No Bummer Summer

No Bummer Summer-South Dakota’s Great 8 here we come!

**The posts I write might contain affiliate links or be written in collaboration with businesses or brands. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.**

School is finally DONE for the year. The kids are ready. I’m ready. This has truly been a long and challenging year for this family.

But now that our days are more free, the sun is shinning and the sky’s the limit the planning for yet another Franticmommy No Bummer Summer is underway. In the past we have stayed close to home and focused on easy fun like scavenger hunts, zoos and backyard antics.

no bummer summer

At first as a work-from home mom I admit, I was skeptical. When I write and work on projects I really prefer peace and quiet. Nothing worse than bored, bickering kids 6 inches from the side of my head while I am under a deadline and trying to write something meaningful and readable. However, five years in I still look forward to summer vacation with tons of anticipation and I haven’t had the urge to drink heavily or run away and join the circus gotten too stir crazy after all these years….yet.

Also, it’s no secret summer goes by fast and 10 years from now it won’t matter if I wrote a killer blog post, but it will matter I created awesome summer memories for my rugrats.

Thus the reason for the yearly Quest for a No Bummer Summer. Like all good adventures in life, one must have a Plan so in the past our solution has been to create the No Bummer Summer List. The No Bummer Summer list contains fun (budget friendly) things to do with suggestions made by the whole family. That has worked well for the last 5 summers, but as my kids get older they are less interested in tadpole collecting, water balloon fights, scavenger hunts and arts and crafts. Beaches are OK and waterparks don’t hold the thrill they used to.

However, what does trip everyone’s trigger is the excitement of all piling into the car with coolers stocked with snacks and water and hitting the road for destinations close to home. But this year is different.

This year, we are going BIG. No “daycation” or weekend getaway in the Frantic household. We are piling into my Ford Explorer and hitting the interstate (and lots of back roads) to spend a week in a place that has been on our radar for quite some time; South Dakota.

Huh? You may be thinking? Why not Vegas, California or New York? Well, simply put-we hate crowds, freeways and mega malls. We LOVE nature, prairies, trails, State Parks and critter attractions. So this year we are setting aside one whole week to spend time at Custer State Park, The Badlands, The Wind Cave, Mount Rushmore and the rest of the Great 8 to be exact.

South Dakota

To say we are excited is an understatement. My biggest reservation is the nine hour drive (one way) with two antsy-pantsy kids. We have a good-sized vehicle, but I know our Ford Explorer will fill up fast with everyone’s “must have’s.”  Last time we took a 3 day trip, I thought I was going have to make the kids ride on the roof. #kiddingnotkidding #toomuchcrap

SO…to better prepare, organize and stave of road rage (inside the car) here are some of the things that are going on my purchase list before we leave.

Since I refuse to pay a stupid amount of money for a 2 year contract so my kids can use their tablets in the car, it’s going to be movie time, baby! I TRULY want them to LOOK OUT THE CAR WINDOW and experience nature, scenery etc….but I also know 9 hours is a long time to stare out car windows.

The NAVISKAUTO 10.1″ Dual Screen DVD Player Ultra-thin TFT Screen Car Backseat Headrest Portable DVD Player is compact and will work with the movies we already have.  

car dvd player

The kids can either hold them in their hands or attach them to the backrest. We’ve tried the portable movie players like this in the past but they are cumbersome and seem to always end up on the floor. And after hitting the floor a dozen times they don’t want to see to work much anymore. #Shocker.

Now that I say this….I might upgrade my back-of-the-seat organizer to the Mom’s Besty Luxury Car Back Seat Organizer with Tablet Holder – Touch Screen Pocket for Android & iOS Tablets up to 10.1″ – Multipurpose Use as Auto Seat Back Protector, Kick Mat, Car Organizer (“Mom’s Besty”…Love.IT). It won’t stick out as far but I will miss the handy Kleenex box holder.

car organizer

BOOKS. I have TWO reluctant readers. BUT, they each have discovered books that they are drawn to. For my 14 year-old son he really likes the Slayer Chronicles series (similar to the Twilight series). He also still likes anything Percy Jacksontoo so that’s a win!

For my picky 11 year-old daughter, she loves graphic novels. Here’s a super good graphic novels for middle reader girls booklist that I made up a while back.

14 Diversity Graphic Novels for Middle Reader Girls

 We could play a few rounds of I Spy on our way to SoDak, but anyone who has ever traveled to that area knows that I Spy would end up going roughly like THIS:

Wish us luck! I will be sharing pictures, adventures and thoughts when we return. Happy traveling!

**Some of these links are affiliate links. This means that, if you click through and make a purchase, I get a teeny-tiny commission at no extra cost to you.**

Follow Me on Social Media!