With Memorial Day weekend approaching, many people are going to start heading to the beaches, strolling the boardwalks, and firing up their barbecues. There are countless things you can do during the summer while enjoying the comfortable warmth of the weather, but it’s important to know how to keep you and your children safe while doing these activities, so here are some tips on how to do so.
During the summer, I love to eat barbecued food as much as possible, and I’m sure you do as well. If you decide to have a big get-together and want to barbecue, you have to be especially careful if young children are present. When the grill is heating up and then cooking the food, always make sure that all children are a safe distance away. Also, keep any sharp grilling tools out of their reach.
If you’re going to be outside during the day and the heat is fairly strong, supply yourself with a sufficient coating of sunscreen as protection against sunburn and any illnesses caused by overexposure to the sun. If you plan on being outside at night, use some bug spray in order to fend off any pesky mosquitoes.
Some of the bigger safety measures you have to take during the summer is when you go swimming. If you’re a parent and take a young child to a pool or the beach, make sure you keep an eye on them so you know they don’t go into a deeper section of the water. In the event that your child is feeling daring and wants to venture into deep water, provide them with a set of water wings. As far as going in the water right after eating is concerned, recreational swimming shouldn’t cause a problem, but if you’re swimming as a form of exercise, you should wait an hour after you eat before going in.
If there is an occurrence of a heat wave, don’t go outside if you don’t have to; just stay inside and turn up the air conditioner. If you do have to go outside, remember to stay hydrated, use plenty of sunscreen, and don’t overexert yourself.
Going on a hike is another activity that you should consider when you have a beautiful day to enjoy. Before you go on a hike, make sure you have the right materials, such as enough water, some food, a first-aid kit, a cell phone, sunscreen, bug spray, and if you’re not familiar with the path you’re taking, make sure to bring a map with you. If you encounter a bear or any other sizable animal while on a hike, make sure you have an escape route.
This is the season where trying to avoid bicyclists on the road becomes something of a sport, but it’s important not to get frustrated with them. If you decide to go out for a relaxing summer drive on a sunny day, odds are that you’re going to encounter some bicyclists. Be careful that you don’t drive too close to them, and don’t try to speed past them; just wait for a chance to pass the bikers so everyone evades danger.
If you happen to be a biker, try to stay as much to the side of the road as possible in order to avoid vehicles, and if there’s a bike lane, stay in it. Although it’s better and safer to bike during the day, people sometimes might want to do it at night. If that’s the case, make sure you have a reflector on the front and back of your bike so the headlights of any vehicle coming towards you will spot you and know to be extra careful. Also, whenever you bike, whether it be by yourself or in a group, it’s very important to be familiar with the different hand signals. Lastly, always wear a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads.
You want to have a much fun as possible during the summer, but that doesn’t mean you should disregard any safety precautions. If you ignore these and get injured, that’s going to prevent you from taking part in other recreational activities during the season. Remember, it’s okay to be adventurous, but you also have to be careful.
Now that the warm weather is here, you’ll probably start looking for local activities to enjoy. The lower Hudson Valley and northern New Jersey have many attractions that will offer a lot of fun for its visitors. So, if you’re not sure how to spend a lazy summer day, here are some destinations right in your local communities that will add some wonderful memories to your time together.
In Rockland County, one place you should really consider visiting in the gorgeous weather is the Stony Point Battlefield. I know this might not appeal to children right away because they’ll see it as too educational for their summer vacation, but trust me, having been there a couple of times, it’s a really fascinating place to visit. Not only will you get a rich sense of the history that Rockland has in relation to the Revolutionary War, but you’ll also be treated to stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Going to the Stony Point Battlefield will surely add a new dimension to your appreciation for local history.
If you have a child who’s interested in animals and other aspects of nature, then take them for a visit to the Trailside Museums and Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park, located on the border of Rockland and Orange Counties. While there, your child can learn about the different kinds of mammals, birds, and reptiles that are native to New York State. Visitors can also take the opportunity to visit any of Trailside’s four museums: the Natural Study Museum, the Herpetology House, the History Museum, or the Geology Museum. When you bring your child here, they will be amazed at what they can learn about nature, and it’s even more fun to do so at a site as gorgeous as Bear Mountain.
While in Orange County, try the Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, New York, which is considered to be one of the world’s top sculpture parks and has been in operation since 1960. When looking for someplace local that offers a day of magnificent artistry, you can’t do any better than here. With there being over 100 sculptures to marvel at, you can spend the whole afternoon gazing at and analyzing the works in front of you. If you bring your child here, it will provide them with an early appreciation for art and show them the importance of expressing creative potential.
If you want to satisfy your hunger for adventure, you should attend the Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo Park, New York, which operates on Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day from August 1 to September 27. The surrounding forest landscape offers much to the medieval-period feel of the faire and serves as an ideal location for the event. If you want to add thrills and excitement to your summer, but don’t want to go far away, go on a day trip to Tuxedo Park to take advantage of the local summer fun that your community offers.
Amusement parks are always fun to visit when you’re on summer vacation, and if you live near or within Westchester County, you don’t have to go far to find one. I’m talking, of course, about Playland in Rye, New York. It has rides for both younger and older patrons, and if you want to cool off after walking around the park and enjoying the rides, you can go for a swim at Playland’s beach. I remember going to this park when I was younger and having a blast, while also thinking how lucky I was to have a fun destination such as this that is so close to home. You’ll have a spectacular time when at Playland, and once you leave, you’ll be begging to go back.
When in the vicinity of Pleasantville, New York, nature lovers are treated to the opportunity of visiting the Rockefeller State Park Preserve. This preserve offers much for its visitors, with one of its most significant features being a system of carriage roads, built by John D. Rockefeller, which gives visitors the chance to take in the richness of the surrounding environment. There are also 180 species of birds in this preserve, making it the ideal place for birdwatchers. Some other notable attractions that are located in or near the preserve are: a 22-acre lake, a fern garden, an art gallery, and a bird-feeder area. If you’re looking to visit a place that shows tremendous appreciation for nature, this preserve won’t disappoint.
For those who are closer to Bergen County, you can visit Van Saun County Park in Paramus, New Jersey. It is one of the perfect places to go on a sunny day, and whether you’re coming from near or far, it will be worth the trip. This park provides many opportunities for visitors to have a memorable day of family fun, including train rides, a carousel, a zoological park, and a playground that’s ADA (American with Disabilities Act) accessible. With everything this park has to offer, you’ll want to spend the whole afternoon there.
Nature enthusiasts living in New Jersey or closer to New Jersey have the beauty of the Closter Nature Center, which is complete with forests, meadows, ponds, and brooks, all of which are sprawled across 136 stunning acres. Visitors can also take part in nature walks and lectures. For children ages 4-14, this center offers a summer program, which is an outstanding opportunity for youths to admire the splendor of nature and do some exciting outdoor activities.
With everything that these communities can provide for local residents, it all goes to show that you don’t have to travel far to have summer fun.
Be sure to check the websites for these locations for their hours and rates.