Saying Goodbye To Summer: Our Back To School Rituals

Back to school!! It’s such an incredibly bittersweet time. I love the excitement of the new school year (and fall and its gorgeous, golden hues right around the corner), but it’s also time to say goodbye to those long, sweet, carefree summer days and well, that’s rough.

Here are a few of our back to school rituals we’ve developed over the years. We really enjoy doing some of them with the kiddos, while the others make transitioning back to school days so much easier!

Leave me a comment and let me know if you try any or would like to share some of your own! I would love to hear!


We head to our favorite local beach and watch the sunset one last time. We go later in the day and stay until night. It has become one of our favorite ways to unofficially end summer. It’s very symbolic watching the day, and essentially the summer, end.

Pick one of your favorite summer spots (ours, seen here, is a secret local beach not many know about) and stay for a beautiful sunset.


Even if it’s not far or for very long …just make sure it’s somewhere adults only! Take some time for you and your partner to simply relax and brace yourselves for the upcoming umm, shall we say” beautiful chaos” to start. Before the after school activities, birthday parties and crazy, non-stop hectic schedules, oh my!

We always go to our fave, Borgata in Atlantic City for a couple of days right before school. We sleep in (and by that I mean until 7:30am when we FaceTime the kids because we miss them so much. Anyone else guilty?). We sip cocktails by the adults only pool, take in some live music, a raunchy comedy show and have a fancy dinner or two. Maybe even throw in a well deserved (in advance) massage. I mean, every parent NEEDS it!

It doesn’t matter where, just go!

We are lucky and have parents who beg to take our children, but if you’re not, bartering is always a good idea! Watch your friends kids one day and have them return the favor! It’s free and genius!


I try to do everything in my power to make the adjustment back to those earlier school days easier, especially the mornings!! I find gathering outfits in advance definitely helps!

Two weeks seems to be the perfect time frame to get back in the swing of things. I just place their outfits (headbands included) on hangers in a designated area in their closets, ready to go.

(Having the kiddos help out with this can be a great way to get them excited for school if they aren’t already!)

Each year we hit up Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale and stock up! It’s the only sale I know of that discounts clothes BEFORE the season even hits, not after! It’s THE best!!


You know those birthday parties just sneak up and become so frequent during the year. Oh, we’ve all had those two in a day weekends! It’s difficult to keep up sometimes.

I like to stock up on both boy and girl cards so I have them ready in a pinch. I put them in an accordion folder in a drawer with curling ribbon and such. Such an easy go-to!

(If you find yourself stuck with something to do on a rainy summer day, have the kiddos sit down and draw some! Two birds, one stone.)

I also go out and purchase and bunch of Target gift cards in advance too. (Because I’m a girl mom and I never know what to get boys! Ideas welcome!)


This one may seem a bit daunting, but trust me, it helps! I write out our meals for the first two weeks. I pre-cook what I can and cut and prep ingredients for easy crock-pot meals and package them up. Each day I pull out a new meal ready to go! It’s already labeled with cooking instructions. Are we friends on Pinterest? Let’s be!

I also make sure the meal on the first Friday of school year is a really special one! After a long first week it’s nice to sit down and have a nice, relaxing fancier meal and just recap all that is new and exciting with the kiddos! I may even grab a bottle of sparkling juice and let them toast in champagne flutes. It’s the little things!


If you don’t already have a Google Calendar, set a separate one up just for the family! This helps keep you and your mate on track with what’s happening which day, right from your phone!


I take them for fresh haircuts! I love a place like Sweet & Sassy where not only can they get a super cute cut, but they can walk on the runway too! The confidence they have up there is just the cutest! Worth a little extra just to watch that!

We also do nails. Sometimes I take them to get them done with a cute little design and sometimes I just give them manis, with some glitter nail polish, of course.


Aaaaaaand, we’re back to packing lunches. Are you a fan? Yay or nay? Our favorite snack this time a year is without a doubt these cinnamon alphabet cookies from Trader Joe’s! Not only are they great for spelling out cute sayings or their name in their lunches, but they’re dairy and nut-free too!


This is my favorite of them all! We read ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’ by Dr Seuss the night before school each and every year!

I have copies for each child we have been getting signed by their teachers since their very first year of school. They love going back and reading all of the kind, inspiring words their teachers have written them! It’s an extra confidence boost for them the night before!

If your kiddos don’t already have a copy, get them each one NOW! It’s not too late to have their teachers start signing them! It’s a school keepsake they’ll have forever. Plus, you’re never too old for this gem! The message is classic and timeless! My mom bought me my first copy when I graduated college!

I hope your kiddos have the best year!! No matter how many times we’ve done this, it’s still always so incredibly bittersweet! You’re so happy to see them thrive and learn, but still want to keep them small forever. Am I right, mamas?

XOX, Sar


  1. Melinda Engel
    August 24, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    Thanks, love! Great suggestions…

  2. Ash
    August 25, 2018 / 1:31 pm

    I want to be you. All of this sounds perfect!

  3. December 29, 2019 / 8:07 pm

    Hello.This post was extremely interesting, especially because I was searching for thoughts on this topic last couple of days.

  4. Pingback: Google

Leave a Reply

Sari Marissa aka Fab Philly Mom is passionate about sharing her travels and the fun she has in her city with her supportive husband and two super adventurous little girls.

Sari has traveled to 48 states, 36 National Parks, 25 countries, and 4 far!

Sari is a very proud Yoga Alliance Certified 200hr yoga teacher, was named Yelp’s Top Reviewer in Philly, and co-founded Philadelphia’s first official Challah For Hunger chapter.

Sari is currently enrolled in a leadership
program through Women’s Philanthropy, in association with Jewish Federation of Philadelphia. She cannot wait to implement her gained knowledge and chair more of their events in the future.

There is never a time when Sari is not planning an adventure or discovering something awesome! Stay tuned...

Close Me
Looking for Something?
Post Categories: