School is just about out for my older son and I've been racking my brain trying to come up with all the things to keep him busy this summer. And the Treasure Valley has a TON of options. Summer camps, water parks, arcades, bowling, party centers, museums-- tons to do, truly. But all of those things cost money and I'm not a baller who can make it rain cash for kids activities all summer. But you know what's fun and free (save for food, but you have to buy that anyway)? A picnic. A delightful family picnic at a park. But which one?

Mallard Park is gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but it's 30 acres which is just too big for family picnic time. Lots of space for small children to get lost and not find their way back to the blanket. Camel's Back Park is 11 acres, which feels cozier to me while still having wonderful amenities.

In addition to a playground, there's an outdoor gym furnished by, a sand volleyball court, and a tennis court. So once you're done stuffing your face with sandwiches and eating watermelon that ants hopefully haven't found (I really do be picturing cartoons when I describe picnics), you can work it all off by getting active with your loved ones.

There are designated picnic tables you can reserve up to 11 months in advance. But you can opt for the old fashioned cartoon picnic on one of the several grassy areas that can also double as the spot for a game of catch or red rover. Or even just to roll around in the grass. Am I the only one who does that? Anyway, it's a quaint park with plenty to do. Fun and free. And as a tennis player I love that it has courts available.

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