Tag Archives: IL

Making Our Family Activity List!

A couple weeks ago I posted on my personal facebook & asked for suggestions of free or VERY cheap things to do as a family in the Bloomington-Normal area. I was blown.away but all the responses & wanted to figure out a way to keep the list! I did save it to my computer but these ideas are too good to not share so I decided to just throw them in a blog post & share them with you!

There may be spelling & grammar mistakes, so sorry about that! Feel free to share this post with friends 🙂

And you may be wondering why I would share this on my photography blog? Well, I think EACH of these activities would be AWESOME to do during a lifestyle photo session with me!!!!!! See what I did there? 😉 I wet your appetite & now you’re dreaming up all the awesome images we’d get! 😉 So check out this list, make your families summer bucket list & then contact me for me to hang along & we’ll have the most amazing session EVER!

I’m excited to share in the future what Eric, Elizabeth & I ended up doing!

I’m linking to a podcast & facebook live video that I think are just helpful in general for doing things as a family & on the cheap! Click HERE for one of my favorite podcasts & hear Shailey & Katie talk about some of their tips for getting out of the house- they’re funny & so down-to-earth! And click HERE for a facebook Live video that Bonnie Greiner of Mom by Example did that really encouraged me to not overbook ourselves this summer!

And if that wasn’t enough links 😉 here’s another one- THIS is the list I used with the kids I nanny. We took our favorites & put together our own Summer Bucket List. This is the PERFECT list to use or copy if you’re needing all your “adventures” to be at home & free.

Special thanks to Cheryl, Caroline, Krista, Katie, Lynne, Crystal, Annaliese, Miriam & Darla for all the awesome suggestions you made!!!!! This list greatly helped me!

Community Outdoor Activities

Walk around White Oak Lake

Fly Kites

Ice cream at Emacks in Uptown

Sugar Grove Nature Center

Normal Public Library

Third Sunday Market

Lincoln Balloon Fest

Uptown Jazz Festival

Loungeabout the Roundabout

Sugar Creek Arts Festival

Music at Mackinaw Winery

Miller Park Zoo

Glasener Beach (at Comlara Park) is also a fun little outing

The Replex in Leroy is $15 for the day pass for a family and they have a pool and splash pad as well as an indoor playroom.

Sugar Grove Nature Center has activities & neat classes when kids are a little older.

Another fun thing we did every summer is park judging. The kids made a “rating list” and a list of parks they wanted to try out. Throughout the summer we would visit, play and judge the park. There are so many great parks here. We found some new favorites in the process. And of course included some special snacks or a picnic lunch to make it fun!

Shakespeare at Ewing Manor is fun too…they have free shows during the day during the summer that are geared toward kiddos (10AM on Wednesday or 10AM on Saturday July 12–August 12)

We used to do a picnic lunch on Ewing Castle Lawn where they would have people dressed in period costumes. I think it used to be in late spring, they did it once a week for 3 or 4 weeks. I don’t know if they still do it or not.

We did movie night at the park, once a week at dark they show a movie. We’d bring a blanket and popcorn. They do that for about 5 to 6 weeks in the summer.

Free family Fun Day, May 6 12-2pm @ Tipton Park

Miller Park, Franklin Park & Wither’s Park have free summer concerts.

Connie Link Amphitheater has lots of free family events over the summer including professional story-tellers and magicians.

Toddler time at Anderson pool is always fun! And we enjoy the splash parks!

World Day of Play in Uptown Normal- check Normal website for date. Grandsons and I get list of parks in town and park hop and cross them off the list after the visits after their “reviews.”

Registration for Fun Run just came through my e-mail today, so that is another one that I would definitely add to the list. Great family program on Friday Nights. It is through the Lake Run Club – http://www.lakerunclub.org/get-involved/kids-run-for-fun/

Macaroni Kid has a list of events!


Do you have any other suggestions of things I should add to the list? Comment below & let me know!!! I’ll add it!






Knapp | Group Family Session

I met Nathan & Elizabeth Stice a couple years ago at our church. We were both newly married brides & I always loved being able to talk to Elizabeth, even if it was just for a moment. She’s one of those people who you just WANT to talk too. Always asks “So how are YOU?” & really listens.

And Elizabeth, I’m sneaking in this photo with you & your mother because I can & it’s just SO precious.

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Elizabeth contact me earlier this year to talk about surprising her mom with a gift of a family photo session from her & her siblings. Because she was so on the ball, I had several months to look forward to this family group session! And it did not disappoint!!!!! I met the Knapp Family in Peoria at a fun park they chose & really just enjoyed getting to know this family that now consists of 4 wonderful couples!

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All the girls!

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And their handsome fellas!

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I love this photo below because they were all telling me about a favorite family memory. I think they laughed about it more then told me because all I understood was just a few words here & there between laughs! hahah! FUN MOMENT!!!!!!

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The kids & their spouses!

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There was an inside joke presentation that happened during our session 😉 You’ll have to ask them about it 😉 But it pretty much made me feel even more like family to be able to capture it.

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MaryAnn, I know this session was for you. Your kids love you & knew how much you wanted these pictures. You kept thanking them & me over & over for such a special evening. Oh I was SO happy for you!I just want to personally thank you for being so sweet towards me. As a pregnant momma-to-be your sweet words & kindness just filled my heart that evening. And I know that your husband & children have been blessed with the same love & affection shown to them. They’re a blessed family & you’re a beyond blessed mother. I hope you treasure these images for YEARS to come!!!


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