The summer months are coming soon and the kids will be out of school. So what do you do with them? What can you do as a family? What can you the spouse do when the kids are away? My co-workers and I came up with a few suggestions for you.

  • 1

    The Zoo

    You never outgrow the zoo and Abilene has a great zoo. People from miles around drive here just to check it out and it's right here in your backyard! If you haven't been there in a while then you will be completely surprised. The zoo has made some fabulous renovations, expansions and added to the display of animals. In fact, they are still expanding. They are currently working on a Caribbean Cove exhibit to feature animals from the tropical region.  It's inexpensive, you can eat at their 'watering hole' concessions stand or take your own picnic and just enjoy a day with the family. Located at 2070 Zoo Ln.  And don't forget the gift shop before you leave.

  • 2

    Town & Country Drive-In

    Movies are always a good option for summertime. Now what if you take that experience to the outdoors and make it a unique experience. The Town & Country Drive-In movie is something you can do with the whole family or as a 'date night'. Just a few months ago the drive-in was in jeopardy of closing because they hadn't gone digital but the people of Abilene didn't let that happen. The drive-in got it's digital equipment and now you can see the same movies you would in the theater in a much more fun environment. You can hang out in your car or bring you lawn chairs. You don't have to crawl over people to get to the concessions stand or bathroom and you can actually do a little light talking. So grab the family, your besties or your main squeeze and head to the drive-in. Check their website or Facebook pages to see selections and times. Located at N. Mockingbird and Vogel.

  • 3

    Backyard BBQ

    Backyard BBQ's are fun and easy. It's especially easy if you have your guests bring their own food to throw on the grill. You can grill steaks, chicken, k-bobs, hotdogs, hamburgers, jalapeno poppers, and pretty much anything else that doesn't fall through the grilling trays. Add in beverages of choice (adult or not), a few lawn chairs and maybe a stereo for some tunes and you have yourself a backyard BBQ. This is something we do all the time, even if we don't invite friends over.  Sometimes the weather is just so nice you want to sit outside and enjoy the evening with a good burger.

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  • 4

    Movie Night at the House

    This is really inexpensive summer night activity. Whether you own, rent or have movies on demand it's cheaper than a night OUT to the theater. You could even make some dinner or order pizza, Chinese or burgers and make a night of it. You, of course, have to have a big bowl of popcorn a fluffy pillow and cozy blanket so you can curl up and watch the movie properly. The hard part is deciding what to watch.

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  • 5

    Mine by Design

    This is a fun activity that can be done as a group, couple or just by yourself. You pick out your piece, pick your design and then paint your own pottery. Maybe you need a special bowl to hold your movie night popcorn, like my friend Misty did (photo at left). You could design your own family or individual bowls. If you need a special gift for a birthday or special occasion or if you just need to release some creative energy Mine by Design is a fun place to go. Located at 4150 Southwest Dr. Suite 118. There are so many projects you could do; just beware, you may become addicted!

    Misty Jaramillo
  • 6

    The Winery at Willow Creek

    We have a new winery in town, yes a winery! The Winery at Willow Creek is located at 4353 S. Treadaway here in Abilene. Obviously this isn't for the kids but if you can steal a night away or if you're single then this is a great idea. They offer wine tastings, pick the one you like best and then order it by the glass or bottle. You can enjoy it there inside the tasting room or outside on the patio next to the creek or you can take it home with you.They also offer accommodations for small groups or parties and you can also rent it for private parties and events. It's fairly inexpensive too. Prices vary but a glass will run you roughly $4-6 or under $20 for a bottle.

  • 7

    Pool Party

    I think this one was suggested by my co-workers. I recently moved and now have a pool in my backyard and I think they would like to come try it out. So that leads me to 'the pool party'. Pool parties can be simple or complex and somewhat expensive. You could combine this with the BBQ.  I would love to have a Luau complete with decorations, Tiki lamps and frozen adult beverages. However, your friends are probably just looking for a nice place to cool off, so just invite them over and let them soak in the pool. Just make it BYOT....bring your own towel!

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