Moms, Dads and Docs Blog

Strawberry Picking – by Shari B.

One of our family’s favorite outdoor activities in the summer-time is berry picking!  If you’ve never been before, now is a great time to start.  Different fruits, including strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, are available at local pick-your-own farms depending on their growing season.

June is “strawberry month.”  We recently attended a strawberry festival at Marini Farmin Ipswich, MA.  It was my 20-month-old son’s first experience with picking his own fruit, and he had a great time sampling.  The look on his face when we told him he could taste the berries was priceless.  I think he ate more than he put in our bucket, which I’m pretty sure is par for the course with toddlers!

My 4-year-old daughter actually spent her time in the orchard trying to pick out the “best” strawberries she could!  She had a great time showing us her finds.

After we’d had our fill of picking, we had a lot of fun exploring the other things that Marini Farm has to offer.  We’re big fans of Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, but came to Marini that day because of their festival and because Parlee had already closed that day due to over-picking (note: call ahead before you go to any orchard to make sure they haven’t run out of fruit for you to pick on the day you’d like to go).

As is the case at many local farms, there was lots to see and do!  My kids had fun feeding the goats, pretending to drive antique tractors, going on a hayride, and eating cider donuts.   We had a wonderful time at the farm and are planning to go blueberry picking sometime over the next several weekends.

But the real treat about picking berries is figuring out what to do with them once you get them home!  This time, we made strawberry ice cream, watermelon strawberry lemonade and strawberry and cream scones.

We also froze a bunch of berries to use this winter when we get a craving for “fresh” berries.  For several different methods for freezing berries, check out WikiHow.

What’s your favorite berry recipe?  Share them in the comments section!

Check out all of Shari’s awesome berry picking photos below!









Summer Bucket List – By Emily C.

It’s summer!  That means the weather is nicer, and it’s a great time to get outside, kick back, and have a lot of fun.  Of course every day with my daughter is a great time, but sometimes we get in a rut of things to do.  Since we’re perfectly content to stay home and play or do our usual activities, we created a summer bucket list of fun ideas to help us maximize the great weather and try some great activities together.

My daughter and I compiled the list together and put it into a printable calendar of sorts so we can check it when we’re looking for something to do on a given day.  We mark the activities as completed so we can try to reach our goal of doing all of the fun things we planned.  Of course many activities, like visiting a playground, will be repeated often.  We didn’t add things like doing crafts, reading, and playing because we always do those!

Our summer bucket list includes the following activities:

  • Go to the zoo
  • Play at a park (often!)
  • Check out a new park
  • Go to the beach
  • Take a vacation
  • Swim at the pool
  • Splash at a sprinkler park
  • Create at an art studio
  • Visit a farm
  • Draw with chalk outside
  • Take a walk
  • Ride a bike
  • Play outside
  • Find cool bugs
  • Have a picnic
  • Enjoy an outdoor concert
  • Visit the library
  • Join the library’s summer reading program
  • Blow bubbles
  • Explore a bike trail
  • Have play dates
  • Learn at a museum
  • Visit with family
  • Take a trolley ride
  • Pick strawberries
  • Pick blueberries
  • Make popsicles
  • Fly a kite
  • Take a music class
  • Try homemade ice cream
  • Watch a new movie
  • Write to a pen pal
  • Play Frisbee
  • Play hopscotch
  • Paint with ice/water outside
  • Take a hike


And for some specific outing ideas:


What would be on your summer bucket list?

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