I am a stay-at-home mom this summer for the first time since my girls were babies. This new arrangement began in May.
Ah yes, May. A glorious month. The children went to school each morning. I showered. Sat in coffee shops. Occasionally exercised. Made trips to Marshalls at 11 a.m. for absolutely no reason and then was home in plenty of time to whip up healthy after-school snacks.
‘Twas a simpler time, May, and I thought to myself: Look at me, excelling as a stay-at-home mom just as I always suspected I would.
Now it is summer.
Day 12 of summer break.
The kids are tired of my healthy snacks. They are tired of their toys and bored in our backyard. They’ve sat through so much screen time that I worry their developing brains may have melted a tiny bit. (Be cool and don’t tell anybody about the screen time thing, k?)
This stay-at-home mom life is not turning out like I thought it would. But I am determined to excel at this, so OK, let’s get back on track. Let’s make a summer adventure list, like Elizabeth advised us all to do, and get the kids out of the house more often. On my list: the library, the playground, the museum and more. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some fantastic local adventure ideas with you all, just in case anybody else out there is struggling to fill their summer days.
Today, our first summer adventure: Ohme Gardens.
More than a popular wedding and concert venue, Ohme Gardens makes for a perfect summertime escape with kids. They’ll love exploring the lush lawns and stone paths that climb and wind around waterfalls and emerald green pools. And here’s the really fun part: Hidden all around the gardens are tiny gnomes and fairies — peeking out from behind towering cedar and fir trees, perched on rock walls or sitting lazily among the wildflowers.
When you enter the gardens, ask for a fairy and gnome map, which will show you the general areas where the magical creatures are known to hang out. Then let your kiddos lead the way and keep your eyes open! On your way out of the gardens, tell the front desk staff how many gnomes and fairies you found and you’ll receive a coupon for frozen yogurt.
I took my daughters to Ohme Gardens yesterday and the whole visit was just dreamy — two little girls, true believers, searching for magic in a secret garden setting. All told, we only spotted one fairy and one gnome, but that was enough for my daughters. I explained to them how the garden spirits stay up all night dancing and swimming and making flowers grow, then hide away during the day when people are near. Both girls woke up this morning asking (begging) when we could go back to Ohme Gardens again. That’s a summertime parenting success, I’d say!
Ohme Garders is open April 15-October 15. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for ages 6-17, and free for kids 5 and younger. Season passes are available: $30 per adult, $15 per kid or $60 per family. The 9-acre property is owned and managed by Chelan County. For more information, go to ohmegardens.com.