Working on this issue filled my heart with a great deal of joy, as I remembered my own happy childhood summers and time spent outdoors while putting together our “Family Fun on the Water” feature.

As a kid, I was an avid swimmer (including synchronized swimming!) and also loved to canoe and fish. I remember my beautiful, youthful mother, poolside, reading The New Yorker under a wide-brimmed straw hat, sipping iced tea from her red Thermos, while doing her best to ignore my antics and screams of delight. She’d keep my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on ice, which made them doubly delicious. 

I also fondly remember the many hours my now-grown daughter and her friends spent in our backyard pool prior to Katrina. All of these memories are bittersweet and I’m a bit wistful, because time passes so quickly. What I didn’t fully realize then is that I only had so many summers to enjoy my daughter’s shrieks, pool tricks, and playdates, and I so wish I’d had many more.  

Around town, there are multiple family water options – fishing and paddling around City Park and Bayou St. John, cooling off at Audubon’s Cool Zoo – and even more diverse ones for tubing, swimming, and kayaking on the North Shore and the Gulf Coast.   

If water’s not your thing, then take Robert Baer’s lead and play tourist around town. I think we all tend to forget just how wonderful our own city is and how easy it is to take a quick break and have a terrific time, whether in the French Quarter, on the lakefront, or in one of our beautiful parks and playgrounds. Me? I have a NOMA membership and no matter the weather, I sneak away for a few hours. And then, after looking at the beautiful art inside and in the sculpture garden, I find myself with a smile on my face, breathing again. 

Need more ideas for creating summer fun? Look no further than our Nola Family Favorites – the results of our annual reader survey! We’ve got everything listed here, from camps and dance to playing and shopping, and everything in between. Also in this issue is our annual “Party Time” feature that lists party places and vendors for throwing the perfect kid celebration, no matter the time of year, your budget or the weather.  

No matter what you find yourself doing, do it together as a family, for a lifetime of memories.  

Have a great summer - 

PS - Speaking of water play, your doggies enjoy cooling down in the water, too! My grand-puppy GiGi loves her personal backyard pool!

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