Summertime, and the livin’s easy..

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By Martha Lee

As I write this sentence, the thermometer outside reads 99 degrees.  Yep. It’s definitely summertime in Savannah, and I love it! Some would say it’s a bit too hot out, but I beg to differ!  The heat actually makes it easy and, dare I say, pleasant to get outside.  I mean really – who can say no to the sprinkler in the summer?  And let’s face it: It’s a lot more enjoyable to let the babies finger-paint naked on the deck and hose off when finished as opposed to painting indoors.  (Plus, the pics are priceless!) It’s so easy to beat the summertime heat with fun and FREE outdoor recreations, and I thought I’d share a few ideas with you.

Backyard Fun:  Keep the car parked and save on gas!

Sprinklers are the ultimate summertime play “toy” and double to water the grass!

Water buckets (any size, any shape) are lots of fun for the younger kids – I fill up several and add food coloring to let Naomi splash and mix the different colors. (A big hit!) Also, having your child help water the flowers or grass gives them a job and sense of purpose.  What’s not to love about that?

Slip’n’Slide – self-explanatory, and although Naomi is a tad too young right now, you better believe I plan on snatching up one of these bad boys during an end-of-summer sale!

Swing – I have yet to meet a child that does not like to swing (I still
enjoy it to this day), and it’s a nice way to get outside, feel the breeze, and connect with your little one.

Sandbox – Naomi’s sweet daddy made her a sandbox, and although we have the ultimate “sandbox” at Tybee Island, sometimes it’s nice to just stay home.  (We used an under-bed container with lid so we can keep it clean and ended up saving us $$ too!)

Finger-paint and sidewalk chalk – just hose off and you’re good to go!



If you feel the urge to get out of the house, then by all means, go! There are lots of ways to enjoy the summer with the kids away from home and without spending tons of cash. Whether you’re carpooling to the park in between summer camps or hitting up the pool, beach, or nearest body of water, you’d be surprised at what you can find right outside your own backdoor. 

***If you’re interested in specific events in your own hometown (kid’s camps, puppet shows, etc.), take a look at and search for “kids and family” in your hometown. They provide a list of lots of activities for many cities.  City websites can also provide a calendar of events and activities. ***

In and Around Town:

State parks, zoos, & wildlife centers – provide summer camps, tours, and activities at budget-friendly prices.

Libraries, theaters, & museums – free story time & puppet shows, $1 movies, and free admission for kids. 

Recreational facilities & local parks – playgrounds, swimming pools, classes and camps.  The options are limitless; just don’t forget your water bottle!

Anything with water (and lots of it).  Be it river, lake, pool, or ocean, you’ll be finding me at one of those places sooner than later!


We’re always looking for new and fun things to do, so I’d love to hear what you’re planning.  How do you beat the heat?

Martha Lee and her husband began working for Paula Deen Enterprises in 2006 until Martha left to pursue a degree in Special Education. She takes a cue from her 1-year-old daughter, Naomi, leaving tiny footprints on the planet. Her blog shares practical, earth-conscious ways to live and parent in the 21st century. Born and raised in beautiful, soulful Macon, GA, Martha and her family now lives in Savannah, where she can be found outside hula-hooping and performing handstands daily.
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Reader Comments:


Great ideas!!!! I've tried these activities with my grandchildren and they always enjoy!! Annette glisson

By Annette Glisson on July 02, 2011


Driving to work this morning I passed the water splash park they built inside the regular city park. At 8:00 AM packed with little kids who could not have looked happier! I have a 3 year old neighbor and she has been enjoying her backyard sprinkler and I her giggles.

By Tammy on July 01, 2011


Martha, first of all, I cannot believe how big little Omi is getting- she's beautiful! Second of all, I LOVE your ideas!

By Jonathan Able on June 24, 2011

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm