Have you noticed?  We've transitioned into our Central Florida summer pattern. You know the deal, morning sunshine gives way to afternoon thunderstorms. Our unofficial start to the wet season is around May 27 and this is the set up until about October 15.

I feel like I say this almost every day in the summer: "Get those outdoor plans in early!"  That's sometimes easier said than done and can make planning family fun a little challenging, especially with small kids to entertain.

What are you planning this summer with your wee ones?  Here are ideas:

*Amaya Papaya Play Lounge: Chill, indoor playground for kids five and under. If you're into big flashy toys and video games, this isn't your place. If you're into wooden toys, imagination, and crafts, you'll love it. You'll find free WIFI, snacks and a marketplace of locally made products. I'm beyond excited that owner Yolonda Tyler just added a Keurig to the kitchen. It's the small things in life, right? Admission is $10 or less and discounts are periodically offered.

splash pad

*Splash pads: Want to hear a little kid giggle? Let them run through water, randomly splashing out of the ground.  Central Florida is full of fabulous splash pads. Most offer admission of just a few dollars, but some, like Shady Park in Winter Park are free. That's a bargain for a laughing, happy and exhausted toddler. Morning splash pad adventure often translates into a nice afternoon nap. Everyone wins.

Marine Science Center: I haven't actually been here, but it is on my summer hit list. They had me at "Stingray touch pool."  You can also check out turtle and bird rehab. Admission is $5 or less depending on age.

Check out Julie's past blog posts to read about mom-approved products, favorite celebrity mugshots and more about Julie's life.