One of the beautiful things about summer in this region is that no matter what you do, it can be enjoyable. Hot, sunny weather can turn a standard barbecue into an event of its own. Many fun outdoor programs crop up this time of year in the Yakima Valley. And, for those of you who would like to get away for a vacation or a camp, you don’t always have to go far to capture a truly remarkable summer memory.

In this issue, we encourage you to get outside and experience the joys of being active in the sun. We cover many of the available events waiting for you and your family to experience, but since there are so many options out there, we couldn’t pack every single item into this single issue. That’s why we invite you to head to playdatemagazine.com to check out more summer events and activities, and check back often for updates.

Along with daily and weekly offerings, you’ll also find a number of helpful voices in this edition. Dr. Pommer will help you make sure your kids are well hydrated, and Juanita Farris will inspire you and your kids to create a summer “bucket list” of things to do. Other contributors share words of wisdom: Aubrey Does of Frugal Yakima Mom tells of coupon rookie mistakes to avoid, while Amy Berkheimer reveals what it’s like to travel with a child with special needs.

We’re feeling a bit hungry too. Inside these pages you’ll find fun and yummy ideas to celebrate the Fourth of July, and our return of Family Fare will have you well equipped to create zucchini pizza.

All seasons can be seen as transitions, in more ways than one. We here at Playdate Magazine will be saying goodbye to long-time photographer TJ Mullinax, who has photographed most of our magazine covers and feature photos since the magazine started in 2007. We want to thank TJ for his hard work and creative energy, and wish him the best in his new adventures.

Please send questions, comments or suggestions to sklepach@yakimaherald.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook.

Enjoy the sun!