Posted by: Ticktock | May 24, 2009

Top 3 Over-Rated Summer Activities!

I’ve been looking forward to summer since the frost first formed last fall, but I’m always disappointed once the season arrives. It starts with the allergies, then the thick humidity, then the pollution, and it progresses on to sunburns, bug bites, and scraped up knees and elbows.

The advent of global warming makes every heat wave seem suspicious and every rain storm a sign of apocalypse. I start noticing every dirty tailpipe and every billowing smoke stack.

Rather than rant further about global catastrophe, I’ll just list some common summer activities that are irritating and over-rated. It’s a pretty bad sign when even the quaintest of summer “fun” are starting to annoy me, but indulge me for this one post and I promise to say nice things about the hottest season sometime real soon.

1.Carnivals – They know just how to suck you in with the rickety ferris wheel and colorful lights, but there’s not much fun to be had once you enter. These nomadic hucksters come to boring little suburbs and hope that the greasy fried food and unwinnable games will distract the citizens from the fact that they just paid $3 to go down the “super slide”.

2.Bubbles – You can’t go wrong with bubbles, right? They bring instant delight to children everywhere, don’t they? Well, sure they do… for the first five minutes. Then, they want to try it themselves, even though they are too young to understand that bubbles are made by blowing on the wand, not eating it like a spoon of peanut butter. And, of course, if you have siblings, they end up fighting over who gets to play with the bubble wand first. And finally, once the little girls get their cute little hands on the bottle, they inevitably spill the contents all over the sidewalk, making you realize how much you paid for soapy water.

3.Inflatable pools – You spend 30 minutes inflating your pool that’s been stored all winter covered in dust and cobwebs, only to realize that it has a hole which is leaking air. Your kids are standing there in their swimsuits ready to play. You run out to the store and buy another pool, spend 30 minutes inflating it, spend 30 more minutes filling it with ice cold water from the garden hose, spend 30 more minutes adding boiling water and hoping the sun will warm it up, until your kids finally get in and realize that baby pools are like taking ice cold baths – not fun.

Feel free to add your own rants in the comments section, or you can chastise me for being a summer scroodge.



  1. I don’t buy bubbles – I have the kids help me make the bubble mix.

    • good idea.

  2. 1) Ugh, I am so “done” with carnivals. We only went to a carnival once when I was a kid and it ended in tears because a smashed light bulb within child-reach had not been fixed and I was electrocuted (quite severely). As an adult, I thought that maybe I had been missing something. So when my hubby and I were newlyweds, we went to the local carnival. It was boring! The rides made me feel ill! Each ride costs a fortune, on top of the fortune you pay just to get in the door! I can’t imagine trying to go with kids. We haven’t been since. If kids want the thrill of a ride, pick ’em up and spin around a bit. It’s just as fun and totally free!

    2) I never saw the attraction of bubbles. Even as a kid, they just weren’t fun to watch. The only time I really had fun with bubbles was at a for-kids/play-with-the-exhibits science museum. We had hoops with all sorts of different shapes and a shallow dish that self-filled with bubble mix. We could make huge bubbles and bubbles with all sorts of shapes. We could even make bubbles around our hands. It was truly fun. Those little dinky things you blow into? Not so much.

    3) A cold bath is exactly right! You can’t swim, it really isn’t any fun by itself. On a really hot day, however, when you have waterguns and you’re running around having fun, it can make for a nice addition to the game. But by itself, boring!

  3. For 300 bucks you can get a 5ft deep snap up pool…we are about to use ours for the 4th summer! Lucky for you the bubbles spill on the sidewalk-ours always manage to spill on the rug-making one very noticable clean spot..

  4. Give one child bubbles.

    Give rest of children plastic baseball bats.

    Let children run around swinging baseball bats at bubbles.

    Hilarity ensues!

  5. I loved the carnival when I was a kid. We always one come for 4 days before the 4th of July. The rides were fun, and the games were actually winnable. My mom still has entire set of matching glasses that my brother won, one by one, at the dime toss game. Also, where else can you get good cotton candy? The pre-packaged stuff is just not the same.

  6. Top over-rated summer activity: Summer vacation! I wish I lived in a year-round school district so the kids would have decent length (say 2-3 weeks) vacations throughout the year, not just during the hottest, stickiest, least-fun part of the year.

  7. […] Top 3 Over-Rated Summer Activities! (Science-Based Parenting) […]

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