Have you ever gotten to the end of a summer with your kids and family and think – “Where did the summer go?!” “I wish we had done _____!” Between sports, camps and the regular day-to-day it can be tough to find bits of family fun and adventure over summer break.
So to help you get ahead and plan, we’ve got 20 really fun, kid-approved ideas that will have everyone saying, “That was such a fun summer!”
Take some time to talk as a family and choose a few things from this list…then add a few of your own!
20 Fun Summer Activities for The Whole Family
1. Collect friends phone numbers at the end of the school year
Make a point of getting the contact info for the school friends your kids have made. Plan to stay connected over the summer months with playdates and meet ups!
2. Choose a family craft project
Finding a project that the whole family can get in on makes for some great memories! Maybe you choose a huge puzzle that you’ll work on over the summer or you create a summer scrapbook that everyone can contribute.
3. Visit local parks/forest preserves for picnics
Sometimes some of the best memories are made right in your neck of the woods! Do a quick search of local forest preserves, parks and nature centers and plan some picnics for a lazy weekend afternoon.
4. Raise butterflies
The whole family will love watching chrysalises transform into butterflies right at home! With an all-in-one kit, this fun STEM based activity will make for an exciting experience!
5. Find pen pals/email pals
Keep kids connected over their school break – and practicing their writing skills – with a pen pal! An easy, and safe, way to do this is to find a relative or friend that would like to write or email back and forth with your kiddos over the summer.
6. Join a summer reading program
The summer is a great time to take the “school” out of reading and help kids re-ignite their passion for books! Check your local library for reading programs, challenges or groups.
7. Plan an outdoor movie night for friends and family
Take advantage of warmer nights, plan a movie night and invite everyone over! Hang a sheet or screen on an outdoor wall, invest in a movie projector and create a theater under the stars!
8. Create a family time capsule
Make memories for years to come with a family time capsule! Collect items, photos, notes, cards and any other memorabilia from your summer and place it in a time capsule that you can re-vist years later.
9. Build a backyard obstacle course
Bring out your inner adventurer by creating a kid-friendly obstacle course in your backyard. Get creative and use items you have around the house and garage to build your course!
10. Find free concerts and events
Take advantage of free concerts and events around your community. Plan to meet up with friends, pack snacks or a picnic dinner and enjoy!
11. Plan day trips to local attractions
If extended travel isn’t in the cards for you this summer, plan a few day trips to local attractions within a few hours of your home.
12. Go to a drive-in movie
Pack some snacks and a few comfy blankets and take the family to see a drive-in movie!
13. Camp in the backyard
Adventures don’t have to be hours away! Set up a tent, camping stove and picnic area right in your own backyard.
14. Find new recipes to try
Help foster a love of cooking, while also introducing new foods, and choose a new recipe to try each week. Make sure they are do-able for kids and explore a new world of culinary adventure!
15. Start a garden
Your family garden could be a large plot or just a few windowsill pots. Have kids choose what plants, vegetables or fruits they’d like to grow and let them plant, water and take care of your garden as it grows.
16. Take real pictures
In our digital age, it’s easy to forget how fun it is to take real photos with a film camera! Search local thrift stores, or ask friends and family, for a film camera and show kiddos how to take real pictures!
17. Plan park meet-ups
Use those phone numbers you collected at the end of the year and plan some group meet ups at parks in your area.
18. Carnival hop
Carnivals are an awesome way to spend your summer nights! Keep an eye out for local carnivals happening and make a family trip!
19. Learn a new craft
Is there a new craft your kids have been wanting to try but there just wasn’t enough time with school and activities? Use the summer months to try a few out!
20. Plan movie date nights
When the temps soar, take a break and plan a night at the movies! Grab popcorn, candy and make a family memory at the movie theater!
Memories are made when everyone comes together for a good time! Plan your summer with a few of these activities in mind and you’ll be guaranteed a wonderful summer break!
And for more ideas, check out our Summer Play Series!