Things to do in the 501

When summer comes, most are thinking of ways to get away. We plan summer vacations months in advance and count down the days. But getting out of state isn’t always a possibility or a desire for everyone. The good news is there are lots of amazing things to do in our very own 501. 

The Gilberts enjoy visiting their favorite 501 summer festivals.

Festival hop

Find festivals and fairs within the 501 and plan trips to visit. Our family has an annual tradition of having our kids’ caricatures made at a summer festival. You meet interesting people and see different booths with homemade goodies and crafts. Plus, there’s nothing like fair food! 

Don’t stop learning

Summer learning loss is a real thing. Often, teachers use the first several weeks of school to simply review material that students have forgotten over the long summer break. There are so many ways to prevent summer loss and avoid the very real possibility of your student being behind or the sad possibility that they will forget important material and it will take a toll on their education. 

One really great idea is to create a reading log for the summer. Tailor it to your child and your preferences. It could be 20 minutes of reading a day, and when they complete 100 minutes, they get a special treat. You could also have them complete a book report to reinforce presentation skills. 

Another easy idea is to get a simple workbook for your student to work through during the summer. For younger kids, these can be found at Walmart and Target. You could also look up the history of different places in our area and plan trips where your kids also learn!

Hidden gems

Where can you pick berries? Hiked Pinnacle or camped at a really cool site? There are a lot of possibilities in the 501. 

Don’t over plan

Don’t crowd your days with too much stuff. Allow yourself time to relax and be spontaneous. We all need time to rest. Chances are, you’re working full time and trying to cram your weekends and vacations to the brim with activities and running yourself ragged trying to get it all done. 

Your kids will appreciate your undivided attention, rather than a completely busy schedule. Surprise them once every now and then with a weekend of surprises and also plan for weekends and days when you just rest. 

Enjoy summer in the 501!


Brittany Gilbert

Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have three children and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at [email protected].

Brittany Gilbert
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