I have a memory - and I think it's true - of my grandmother gently ushering us out the door when the time came for us to return home from our semi-annual visit to her house. She didn't want us to clear out. I remember tears on her cheeks. But since we had to go we might as well get along with it and not belabor the point.
I find that attitude helpful at this time of year. The school year has started, so it's time to send off the summer and start taking inventory of everything on the horizon for the fall season.
As part of our adventure planning, I keep a Google Doc list of upcoming stuff we want to do as a family. Each time I find a new event or activity, I add it to the document, along with reminders to myself ("order tickets in July," "concessions are cash only," etc.). Once we confirm that we're going to participate in an event, we add it to the family Google Calendar.
We don't end up doing every single thing on the list - October and April would be exhausting if we did. But this planning method keeps events on my radar so we don't miss out, and it also helps me to see what activities are becoming traditions we'll continue each year.
So if your neck's in my woods, here are some of the upcoming events we're considering.
Revel in the season along with us!
Southern Makers (Sloss Furnace, Birmingham - Aug 12-13, 2017) A gathering of artists and craftspeople from around the south.
Football Season Starts (Our Living Room - Sept 2, 2017) Alabama kicks off the 2017 season against Florida State on this holiday weekend, and I cannot wait! ROLL TIDE!
Birmingham Art Walk (Downtown Birmingham - Sept 8-9, 2017) Celebrates the work of visual artists, street performers, musicians, and more.
Sweetest Chefs (Ridgeland, Mississippi - Sept 11, 2017) Showcases the South's top pastry chefs.
St. George Middle Eastern Festival (St. George Church, Birmingham - Sept 14-16, 2017) Tasty Middle Eastern food and drink, live music and dancing, and church tours. The pastries and coffee are the highlight for us at this festival.
Trucks by the Tracks (Railroad Park, Birmingham - Sept 17, 2017) A gathering of Birmingham's best food trucks.
Birmingham Greek Festival (Holy Trinity-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral - Sept 21-23, 2017) Our favorite cultural festival each year. If you have to pick just one from this list, do the Greek Festival, for sure. Don't forget to pick up an order of fresh loukoumathes downstairs before you go.
Fiesta Birmingham (Linn Park, Birmingham - September 30, 2017) The state's largest celebration of Hispanic culture and heritage.
Cahaba River Fry-Down (Railroad Park, Birmingham - Oct 1, 2017) Fish-fry competition and festival.
Moundville Native American Festival (Moundville Archaeological Park - Oct 4-7, 2017) Includes living history camps, storytelling and dances, arts and crafts, and hands-on activities for kids.
Cullman Oktoberfest (Cullman, AL - Oct 4-8) Multi-day celebration of German heritage in downtown Cullman.
Southern Foodways Symposium (Oxford, MS - Oct 5-7, 2017) In the twentieth year of the symposium, the focus is on El Sur Latino. This one's gonna be awesome!
Kentuck Festival of the Arts (Northport, AL - Oct 21-22, 2017) A weekend of nationally and internationally renowned folk artists, musicians, and art activities for kids.
A Haunting at the Museum (Alabama Museum of Natural History, Tuscaloosa - Date TBD) An evening of spooky stories, gross science and snacks, and a museum scavenger hunt.
Pumpkin Fest (Franklin, TN - Oct 28, 2017) Middle Tennessee's larges fall festival, which stretches out along Main Street in downtown Franklin.
Tricks, Treats, and Trails (Red Mountain Park, Birmingham - Oct 29, 2017) Trick-or-treating along the trails, food trucks, and live music. Wear your costumes!
Moss Rock Festival (The Preserve, Hoover, AL - Nov 4-5, 2017) Billed as an eco-creative festival, this one's all about art and smart living. LOTS of fun stuff for kids + some great food truck options.
Russian/Slavic Festival (St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Brookside, AL - Nov 5-6, 2017) Tucked away in Brookside, this tiny church's festival offers some tasty dishes. Be sure to take home some baked goods.
Orbix Hot Glass Blow-Your-Own-Ornament (Mentone, AL - Nov 4, 11, 18, 24-25) We're using this one as a way to gear up for the holiday season, but there are plenty of other dates for blowing an ornament throughout the year.