Fifteen years ago, a Barnes & Noble opened in the next town from ours just about the time school was closing for the summer. That started a tradition for me and our kids which we've carried on to this day: a day or two after school ends, we go to Barnes and Noble to celebrate summer vacation and we all buy books. Of course I'm the one who pays for them! Then we eat lunch (usually at Red Lobster).
Both my children, Amy and Josh, were in elementary school at the time we began this tradtion. Now Josh is finishing his next-to-last year of college and Amy is done with grad school and has been working for two years. But we still continue the tradition, which I love.
We went from buying many American Girl books (Amy) and how to do better at video game books (Josh) to adult books (both of them like Michael Crichton's novels). We always buy a mix--my choices are heavily into romances--and usually get 5-6 books each for our summer reading pleasure. I personally always buy a book by an author I never tried before (last year I bought one by Sandra Hill and it was very funny).
I think that even when both of them are out of school, we'll carry on this tradition. I love it! Browsing at books, stocking up on summer reading, eating lunch out--what fun!
What kind of family traditions do you participate in at this time of year?