his secret formula soft serve ice cream dispensed from his patented super low-temperature ice cream machines.

If an ice cream truck frequents your street make sure to get some for yourself and the kids. If not, take a ride after dinner to an ice cream shoppe to get some soft serve goodness.

Each year on August 20th, National Radio Day recognizes the great invention of the radio.

In the late 19th century, it became clear that wireless communication was possible.

There were several inventors who had a part in the invention of the radio in the late 1800s and not just one person can be credited with its beginning. To make the radio a reality, it required a number of different inventions and discoveries including both transmission and reception methods as well as technology.

It was in the 1920s when the first broadcast stations began airing programs.

These first programs were those of news and world events.

  • Radio ownership grew from two out of five homes in 1931 to four out of five homes in 1938.
  • According to FCC statistics, at the end of 2012, there were more than 15,000 licensed broadcast radio stations in the U.S.

To celebrate National Radio Day, listen to your favorite radio stations and let the kids dance around and sing along.

Each year on August 21, there are various events and activities held across the United States in recognition of National Senior Citizens Day.

This day was created as a day to support, honor and show appreciation to our seniors and to recognize their achievements.

Their valuable contributions to our communities create better places to live.

For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older — places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity”

~ President Ronald Reagan – August 19, 1988 Proclamation 5847

To celebrate National Senior Citizens Day, spend time with the senior citizens you know. Let them know that they are appreciated and loved.

It may also be a good day for you and your children to volunteer at a retirement home and share your smile with those who may not otherwise get a visitor today. Teach them that being nice to others is not just for those people but to help us be happy knowing we are the reason those people are smiling and having a good time.

National Tooth Fairy Day observed on August 22.

This childhood favorite evolved with a group of healthcare fairies during the mid-1920s.

From bath fairies to Fairy Wand Tooth Whitener, kids were encouraged through a wave of advertisements and health classes to eat their veggies, brush their teeth and get fresh air.

Esther Watkins Arnold brought the tooth fairy to life in an eight-page play-let in 1927 called The Tooth Fairy.

At the same time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle made his claim that fairies and gnomes were real by publishing pictures of two girls surrounded by “verified” fairies.

Schools began performing Arnold’s play the following year, and children, primed with vivid imaginations, placed their freshly lost teeth under their pillows at night in the hopes of a visit from the tooth fairy.

Enjoy the last days of summer and the warm summer breezes on August 23 as you celebrate the annual National Ride the Wind Day.

National Ride The Wind Day commemorates the anniversary of the first human-powered flight to win the Kremer prize.

It was on August 23rd of 1977 that the Gossamer Condor 2, flew the first figure-eight course specified by the Royal Aeronautical Society, at Minter Field in Shafter, California. Slowly cruising at only 11 mph, it traveled a distance of 2,172 meters.

  • The Gossamer Condor 2 was built by Dr. Paul B MacCready and piloted by amateur cyclist and hang-glider pilot Bryan Allen.

  • The Gossamer Condor 2 aircraft is preserved at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

We all know that cooler air is right around the corner so take advantage of these nice days and get outside as much as possible. Test out those human-powered aircraft and make some history. summer breezes allow us to fly human-powered. In the event you lack a human-powered aircraft, flying a kite is always a good back plan.

The first United States patent for a waffle iron was issued to Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York on August 24, 1869.

In honor of this anniversary, National Waffle Day is observed each year on August 24th.

Eaten throughout the world, a waffle is a leavened batter or dough that is cooked between two plates that are patterned to give a characteristic size, shape and surface impression.

Waffles come in many forms. Depending on the type of batter or iron used, the resulting waffle vary by consistency, size, shape and flavor.

Waffle irons and waffles originated around the 14th century.

An anonymous husband penned the first known waffle recipe as a set of instructions for his wife.

According to the manuscript, Le Ménagier de Paris, each of the four recipes began:

  • Beat some eggs in a bowl, season with salt and add wine.

  • Toss in some flour, and mix.

  • Then fill, little by little, two irons at a time with as much of the paste as a slice of cheese is large.

  • Then close the iron and cook both sides.

  • If the dough does not detach easily from the iron, coat it first with a piece of cloth that has been soaked in oil or grease.

  • 1911 – First electric waffle iron introduced by General Electric.
  • 1953– Frank Dorsa’s Eggo Frozen Waffles are sold in Supermarkets for the first time.
  • 1964 – Belgian Waffles debut at New York’s World’s Fair.

Following are a few waffle recipes for you to make and share with your family and friends!

True Belgian Waffles
Classic Buttermilk Waffles
Apple Cinnamon Waffles
Banana Oatmeal Buttermilk Waffles
Best Chocolate Chip Waffles

National Banana Split Day is observed annually on August 25th!

Traditionally served in a long dish, called a boat, a banana is cut in half lengthwise and laid in the dish with scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream placed in between.

The strawberry ice cream is complimented with pineapple topping.

Chocolate syrup is poured on the vanilla ice cream and strawberry topping covers the chocolate ice cream.

Crushed nuts, whipped cream and maraschino cherries garnish the entire boat.

Today, there are many variations to the classic banana split.

A 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist at Tassel’s Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania created the first banana split in 1904.

David Evans Strickler enjoyed inventing sundaes at the store’s soda fountain. His first “banana-based triple ice cream sundae” sold for 10 cents, double the cost of all the other sundaes.

In Strickler’s hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, they proudly celebrate his creation with a festival annually in August.

In 2013, an official marker was placed at the site of the pharmacy where Strickler first made his famous banana split.

The United States Post Office honored the banana split and the town of Latrobe in 2016 with a 47-cent “forever stamp depicting the banana split.

It was one of five stamps in the “Soda Fountain Favorites” series.

For a time, Latrobe residents could receive a cancellation mark memorializing their claim to fame.

Each summer on the 26th of August, Popsicle lovers across the United States enjoy National Cherry Popsicle Day.

One evening in 1905, 11-year-old Frank Epperson mixed a batch of soda on his porch and left it with the stirring stick still in it for the night. It hit record low temps that night and he awoke to find….

To learn more and to get some tasty Popsicle recipes see my post “Popsicles… Where did they come from?”

Each year on August 27th it is National Just Because Day.

Feel free to celebrate this day any way you choose. Just because!

Every day we all do things that are expected or required of us or because we have to.

Well, on National Just Because Day, that does not apply.

This day is a chance to do something without rhyme or reason.

It could be that there is an outfit at the mall that you are admiring; buy it…just because.


Maybe you want to use a vacation day just to go fishing; do it…just because.


Perhaps you would like to pay the tab for the table next to you at your favorite restaurant; do it…just because.


Possibly you want to sing really loud while you’re in your car, by yourself, with your windows rolled down; do it…just because.


Surprise someone with flowers…just because!


Make something up…just because!


Or maybe, just maybe, do something just because Mom said so.

 

National Cherry Turnovers Day is observed annually on August 28th.

Cherry turnovers are a sweet pastry made by placing a cherry filling on a piece of dough, folding the dough over, sealing it then either baking it or frying it.

FUN CHERRY FACTS:

  • Related to plums, peaches, and nectarines, cherries are drupes or stone fruits.
  • Cherries were brought to North America in the 1600s by the English colonists.
  • There are more than 1,000 varieties of cherries in the United States.
  • There are an average of 44 cherries in one pound.

More National Cherry Holidays:

  • January 3rd is National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day.
  • April 23rd is National Cherry Cheesecake Day.
  • May 17th is National Cherry Cobbler Day.
  • September 24th is National Cherries Jubilee Day.

Try these recipes with your kids today!

Tasty Cherry Turnovers

Easy Cherry Turnovers

 

National Chop Suey Day is recognized each year on August 29.

Chop suey, which means “assorted pieces,” is a dish in American Chinese cuisine consisting of meat (chicken, fish, beef, prawns or pork) and eggs that are cooked quickly with vegetables (usually bean sprouts, cabbage, and celery) and bound in a starch-thickened sauce. Rice typically accompanies this delicious dish.

It is believed, by some, that chop suey was invented in America by Chinese Americans.

However, anthropologist E.N. Anderson concludes that it is based on tsap seui (miscellaneous leftovers) which is common in Taishan, a district of Guangdong Province.

Taishan is the home of many early Chinese immigrants to the United States.

Another account claims that chop suey was invented by Chinese American cooks that were working on the transcontinental railroad in the 19th century.

A tale is told of chop suey’s creation stemming from the Qing Dynasty Premier Li Hongzhang’s visit to the United States in 1896. According to the story, his chef wanted to create a meal that was suitable for both the Chinese and the American palates.

It has also been told that Li wandered to a local Chinese restaurant after the hotel kitchen closed, where the chef, embarrassed that he had nothing ready to offer, came up with the new “chop suey” dish using scraps of leftovers.

Another myth tells of an 1860s Chinese restaurant cook in San Francisco that was forced to serve something to the drunken miners after hours. To avoid a beating, having nothing fresh to offer, he threw leftovers in a wok and provided a makeshift meal to the miners. The miners loved the dish, asked him what it was called to which he replied, “Chopped Sui.”

Traveling to the United States in 1903, Liang Oichao, a Guangdong native, wrote that there existed a food item called chop suey which was popularly served by Chinese restaurateurs, but which local Chinese people did not eat.

Whatever is the true origin the fact is that it is very tasty. Take your family out for a nice Chinese dinner to celebrate Chop Suey Day.

On August 30 be sure to stock up on one of America’s favorite fire roasted treats. It’s National Toasted Marshmallow Day!

Get your friends together, gather up some firewood, a few long sticks and a bag of marshmallow and you have the makings of a great night ahead of you.

Toasted marshmallows are a special part of summer evenings around a bonfire.

One of the popular ways to enjoy a delicious warm, gooey toasted marshmallow is with chocolate and graham crackers in a S’more.

Upon personal preference, marshmallows are heated to various degrees from gently toasted to a charred outer layer.

The charred outer layer is achieved by igniting the marshmallow.

Marshmallows now come in a variety of flavors as well as sizes for maximum toasting opportunities.

National Toasted Marshmallow Day is sponsored by the National Confectioners Association.

Get the kids together and char some marshmallows together.

Observed annually on August 31, National Trail Mix Day honors the mix that was developed as a healthy snack to be taken along on hikes.

Trail mix is an ideal hike snack food because it is very lightweight, easy to store, nutritious and provides a quick energy boost from the carbohydrates in the dried fruits or granola as well as sustained energy from the fats in the nuts.

One claim to the invention is held by two California surfers, who in 1968 blended peanuts and raisins together for an energy snack.

However, in the 1958 novel The Dharma Bums written by Jack Kerouac, trail mix is mentioned when the two main characters describe the planned meals in preparation for their hiking trip.

Plan a short hiking trip with your family and pack a few bags of tasty trail mix to snack on along the way.

You can make your own trail mix using your favorite ingredients.

Many varieties of trail mix are available at your favorite grocery or convenience store.

 

I hope you have enjoyed the August Edition of Celebrating National Days with the Family.

If you found any fun things to do with your family from this list please let me know in the comments.

I hope everyone has a happy safe end of the summer. 🙂

Stay Cool.

Family Friendly State Parks around the U.S

The other day I was trying to think of new and interesting things to do with my little family.

It occurred to me that in every state there are at LEAST five State Parks!

So, I did a little research and found a family friendly park in each of the 50 United States.

Check out the park in your state or if you see one you think your family would enjoy, plan a vacation to that state and check out the local attractions.

family friendly state parks

 Alabama: Lakepoint State Park

Lakepoint State Park is a publicly owned recreation area located on the far north side of the city of Eufaula. The state park encompasses 1,220 acres on the western shore of Lake Eufala, a 45,000-acre impoundment of the Chattahoochee River. The park adjoins Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge and is managed by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Park facilities include a convention center, 101-room lodge, 192-campground sites, and a complex of lakeside cottages and fishermen’s cabins. The grounds also include a marina, swimming pools, hiking trails, and picnicking areas.

Alaska: Afognak Island State Park

The park is known for its rugged topography, dense old-growth Sitka spruce forests, and salmon spawning habitat. Kodiak brown bear, Sitka black-tailed deer, Roosevelt elk, and the endangered marbled murrelet inhabit the park. Visitors can fish, hunt, hike, or just enjoy the pristine environment. There are two public use cabins in the park.

Amenities:

Wood-burning stove for heat – firewood must be split. Handsaw and ax provided. (Only dead and downed trees may be used for firewood.) Please restock supply before leaving.

Limited cooking/eating utensils (frying pans, dishpans, and a large tea kettle).

Two bunk beds – each with a single on top and a double below at Pillar Lake

Three single bunk beds at Laura Lake

Fresh water can be obtained from Pillar or Laura Lake. Water must be boiled for five minutes or cleaned with a Giardia approved filter.

Arizona: Oracle State Park

Oracle State Park preserves 3,948 acres in the northeastern foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The park is named after the nearby town of Oracle.

Oracle State Park serves as a wildlife refuge, and is open every day from 9am – 5pm. 

The park has more than 15 miles of hiking trails, including 7 miles of the Arizona Trail.

The Kannally Ranch House is a historic house museum with original art and historic photos. The four-level adobe home was constructed between 1929 and 1933, features Mediterranean and Moorish architectural influences and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Arkansas: Davidsonville Historic State Park

Davidsonville Historic State Park (formerly Old Davidsonville State Park) is a 163-acre Arkansas state park in Randolph CountyArkansas in the United States. The park preserves the remains of the abandoned frontier town of Davidsonville. The town was one of Arkansaw Territory‘s first settlements when founded in 1815, serving as an important river port town on the Black River. The former townsite was made into a state park in 1957 and a monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

California: Castle Rock STate Park

Castle Rock State Park embraces coast redwoodDouglas fir, and madrone forest, most of which has been left in its wild, natural state. Steep canyons are sprinkled with unusual rock formations that are a popular rock climbing area. The forest here is lush and mossy, crisscrossed by 32 miles of hiking trails.

These trails are part of an even more extensive trail system that links the Santa Clara and San Lorenzo valleys with Castle Rock State Park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and the Pacific Coast.

Due to its overnight parking lot, Castle Rock is a popular starting point for the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, a 30-mile trail that begins near by at Saratoga Gap and leads to Waddell Beach north of Santa Cruz. There are two walk-in campgrounds within the park for overnight backpacking. The 5,242-acre park was established in 1968

Colorado: Ridgeway

Ridgway State Park is a state park located in Ouray CountyColorado. The current wildlife consists of deer, coyotes, rabbits, and elk. Due to the park’s variety of animal life, the park is used as a hunting ground although hunting opportunities are extremely limited due to proximity to developed areas.

Connecticut: Hopeville Pond State Park

Hopeville Pond State Park is a public recreation area located on Hopeville Pond, an impoundment of the Pachaug River, in the town of GriswoldConnecticut. A portion of the park occupies the site where the lost village of Hopeville once thrived. The grounds include one building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Avery House, which serves as the park manager’s house. Activities include fishing, swimming, and camping. The state park is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Delaware: Lums Pond State Park

Lums Pond State Park is a 1,790-acre Delaware state park. The park surrounds Lums Pond, an impoundment built by the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal on St. Georges Creek. Lums Pond State Park is open for a wide variety of year-round recreation.

Florida: The Rainbow River

Rainbow Springs State Park is a Florida State Park located on, three miles north of Dunnellon, Florida. It comprises 1,459.07 acres upland (which includes around 100 acres of wetlands) and 12.83 acres submerged. The most significant natural feature is the first magnitude headspring basin which produces up to 600,000,000 US gallons of fresh water per day, forming The Rainbow River. The looking glass waters of Rainbow Springs come from several vents, not one large bubbling spring. The river itself supports a wide variety of fish, wildlife, and plants, many within easy viewing by visitors. In total, the park contains 11 distinct natural communities, including sandhillsFlatwoods, upland mixed forests, and hydric hammocks.

Visitors are able to see a variety of wildflowers in season; oaklongleaf pinesmagnoliadogwoodred mapleredbudcypresssabal, and hickory trees; gray squirrelsred-shouldered hawks, swallowtail kites, barred owlswhitetail deer, and a wide variety of wading birds. The relative peace and quiet of the winter season offers much for the nature enthusiast. There is an interpretive room located in the visitor center displaying historical, natural, and cultural resources of the park.

 

Georgia: Tugaloo State Park

Tugaloo State Park is a 393-acre state park located on the shore of Lake Hartwell in Franklin County, Georgia. The park features a swimming beach, boat ramps, and ample fishing opportunities, and is located near S.R. 328 north of Lavonia.

Tugaloo State Park offers:

393 Acres

108 Tent, Trailer, and RV Campsites ($27–$30)

6 Primitive Campsites

20 Cottages

Swimming beach

Tennis courts

7 Picnic shelters

Group shelter

Pioneer campground

6 Yurts

 

Hawaii: Diamond Head State Monument

Diamond Head State Monument offers breathtaking views overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Honolulu. In fact the view is so good, it was used by the US military as a post for preventing attacks against Honolulu.

The trail takes you to the edge of a 300,000 year old crater. While the hike isn’t that long in terms of distance, it can be somewhat challenging due to its ascent. Parts of the trail are over uneven rock, and the 99 steps near the end of the hike are steep.

Idaho: Eagle Island State Park

Eagle Island State Park is a 545 acre day-use park west of Boise that features a popular swimming beach, a grassy picnic area, a waterslide and more than five miles of trails for those looking for a place to ride horses, hike, walk your dog, or play disc golf. The park also has a zip line course which consists of six zip lines and features one of the state’s first quick jumps, which is a parachute simulated leap off of a 60-foot tower.

Information:

  • the entrance fee to all of Idaho’s State Parks is $5.00 per car.
  • The waterslide is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The 9-hole disc golf course is open May through October and the 18-hole disc golf course is open November through April.
  • Paddleboard rentals are available within the park.
  • Call park office for reservation information.

 

Illinois: Beaver Dam State Park

Beaver Dam State Park is an Illinois state park on 750 acres in Macoupin CountyIllinois in the United States. The park is 7 miles southwest of Carlinville, Illinois and is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a public place for fishing.

The state park centers on the 59-acre Beaver Dam Lake, an artificial reservoir which was created by a private Carlinville fishing club in the 1890s. The club later became a private resort which catered to visitors who arrived via the adjacent Chicago and Alton Railroad. During the Great Depression, the resort failed. The state of Illinois purchased the lake and some adjacent property in 1947. Additional land purchases have created the present-day Beaver Dam State Park.

 

Indiana: Brown County State Park

 

Brown County State Park is located in the United States in the center of the southern half of the state of Indiana. The park is the largest of 24 state parks in Indiana and occupies 15,776 acres—making it one of the larger state parks in the United States. It is Indiana’s most visited state park and has about 1.3 million visitors each year. Although Bloomington, Indiana, is the closest city, the park is closer to the small town of Nashville in Brown County. Brown County is named for General Jacob Brown, who fought in the War of 1812 and became Commanding General of the United States Army.

 

Iowa: Honey Creek State Park

 

The state park, located on a peninsula that is along part of Rathbun Lake’s shore, has a width of 828 acres. A campground is within the park that has 149 camping spots with some of these spots having electricity. There are other activities which include hiking on a nature trail, snowmobiling, and boating. Waterfowl, pheasants, squirrels, and other game animals can be hunted at the Rathbun Wildlife Unit. Other places to hunt are located alongside the river in designated areas.

Kansas: Wilson State Park

Wilson State Park is a public recreation area found on the south shore of 9,000-acre Wilson Lake reservoir approximately 10 miles north of the city of Wilson in Russell CountyKansas, United States. Located at the reservoir’s eastern end, the state park covers 945 acres divided into two areas by the reservoir’s southeastern arm: the Hell Creek area on the west side and the Otoe area on the east side. The Hell Creek area hosts a marina. Both areas include hiking trails, swimming beaches, boat ramps, and camping facilities.

Kentucky: “Tom” Sawyer State Park

E. P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park is a 550-acre Kentucky state park located in the Freys Hill area of Louisville, Kentucky, on former land of Kentucky’s Central State Hospital. When opened in 1974, it was named in honor of Republican Jefferson County Judge/Executive Erbon Powers “Tom” Sawyer who was killed in a car accident on Louisville’s Interstate 64 in 1969 while still in office. Sawyer was the father of journalist Diane Sawyer.

Louisiana: Chemin-A-Haut State Park

Chemin-A-Haut State Park is a 503-acre site located in northern Morehouse Parish, Louisiana. Visitors may access the park from U.S. Highway 425 about 10 miles north of Bastrop. Chemin-à-Haut means “High Road” in French. Much of the park is on a high bluff overlooking winding Bayou Bartholomew. Chemin-A-Haut was one of the earliest additions to the Louisiana State Park system.

Visitors to the park may enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, picnicking and wildlife observation. There is a 8-mile equestrian trail for horseback riders. During the hot summer months, guests may cool off in an on-site swimming pool.

Maine: Rangeley Lake State Park

 

Rangeley Lake State Park is a Maine state park located on the southern shore of Rangeley Lake in Franklin County. The park offers 50 campsites, a swimming beach, and docks and a boat ramp for motorized boating. The lake’s 6,000 acres house landlocked salmon and brook trout.

Maryland: Elk Neck State Park

Elk Neck State Park is a public recreation area located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River near the southern tip of the Elk Neck Peninsula in Cecil CountyMaryland. The state park is home to the historic Turkey Point Light and offers land-based and water-based recreation. The park is located on MD 272, eight miles south of the town of North East, and 13 miles south of exit 100 on I-95. It is operated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Massachusetts: Holyoke Heritage State Park

Holyoke Heritage State Park is history-oriented state park located in the city of HolyokeMassachusetts. The park opened in 1986 on the site of the William Skinner Silk Mill which was lost to fire in 1980. The park is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

A visitors center has exhibits about paper manufacturing and Holyoke’s industrial and cultural past. The landscaped grounds offer picnicking and views of the city’s canals and mill buildings. The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, the Children’s Museum at Holyoke, and the Volleyball Hall of Fame are also located in the park.

Michigan: Duck Lake State Park

Duck Lake State Park is a 728-acre, day-use state park located along Lake Michigan south of Whitehall, Michigan in Muskegon County. The land was purchased by the Nature Conservancy from two Boy Scout organizations and acquired by the state in 1974. It officially opened in 1988.

The park, which runs along the north side of Duck Lake to Lake Michigan, features a large sand dune. A beach at the mouth of Duck Lake is a popular spot for swimming and fishing. The park’s Scenic Drive is part of the Shoreline Trail route in Muskegon County.

Amenities and Activities:

  • Swimming: On Duck Lake and Lake Michigan.
  • Hiking: A half-mile paved trail skirts Duck lake.
  • Fishing: Anglers can try for bass, crappie, and bluegill.
  • Picnicking
  • Picnic Area
  • Picnic Shelter.
  • Snowmobiling
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Hunting: The park is open to hunting during the regular season

 

Minnesota: Lake Bemidji State Park

 

Lake Bemidji State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, on the north shore of 6,765-acre Lake Bemidji. The northern half of the park preserves a spruce-tamarack bog. A district of National Park Service rustic structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and National Youth Administration in the 1930s is on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is located 5 miles north of the city of Bemidji.

Lake Bemidji State Park offers recreational activities year round. Activities include camping, hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, picnicking, swimming, volleyball, fishing, boating and interpretive programs.

Camping

The park has 95 drive-in sites, including 43 electric sites, 4 pull-through sites, and 4 handicapped accessible sites. In winter, only one site is available to drive-in. This is a non-electric site. Other sites are available on a walk-in basis after deep snow cover.

Trails

In the summer, there are 2 miles of handicapped accessible trails, including the boardwalk and Rocky Point trail; 15 miles of easy to moderate hiking trails that take you through areas of maturing pine, aspen and hardwoods; 6 miles of paved bike trails which connect with the Paul Bunyan state trail; 5 Miles of mountain bike trails; and a 1/4 mile Bogwalk which is accessible by a 1-mile hike.

In the winter, there are 11 miles of groomed cross country ski trails, 3 miles of snowmobile trails that connect with an extensive trail system beyond the park, and you can snowshoe anywhere in the park except the groomed trails.

Recreational facilities

In the summer, park visitors can use the lakefront picnic and beach area which has picnic tables, an enclosed shelter with a fireplace, a volleyball court, a shower, restrooms, and pedestal grills. The shelter building and the sanitation building in the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Youth Administration, and are of rustic style log construction. These buildings are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Shelter can be reserved by calling the park office.

There is a boat landing located next to the picnic area for those that wish to go fishing or boating. Canoes and fishing boats are available for rent from May 10 through October 13. There is also a handicapped accessible fishing pier.

In the winter, snowshoes are available for rent at the park office. Or, visitors can park in the picnic area parking lot, bring their own ice fishing equipment, and walk onto the lake to go fishing. There is a warming house located in the Trail Center, in the park’s Visitor Center

Throughout the year, the Visitor Center is a place where information about the park’s trails, animals, geology, and other interesting features can be found through exhibits, films or slide programs. A complete list of programs and special programs or organized groups is available upon request.

Naturalist programs are offered Wednesday through Sunday from mid-June through Labor Day. Fall, winter, and spring programs are generally offered on weekends. The Interpretive Center is open for schools, scouts, and other community organizations upon request. Programs focus on the lake and wetland environments found in the park.

Interpretive programs in the summer include morning hikes, boat tours of Lake Bemidji, evening films, and campfire talks. Winter programs include snowshoeing, candlelight skiing, and animal tracking. The Visitor Center is open daily and sometimes serves as a gathering place for interpretive programs where visitors share experiences by the warmth of the wood-stove.

Mississippi: Lake Lowndes State Park

Lake Lowndes State Park is a public recreation area in the U.S. state of Mississippi located off Mississippi Highway 69 approximately 9 miles southeast of Columbus, Mississippi.

The state park features boating, water-skiing and fishing on 150-acre Lowndes Lake, primitive and developed campsites, cabins and cottages, 7 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, a visitors center with gymnasium, tennis courts and play fields, picnic area, and an 18-hole disc golf course, Whispering Pines.

 

Missouri: Lake Ozarks State Park

 

Lake of the Ozarks State Park is a Missouri state park on the Grand Glaize Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks and is the largest state park in the state. Originally owned by the United States National Park Service as part of the Recreational Demonstration Areas when the lake was built in the 1930s, it was donated to the state after World War II.

The park includes 85 miles of shoreline on the lake; two swimming beaches with imported sand, 12 trails, the Ozark Caverns, a boat launch, and the Lee C. Fine Memorial Airport which has a 6,500-foot runway. In addition, there are campsites and cabins within the park.

 

Montana: Beaverhead Rock State Park

Beaverhead Rock, also known as Point of Rocks, is a rock formation in Montana. It is located on Montana State Highway 41, 14 miles south of Twin Bridges of Madison County.

The rock formation is protected within Beaverhead Rock State Park and is located above the Beaverhead River.

 

Nebraska: EUGENE T. MAHONEY STATE PARK

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park is a public recreation area located on the Platte River, just off Interstate 80, approximately 4 miles east of AshlandNebraska. Among other features, the state park offers lodging and conferencing facilities, aquatic center, marina, trails, and theater. It was named after Eugene T. Mahoney, a former state senator and long-time director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, who is credited with reversing the fortunes of the moribund state park system during his directorship As of 2014, the park was the state’s third most visited tourist attraction.

Park features and activities include picnicking areas and hiking trails, horseback trail rides, fishing, a marina with paddleboat rental, miniature golf, and a driving range. Athletic facilities include an aquatic center, 18-hole disc golf course, tennis and basketball courts, softball fields and sand volleyball. A 70-foot observation tower overlooks the Platte River Valley. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, sledding and toboggan runs, ice fishing, and an ice skating rink. An activity center, indoor playground, and activity simulators are open year-round. The Kountze Theater is a cultural highlight of the park.

Nevada: Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and nature preservation area covering nearly 46,000 acres located 16 miles south of OvertonNevada. The state park derives its name from red sandstone formations, the Aztec Sandstone, which formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park’s attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays. It is Nevada’s oldest state park, as commemorated with Nevada Historical Marker. It was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968.

Valley of Fire is located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, at an elevation between 1,320–3,009 feet. It abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the east at the Virgin River confluence. It lies in a 4 by 6 mi basin.

New Hampshire: Mount Sunapee State Park

Mount Sunapee State Park is a state park in Newbury, New Hampshire. The park includes a beach portion on Lake Sunapee and most of Mount Sunapee. The state has leased the ski area to Mount Sunapee Resort.

Mount Sunapee State Park’s beach, also known as Newbury Beach, features a bathhouse, store, canoe and kayak rentals, and a playground. A boat launch is available with some restrictions.

There is a seasonal campground located off NH Route 103, up a winding mountain road accessed through the Mount Sunapee Resort.

Activities in the park include swimming, hiking, camping, skiing, fishing, picnicking and non-motorized boating.

 

New Jersey: Voorhees State Park

Voorhees State Park began when Foster M. Voorhees, a former governor of New Jersey, donated his 325-acre farm to the people of New Jersey in 1929. Succeeding land acquisitions increased the park size to 640 acres.

The park offers views of Round Valley Reservoir and Spruce Run ReservoirCamping is allowed in the park for a fee, depending on the type of campsite. There are 47 tent and trailer campsites. There are 2 group campsites that can accommodate up to 50 people each. There also are 3 rustic, cabin-like structures with wood stoves for heat. Each cabin can accommodate up to 4 people in 2 double-deck single bunk beds. All sites and cabins have fire rings and picnic tables. Toilets and showers are within walking distance from all campsites and cabins. The trailer sanitary station is open April 1 through October 31. Campsites and cabins are open all year.

New Mexico: Hyde Memorial State Park

Hyde Memorial State Park is a state park of New Mexico, United States, located 8 miles northeast of Santa Fe in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Summertime activities include hiking and camping, and in the winter the park is popular for tubing on the snow-covered hillsides.

New York: Long Point State Park

Long Point State Park on Chautauqua Lake is a 360-acre state park located in the Town of Ellery, near the hamlet of Maple Springs in Chautauqua CountyNew York. The park is located on a short peninsula on the east side of the lake.

The park offers a beach, a playground, picnic tables and pavilions, a nature trail, showers, fishing, a boat launch with marine pump-out station, and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

North Carolina: Lake Waccamaw State Park

 Located near the town of Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, it covers 2,201-acre along the shores of Lake Waccamaw, a Carolina bay. Lake Waccamaw State Park is located in North Carolina’s Coastal Plain.

North Dakota: Lewis and Clark State Park

Lewis and Clark State Park is a North Dakota state park located along the north shore of the far western, upper reaches of Lake Sakakawea in Williams County.

The park has a marina with slips for rental, a swimming beach, and more than eight miles of multi-use, non-motorized trails. Overnight accommodations are available at a 73-site campground and two camping cabins.

Ohio: Deer Creek State Park

Located in the heart of Ohio’s agricultural country, Deer Creek State Park is central Ohio’s vacation showplace. A collage of meadows and woodlands surround the scenic reservoir. This 2,337-acre resort park features a modern lodge, cottages, campground, golf course, swimming beach and boating for outdoor enthusiasts.

Oklahoma: Lake Wister State Park

Lake Wister State Park, in southeast Oklahoma, is a gateway to the beautiful Ouachita National Forest. The park includes 7,300-acre Lake Wister with five camping areas. The park offers many recreational activities including hiking, camping, bicycling, picnics, fishing, hunting, boating and water skiing. Enjoy the water spray park for children and adults. A waterfowl refuge is nearby, and hunting is allowed at Wister Wildlife Management Area. Camping facilities include cabins, tent sites and RV sites with both modern and semi-modern. Other facilities include comfort stations with showers, picnic tables, group picnic shelters, lighted boat ramps, a unlighted gravel ramp, playgrounds, nature center, miniature golf course and swimming beach. Hiking trails include a self-guided nature trail, handicapped trail and a 4-mile round trip trail. Lake Wister State Park has a fully equipped group camp that accommodates 100 visitors and includes a full kitchen and dining hall.

 

Oregan: Silver Falls State Park

 

Silver Falls State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of Oregon, located near Silverton, about 20 miles east-southeast of Salem. It is the largest state park in Oregon with an area of more than 9,000 acres, and it includes more than 24 miles of walking trails, 14 miles of horse trails, and a 4-mile bike path. Its 8.7-mile Canyon Trail/Trail of Ten Falls runs along the banks of Silver Creek and by ten waterfalls, from which the park received its name.

Four of the ten falls have an amphitheater-like surrounding that allows the trail to pass behind the flow of the falls. The Silver Falls State Park Concession Building Area and the Silver Creek Youth Camp-Silver Falls State Park are separately listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The park’s most visited waterfall is South Falls, a 177-foot cascade. Remote Double Falls, however, is listed as the highest waterfall in the park, plunging 178 feet in a small tributary side canyon deep within the Silver Creek Canyon.

Pennsylvania: Ridley Creek State Park

I live in Pennsylvania. Specifically, in Delaware County. Very close to Ridley Creek State Park so I am somewhat biased to this one.

Ridley Creek State Park is a 2,606-acre Pennsylvania state park in EdgmontMiddletown and Upper Providence Townships, Delaware CountyPennsylvania. The park, offers many recreational activities, such as hiking, biking, fishing, and picnicking.

Ridley Creek passes through the park. Highlights include a 5-mile paved multi-use trail, a formal garden and Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, which recreates daily life on a pre-Revolutionary farm.

The location of Ridley Creek State Park, just 16 miles from downtown Philadelphia, is the feature that has made it so popular.

The 12 miles of hiking trails at Ridley Creek State Park are popular with dog owners. These trails pass through a variety of habitats. A 5-mile multi use trail is open to joggingbicycling and walking. The park also features a 4.7-mile equestrian trail.

Rhode Island: Fort Adams State Park

Fort Adams State Park is a Rhode Island state park located at the mouth of Newport Harbor, offering panoramic views of the harbor and Narragansett Bay. The park is home to Fort Adams, a large coastal fortification that was active from 1841 through the first half of the 20th century. The area was originally owned by William Brenton, who called the region “Hammersmith” after his hometown in England, a name that survives in the name of the adjacent Hammersmith Farm.

Fort Adams hosts the annual Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival and is the home of Sail Newport and Eisenhower House.

The park offers swimming, boating, picnicking, and athletic fields. The Joseph “Jay” Kirwin Memorial Rugby Pitch is home to Newport Rugby Football Club and to the men’s and women’s rugby teams of Salve Regina University.

South Carolina: Myrtle Beach State Park

Myrtle Beach State Park is a small state park located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It consists of several miles of forest and stretches along the Atlantic Ocean.

The Myrtle Beach State Park Nature Center features interactive natural history displays, saltwater aquariums and live reptiles. Park naturalists offer nature education programs about the coastal habitat and wildlife.

South Dakota: Custer State Park

I have read from numerous sources that this is the best state park of them all. You be the judge! 🙂

Custer State Park is a state park and wildlife reserve in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota, USA. The park is South Dakota’s largest and first state park, named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer. The area originally started out as sixteen sections but was later changed into one block of land because of the challenges of the terrain. The park began to grow rapidly in the 1920s and gained new land. During the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps built miles of roads, laid out parks and campgrounds, and built three dams that set up a future of water recreation at the park. In 1964 an additional 22,900 acres were added to the park. The park covers an area of over 71,000 acres of hilly terrain and is home to many wild animals.

The park is famous for its scenery, its scenic drives, with views of the bison herd and prairie dog towns.

 

Tennessee: Burgess Falls State Park

Burgess Falls State Park is a state park and state natural area in Putnam County and White County, Tennessee, located in the southeastern United States. The park is situated around a steep gorge in which the Falling Water River drops 250 feet in elevation in less than a mile, culminating in a 136-foot cataract waterfall.

The Burgess Falls State Natural Area, which covers 350 acres, is managed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

Texas: Dinosaur Valley State Park

I thought this one was really cute and would play on children’s imaginations.

Dinosaurs left footprints in the mud at the edge of an ancient ocean a long time ago. Today, you can walk in their tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River. This long trip to the past is just a short drive from Fort Worth.

Utah: Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park is a state park of Utah, USA.Its eminent feature is its thousands of hoodoos and hoodoo rocks, referred to locally as “goblins which are formations of mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles, some as high as several meters. The distinct shapes of these rocks come from an erosion-resistant layer of rock atop softer sandstone.

Hiking is permitted in the park, which features three marked trails.

 

Vermont: Knight Point State Park

Knight Point State Park is a day use state park off US Route 2 on North Hero Island in North Hero, Vermont. Opened in 1978, the park is administered by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, as part of the Vermont State Park system. Features include a sandy swimming beach and boat rentals on Lake Champlain, and picnic areas with cooking grills.

The park houses the Island Center for Arts and Recreation, a community-based nonprofit that promotes area cultural events.

The Camp-meeting Point Natural Area is a 3 acre section of the park. It includes 2,200 feet of Lake Champlain shoreline of least disturbed cobble beach that supports rare plant species, and the adjacent woodland with a grove of large oaks and hickory trees.

Virginia: Shenandoah River State Park

Shenandoah River Raymond R. “Andy” Guest Jr. State Park, known generally as Shenandoah River State Park, is a state park near the town of BentonvilleVirginia, United States. The park was established in 1994, and covers 1,619 acres along the South Fork Shenandoah River.

 

Washington: Bay View State Park

Bay View State Park is a 25-acre Washington state park located on Padilla Bay in Skagit County. The park has 1,285 feet of shoreline and facilities for camping, picnicking, fishing, swimming, beach-combing, boating, and bird watching. The park includes a stretch of the Pacific Northwest Trail.

West Virginia: Black Water Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park is located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker CountyWest Virginia, USA. The centerpiece of the Park is Blackwater Falls, a 62-foot cascade where the Blackwater River leaves its leisurely course in Canaan Valley and enters rugged Blackwater Canyon. It is among the most photographed venues in the state and appears on calendars, stationery, advertisements of all kinds and, most famously, on jigsaw puzzles. The River is named for its tannins-darkened water.

Amenities and Recreation:

  • Park Lodge with 54 guest rooms
  • 39 cabins (13 modernized)
  • Campground with 65 campsites (30 have electrical hookup)
  • Restaurant
  • Nature center – open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, exhibits about the park’s natural history
  • Mountain biking
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Cross-country ski rentals in the winter
  • Hiking
  • Fishing in Pendleton Lake and the Blackwater River

Wisconsin: Peninsula State Park

Peninsula State Park is a 3,776-acre Wisconsin state park with eight miles of Green Bay shoreline in Door County. Peninsula is the third largest state park in Wisconsin, and is visited by an estimated 1 million visitors annually.

Considered Wisconsin’s most complete park, Peninsula has 468 campsites, three group camps, a summer theater, an 18-hole golf course, sand beach, biking, hiking and ski trails, 150-foot bluffs, a lighthouse and eight miles of Door County shoreline. The park is open year-round but some features may not be accessible outside the peak season.

Wyoming: Curt Gowdy State Park

Curt Gowdy State Park is state-operated, public recreation area halfway between Cheyenne and Laramie, 24 miles from each city, in Albany and Laramie counties, Wyoming.

The state park covers 3,552 acres and is known for its extensive trail system, fishing reservoirs, and Hynds Lodge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The park offers over 35 miles of trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Other activities include boating, canoeing, water skiing, fishing, camping, rock-hounding, and archery.

 

If you live near any of these State Parks let me know how you like them.

If you haven’t been to any of these State Parks plan a nice trip with your family and have a little fun while learning about the history of your state and country.

family friendly state parks

 

 

 

 

63 Family Activities to beat the heat this Summer

We all know, the summer heat is not going away anytime soon. So, your kids may be spending a lot of their time inside the house.

Here are some DIY craft/activities to keep the kids busy.

12 DIY Crafts

-Wooden Peg Dolls are all the rage but it can get expensive to buy individual dolls, especially if you have more than one child. They are very easy to make and the materials are inexpensive. Check out this tutorial to make your own wooden peg dolls.

-Felt boards! A twist on paper dolls… Felt Monsters you don’t have to make them into monsters you can make princesses or knights and dragons. Your children’s imagination has no limits 🙂

-Homemade musical instruments… kids love making noise, what better way to teach them that with musical instruments? Tin Can Drums

-Choose your child’s favorite colors and make these cards. Craft Foam Sewing Cards

-These ABC Game Pieces are a fun learning tool for tracing or letter learning.

-Are you a mom of an infant? This is a great learning tool. Infant Sensory Boards Bright colors, a variety of textures, and fabric colors.

-Two words…. Homemade Playdough

-A Marble Run is a great way to prevent boredom. Hours of fun and laughter with this great activity.

-Make learning fun with this Sight Words Treasure Hunt. Somewhat like a scavenger hunt, but they are looking for letters to spell out the words.

-Always a winner with young children is Homemade Finger Paints.

-The Hot Air Balloon Craft is a really fun activity for kids and parents to enjoy.

-Tic-Tac-Toe is a fun game for everyone. Make this DIY game set out of durable fabric so you and your children can enjoy it time and again.

51 Activities for Hot Days

  1. Run through the sprinklers
  2. Visit a water park
  3. Take a picnic to the beach, Pack lots of cold, refreshing drinks.
  4. Visit an ice cream parlor
  5. Fill water toys with ice cold water and chase the family outside
  6. Go to the bookstore and browse all the great new releases
  7. Go to the movies
  8. Read a book together
  9. Make your own ice pops
  10. Rent a DVD or stream a Netflix movie for the whole family
  11. Let the kids have fun washing the car (with your supervision)
  12. Go to a Baseball game
  13. Help the kids set up a lemonade stand
  14. Go to a bowling alley
  15. Visit a local aquarium
  16. BOARD GAMES
  17. Box fans are great for robot voices
  18. Go to the library and show your kids your favorite old books
  19. Get the kids together and do a random act of kindness
  20. Get out the coloring books and color in silly ways
  21. Play a game of hide and seek
  22. Build a fort with pillows and blankets
  23. Do some baking
  24.  Get the kids interested in dusting by making it a game
  25. Dance (make up silly moves and have a contest)
  26. Learn a new song
  27. Have an indoor picnic
  28. Legos
  29. Have a tea party
  30. Make roads on the floor with painters tape and race toy cars
  31. Play kitchen and pretend to cook for each other
  32. Dress up       
  33. Put together a large puzzle (put it in a place where it can stay out for a while and work on it a bit every day)
  34. Create your own song with your kid’s toy instruments and encourage them to use their imaginations
  35. Sticker Collage (have the kids put stickers on paper n any way they want
  36. Take a nap (Hot air can make you very tired.  Drink a glass of water and then take a nap with the kids)
  37. Have a painting party with watercolors
  38. Play a card game
  39. Guess what? (put an object in a paper bag, and have your children close their eyes and they feel it and try to guess what it is)
  40. Grocery Store (let kids “shop” around the house and chek out with fake money)
  41. Go see some local indoor attractions
  42. Set up a small tent in the house and pretend to go camping
  43. Put on a puppet show
  44. Play with a train set
  45. Make a craft basket (anything that can be used to craft goes in the basket. whenever they are bored they can get the basket and make something
  46. Take silly pictures       
  47. Make shadow puppets on the wall
  48. Balloon toss (make sure the balloon doesn’t touch the ground
  49. Gather some medium sized rocks. Wash them and paint them into “pet rocks”
  50. Scavenger Hunt
  51. Push each of the kids around in the laundry basket (extra points for getting them to help with folding and putting away before the fun ride in the basket).

 

 

Extremely hot days can be boring for the kids. Hopefully, this list gave you some ideas for fun family activities to fight the boredom and the heat.

 

Is there anything not on this list that you like to do on those hot summer days?

Let me know in the comments and please share if you enjoyed this post.

 

family activities for the hot days of summer