80+ Fun Summer Activities for the Family

80+ Fun Summer Activities for the Family

 

 

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Cover Photo of Bag by Brooke Lark on Unsplash  Greenhouse Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash Beach Photo by Syd Sujuaan on Unsplash Popcicle Photo by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

 

Happy May 1st! It’s almost time for summer! Who’s ready?

Have you started planning your big summer vacation? Or will you be spending your warm-weathered days at home?

Over the years two of our favorite things to do to prepare for summer are; plot out our vegetable garden and make a summer bucket list. The bucket list has gone from a variety of museums, zoos, and entertainment to a more simplistic version. We realize that out of the 12 weeks or so, more realistically we probably have 1 or 2 days each month to go out of town (for an all day event).

Plus not to mention, it’s hard to take smaller kids to more formal locations. Especially if you’re dealing with potty training and nap time or anything like that. So I split up my ideas into categories from ideal to more realistic.

So for our kids ages (almost 3) to 6, this is what we came up with so far:

  • T-ball (registered our oldest)
  • Swim lessons (for the older two)
  • Fishing
  • Drive-in movie
  • Camping
  • Visit the local ice-cream shop
  • Visit the local farmers market
  • Visit the beach (at our Lake)
  • Have a cookout with family
  • Go to the Fair
  • Visit the Deer Park
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Photo by Luke Brugger on Unsplash

 

Here are more ideas that your family can consider adding to your own list:

Attractions/Events:

  • Major/Minor League Baseball game
  • Zoo/Petting Zoo
  • Safari Tour
  • Aquarium
  • Legoland
  • Science center/museum
  • Old Car museum
  • Train museum
  • Take a scenic train ride
  • Visit a historical village
  • Watch glass blowing
  • Children’s museum (art/literature…)
  • Sky Zone/ Indoor Playground
  • Water Park
  • Amusement Park
  • Put-put
  • Go Karts
  • Batting Cages
  • Get an arcade pass
  • Bowling/ Glowbowling
  • Take cooking classes
  • See a movie
  • See a play/Disney on Ice
  • See an air show
  • Art Festival/ Craft Show
  • Air Balloon Festival
  • Music Festival
  • Rent a boat/book a boat tour

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Photo by Jayakumar Ananthan on Unsplash

 

Create your own Fun:

  • Rent a cabin
  • Ride on a bike Trail
  • Hike in the woods
  • Explore natural formations near you
  • Explore waterfalls near you
  • See a butterfly house
  • Have a picnic at the park
  • Strawberry Picking
  • Visit your local nature center
  • See a botanical garden/arboretum
  • Free kid’s classes at your local county parks
  • Story hour at your library
  • Kid’s art classes at your craft store
  • Geocaching/scavenger hunt
  • Go for a scenic drive/road trip
  • Make/Try international food
  • Check out all of the top rated parks near you
  • Visit a splash pad

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Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Fun in your own backyard:

  • Bury treasure in your sandbox
  • Make a fairy garden
  • Grow some pretty flowers
  • Build a fort
  • Make your own natural playground
  • Collect bugs
  • Make mud pies
  • Have a squirt gun fight
  • Get a pool (we like the 10′ Intex Easy Set Above Ground Pool)
  • Get a Slip ‘n Slide or sprinkler
  • Build a bird house/bird feeder
  • Rock painting
  • Make natural wind chimes
  • Have a tea party
  • Have a lemonade stand
  • Make your own popsicles
  • Make your own ice cream
  • Fly kites
  • Play a sport together (baseball/soccer/volleyball)
  • Have a race/make an obstacle course
  • See who can blow the biggest bubbles
  • Draw your family portrait with sidewalk chalk
  • Decorate a name (room) plaque with acrylic paint
  • Make window clings/stained glass pictures
  • Backyard camping
  • Have a bonfire & make smores
  • Have movie night outside with a projector
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Photo by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

I really wanted to create sub-lists for those of you who are able to and willing to enjoy a booked day, casual day, and a day where you don’t even have to leave home or get into the summer vacation budget.

Be sure to ask around on Facebook for friends’ recommendations. You can even stop in at your AAA or visitors bureau for more trip ideas.

Now that I probably encouraged you to make your list too big, which ones stick out to you the most? Which of your family favorites would you add to the list?

Happy, Healthy Kids

Happy, Healthy Kids

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You want your kids to be happy and healthy? Encourage them to play outside!

This week during gun season of hunting, my husband recently shot his first deer. An 8 point buck! We had just dropped big brother off at school and got the phone call. So we had to go celebrate and see daddy’s prize deer. And the kids enjoyed adventuring in the woods.

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These boys were occupied with climbing a fallen tree, hitting things with sticks, stepping into the creek (which they only did because I said not to), climbing a rock pile, and checking out the deer. Little was said, but I could see that their mood changed as they started down that first trail.

Meanwhile, I did what I enjoy. I spent their playtime capturing their pure character. I love taking photos of them playing or engaging in every day activities. Rather than capture images of my kids sitting still and cheesing, I know in the future that I will love to look back on the moments that make life so sweet.

Our family loves the outdoors. Like a lot. we spend our summer days pretty much living outside. And I love it for a couple of reasons:

  • It keeps the mess outside. Toys, spilled drinks. Whole crackers… Miscellaneous sticky spots….
  • We are all in better moods. Who knew what fresh air, sunshine, and a little physical activity can do for you?
  • You can’t beat that sense of adventure indoors. This also leads to more creativity.
  • My boys also tend to eat 10x better also. In the summer they eat like they haven’t eaten in a week!
  • They might be dirty when they come in, but at least they are tired. That is priceless!

 

 

There is one thing I really want you all to take away from this. Let your children play outside for a minimum of 1-2 hours a day (if it’s not too cold or yucky out). As parents we are so busy working, paying bills, doing chores, conversing with other adults… This is one simple way to help your child to grow developmentally, improve moods, and create long lasting memories.

Plus if you’re a mom with a camera, it’s a win-win.

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Outdoor play is simple and free. And better yet, busy kids are happy kids. Not to mention the health benefits!

What are some alternatives to outdoor play during rainy days or snow days?