This summer, my daughter will split her time between Pennsylvanian and New Jersey. She’ll go on multiple vacations, attend multiple summer camps and even blow out her birthday candles on multiple cakes.  It’s a bit much, yes. But such is the life of a co-parented kid. In order for her summer schedule to occur, we had to coordinate and compromise. In the past, my ex and I didn’t budge. The court mandated order dictated our daughter’s schedule. Make plans on your pre-determined dates. That was our response when the other requested additional time or a swap. But time heals all wounds, and ours are pretty much mended. We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and understanding the meaning of the words flexible. 

For the first time in our adulting history, we planned play dates. We took our daughter to Chuck. E. Cheese and Kennywood. We’ve had awkward meals together in the past. But this was different. We had fun. We enjoyed the summer. We focused on our daughter. We’re far from besties, but we are making progress along our journey raising our little girl, under separate roofs.

To make the most of my time with my little girl, I turn to Summer 19, a youth-centered campaign that provides thousands of local children, grades K-12, with fun, educational learning activities.  It’s is a collaboration between Mayor William Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and the United Way’s Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) as well as various community partners. I can search for summer programs that fit my daughter’s interests and needs by visiting the campaign’s website,


This year, she’ll attend a summer camp at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden. 

We’ll also look for one-day activities since she’ll spend most of her time out of town. We’re getting ideas from the Summer 19 Bucketlist.

There are endless activities for families! lus, check out these low- to no-cost activities. Too many to fit on the list! Here are even more ideas:

Go to the Movies

Bring your blanket or chair, and visit a Citipark’s Movie in the Park for family activities and fun starting at 8 p.m. Once the sun sets, they start the show, including flicks like Marry Poppins returned and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Check out the schedule here.

Make a Splash

Go swimming at public pools across Allegheny County for a few dollars. You can even enroll your child in free swimming lessons. Click here for the schedule.

Tap Your Feet

Move to the beat of free concerts in the park, or learn to line dance. Check out the schedule here.

Be Social

Join other moms celebrating summer! Share photos of your family checking off your summer bucket list using #PGHSummer19. Be sure to tag APOST and Single Mom Defined. We’ll pick four families to win gift cards to help fund their fun this summer!