Our son’s school is now out and we’re already planning our summer. From vacations to camps, pool time, swim lessons, splash pads, and more…we’re trying to get our Summer Bucket List together so that we can make the most of our favorite time of the year. One thing that we quickly start to realize with summer is just how fast it goes and how sometimes you just need to take a moment, slow down, set your “lists” aside and relax with your family. And relaxing with my own family typically includes being outside, grilling out, playing on the trampoline, and enjoying life. Here’s how to take a moment to slow summer down with a summer family outdoor night that wouldn’t be complete without some delicious S’mores for dessert! And with July 4th quickly coming up, this is the perfect activity for the upcoming holiday!
A typical weekend evening for us goes something like this…the kids play on the trampoline or in the sandbox and my husband and I are sitting on the deck, relaxing with beverage in hand, supervising their play. The grill is warming up and we have hot dogs, brats, and burgers patiently awaiting their fates.
We eat a big dinner full of sides like watermelon, pasta salad, grilled veggie wraps, tater tots, and baked beans, then we go back to playing as we prep for dessert.
Like any good Midwest family, the best part about a good dinner is earning the dessert that follows and the EASIEST and most classic dessert that we can make quickly and that involves something all of us love, S’mores! They are not only easy to make, but it’s a fun activity we can do together as a family.
We pull out our S’mores making stakes, we load them up with JET-PUFFED Marshmallows and we prepare our HONEY MAID Grahams with some delicious HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate squares so that the minute those hot marshmallows touch the chocolate they are ooey, gooey, chewy deliciousness.
The best part about S’mores is that we can all enjoy our marshmallows the way we like best…my daughter, for example, just likes to eat them out of the bag. I like mine lightly toasted and just a bit melty, while my husband likes them flaming!
You pull them off the grill and start assembly. Since you’re outside it’s ok to be a little messy with cute blue juice mouths, freshly chlorinated, untamed hair from the day at the pool, and little sticky fingers that can be cleaned up during bath time. That’s part of the joy of summer…
To finish off our night, we wait till it’s dark, then settle inside with a family movie before bed. And quite honestly, I could repeat days like this every day of the year if I could. Good food, good company, lots of laughs, and plenty of time to relax and enjoy the fresh air.