It’s a commonly known fact that Redding all but empties of residents during the summer months.
Police respond to fewer calls, schools are closed, the newspapers get smaller, and your teenagers keep complaining about how bored they are.
Though summer seems to bring with it a lack of fun activities in town (other than a soak at Topstone), concerned parents certainly have some choice in helping the kids have an enjoyable break from school. The best part? The most memorable of those choices is nearly free.
Perhaps the most obvious, and most cost-effective summertime activity is to simply lock your child outside your house with a bicycle, a helmet, $15, and a less-than-mature friend.
Literally lock them out.
With the bicycle they can ride far and wide across town — even if they wimp out and walk up some of the steeper hills.
They can take in the historical remains at Devil’s Den, or try and find Native American relics in its sprawling forests.
Maybe they’ll even see a deer or two and chase them into the woods until they’re out of breath and sweating. (Don’t worry, they’ll find their way out.)
With the $15, they can get a refreshing drink in Georgetown, or ride into Bethel and buy a poorly made PG-13 movie at CVS and not tell you about it.
The secret to all these wonderful plans is that you don’t have to make any of them. Just leave it up to your kids, they’re smarter — and safer — than you think. They can scrape their knees, get dirty, rebel against their parents and get some exercise in a single summer day all without causing any serious harm or injury.
And, when everyone asks your secret to a happy teenager during the summer, you’ll seem like you’ve got it all worked out.
Just tell them it’s “a bike, $15, and a friend.”