10 Summer Activities with Family

This has been our third summer with a visit from my Arizona brother and his family. There was too much going on here to visit them this summer, so they came to us. Last summer with them had many wins, so we did some things they loved from last time plus try some new ones. This time everyone was in town for F’s baptism, so cousins from both sides of the family stayed with us. My brother’s family stayed with us for a week over the 4th of July holiday, so we packed a ton in, plus fireworks! We had to balance it out with rest days.


We did several hikes while cousins were here, including this one at Slate Canyon, and this one at Cascade Springs.

Slate Canyon Hiking
Cascade Springs Hike

Our first one was in our own “backyard”, one of our favorites in Santaquin Canyon.

Prospector’s View Hike

Get in the Water

Our kids love going to the pool, splashing around at the park, visiting the water park, swimming at the beach, kayaking at the pond, or tubing down the river. It’s a perfect way to cool down on those hot summer days and tire them out until bedtime.

This year we only did a couple of things, but we took their cousin to our favorite watering hole at Hobble Creek.

Swimming at Hobble Creek
Swimming at Hobble Creek

Share Our Favorite Recipes

Our families often share what we’re eating on our group chat, and it’s fun to make them for each other when we get together in real life!

I cooked Picadillo and rice when my brother’s family arrived, and marinated a Shawarma Chicken for a Mediterranean Salad that Jer made another day (sadly I don’t think I got pics of that before we inhaled it!).

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese was a hit with the kiddos on a late night after hours of playing Minecraft haha. I also did the kids’ favorite Creamy Mushroom Pasta.

The kids baked banana bread under L’s direction and lots of help from Aunt Alyssa. My gourmet foodie brother made us a savory southern breakfast dish called Grits, using a special cheese smoked Gouda with bacon. He also made delicious omelettes, and bought like $60 worth of Korean pastries so we could try them all!

Dining Out

So many good options! When my brother needed to pick up his wife at the airport, we met up at Blue Iguana, our favorite Mexican Restaurant in Salt Lake City, so they could experience it. Jer had wanted to go for a double date, but we ended up taking all the kids and it became an exciting night out for them. We got a taste of all their famous molés, which were all amazing. My brother and I split the dark molé made with bananas and chocolate. I could drink that stuff, it was so delicious!!

Play + Relax at Home

Minecraft, legos, movies, and doggy cuddles. The kids had plenty of time to build tents, play with toys, and create together. The adults moved the TV to the counter so we could watch an 80’s comedy while cooking together. We also put the kids to bed early so we could watch a scary movie “The Birds” from when we were kids. I didn’t realize until it was over that it was completely different from the one we grew up with.

Check Out a Book

W was able to squeeze a book reading from all of his uncles and aunts 😂 We took my brother’s family along to the library. The kids borrowed a PlayStation game, a Cooking Kit, and some books. Even my brother found an interesting read! A short book outlining science-backed tips on how to live longer. I sneaked a read of it after they left, and some of my favorite tips were about spending time with a furry friend and extended learning helps increase your lifespan.

Girls Day Out: Afternoon Tea

My SIL left for a family emergency, and when she returned we made reservations for Afternoon Tea. We got all dressed up and met with our friend Tori and her Mom. They hadn’t seen each other in years, so it was fun to catch up and eat. Taste 117 in Provo did 3 courses with a drink. The popular one today was like a chocolate milkshake. I had a pot of cacao tea.

Their menu changes monthly to match the seasons, and I’m loving all the fresh flavors and summery ingredients. I had never thought of putting avocado spread on a BLT! My favorite dessert was probably a tie between the chocolate-baked-bits-with-fresh-whipped-cream-and-raspberry on top, and the lemony blueberry tart filling on the rounded short crust.

Go to the Farmer’s Market

There are several across the valley, but the one that worked with our schedule that week was in Provo. It’s grown tremendously in size and quality since we lived nearby years ago! There was something for everyone to enjoy, including live music and the splash pad turned on for kids to cool off. I loved all the fresh salsas and food to sample, the handmade crafts and jewelry, and even splurged on a beautiful colorful Kenyan basket!

Trying out the jewelry

Chinatown Supermarket

This Asian market in Salt Lake City was so fun to explore! We found all kinds of seafood and roasted meats, fresh lychees, Jack fruit, and what my niece calls “cute little things” as she squeals about how tiny the erasers are. We bought a bag of frozen steamed buns (my family calls them dumplings) that reminded me of Siopao, a giant bag of shrimp chips, a large slab of almond pastry from the Korean bakery, and bok choy to make a soup.

Celebrate with Old Friends

Fireworks + BBQ + Victoria’s famous flag “muffin top” cake for Independence Day, street tacos and getting all dressed up for F’s baptism, and meeting up with old faces over sushi / airsoft / tea… there was a lot of catching up and seeing how big everyone’s kids got!

I sure loved spending quality time with my brother, sister-in-law, and watching my niece have fun with her cousins. I got to do normal things with him like doing a Costco run together and hunting for a special cheese at the grocery store, setting up the wifi on a new router, and talking about everyday things like parenting. Here’s a surprising moment I really enjoyed: separating the Lego pieces by color because that’s how he finds them best! We didn’t play legos together when we were kids, so it was really fun to do so as adults. We got excited about designing his new music studio and finding inspiration for his latest cooking.

Until next time, Kat

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