Summertime is awesome.
Fresh foods, late nights, family trips, the list goes on! But if you’re like me, you think up a whole bunch of things to do with your family, but only do about half of them–if lucky! To end this cycle, I’ve created a summer checklist of 24 fun things to do with your family. Just look at the checklist and add everything you want to do to your calendar right away. This way, you’ll make plans around what you really want to do. Once you’ve gone and done the activity, check it off! Here’s to having a rocking summer!
Make Some S’ mores!
Now S’ mores are a classic summer treat. They bring up images of camping, bonfires at the beach, and holding a marshmallow over the stove’s burner because other fire sources were not available. Make sure to enjoy this treat, and while you’re at it, make it a full on dessert! Change it up and add some berries, a chocolate bar (peanut butter cups!!), or add some spice with some cayenne pepper sprinkled over the chocolate!
When my kiddos weren’t interested in fireworks, we had a decent view of them from our backyard. Now they’re interested, but our latest move has left us without a view of the sparkles in the sky. If you’re able to go to an event, head on out! Can you watch them from your backyard? Even better! If you hate crowds and traffic but can’t see them, try and get some friends together to rent an Airbnb that has a view.
The cool factor of picnics seem to have diminished over the years in our society, but kids still LOVE them. Plan a super fancy one. Use real dishes and utensils, have a nice blanket, buy some flowers as a centerpiece. Bring picnics back.
Visit a Lake
Find a lake in your local area. If you’re up for an adventure, take a road trip to one! I’ve never made a day trip to visit a lake in my adult years. I went to Lake Havasu when I was a tween, but I was so badly sunburned I would shudder the idea of going back. Now I know to wear a lot of sunscreen and that it can be a ton of fun. If you can camp out at the lake bring this book, which is now forever imprinted on my mind when I think of lakes.
Go to the Fair
Fair food time! I love taking the kids to try fair food and to see all the animals. We never go on the rides, but we’ll look around at all the booths. I love seeing the entries people submitted and my girls love seeing the cows.
Make Snow Cones
My parents would treat me to homemade snow cones when I was a kid. It wasn’t until I went to the city fair and my daughter had one for the first time that I realized I need to keep the tradition going! I went out and got a snow cone maker and then winter hit. THIS summer though, snow cones are a must! Treat your littles to this tasty dessert!
Visit an Aquarium
Aquariums are not only educational but air conditioned! They’re a great place to go for the family to stay cool while learning facts about sea life. If you beat the crowd, you might even get to touch some of the creatures.
What is summer without an ice cold glass of lemonade? Try my Hibiscus Lemonade for some extra flair!
Bubbles are glorious. To children, they’re a beautiful piece of magic from our world. To parents, they’re a cheap, sugarfree game that makes kids happy. Everything is great until the bubble solution is spilled. Don’t fret! Try this homemade bubble solution and you won’t have to worry about running to the store!
Have some BBQ! Make sure it’s good BBQ!
Is there a good BBQ place near you? If not, go on a search to find one! If you’re in the Mobile, Alabama area, try Meat Boss!
Have a Breakfast Picnic
I know, I know, I’ve already mentioned having a picnic. This is a breakfast picnic though which has all sorts of added magic! Pack your basket with juice, berries, scones, and granola parfaits in little mason jars. Go to a nice location and watch the sunrise.
As a kid, I would often go fishing with my grandpa at the pier. It was a big deal. Would I catch a fish? How big would it be?! The reality was, I only caught a few fish and they were all about the size of my finger. That doesn’t matter however, it’s the memories that were made that do. Take your kiddo fishing, if only for the memory of spending time together and even if it’s just once.
Go to a Splash Pad
I didn’t know what a splash pad was until I had kids. A glorious sprinkler spraying water at children of all ages. They think it’s hilarious and have a blast doing it. Check with your city to see what parks have splash pads and what times they are functioning.
This is something older kids love to do more, but little kids have a great time playing too! Taking our littles to go bowling for the first time is another must for us this summer!
To be honest, I hate pool days. If it was a spa day, that would be totally different, but I’m not a fan of the pool. Most everyone else though loves the pool–kids included. Take the whole family and have fun in the cool waters.
Play Miniature Golf
YES! Miniature golf! Kids don’t care about the game, they just want to hit the ball. Let them have fun. Go with another adult and play for reals while the kids check out the cool props.
Host a Block Party
If you don’t feel like hosting, attend one! This is a great way to meet your neighbors and create a community. Too often we’re so busy with our day to day we forget to say hi to our neighbors and form relationships with some amazing people. Check online for a neighborhood facebook or on NextDoor.com. Post that you want to have a block party and make it a potluck! Easy peasy!
Chalk a Masterpiece
A cheap and fun way to keep the kids busy during the long days. Print out images from online and have them replicate it as best as they can. If you can’t do this at your home, head to a park and create your masterpiece there!
Popsicles are what kids want CONSTANTLY throughout the summer. With all that extra sugar found in commercial ones, I decided I needed to get a popsicle mold so I could make them. I found this one and was so happy because the pops are small and fit into little hands easily. You can just pop these little round treats out of the mold and your life will be easier.
Host a Game Night
With the sun out late these days, have some friends over for snacks and a game for some inexpensive entertainment. There are games for every crowd and it’s a great way to model to your kids a love of strategy and planning. We like to have people over every couple of weeks for a casual night. We pick out a game and serve up some chips and drinks. Easy peasy, but tons of fun!
Make Peach Cobbler
I am on a quest to discover the best peach cobbler. This lovely dessert has summer as its middle name and is beloved by many. Do you have a favorite peach cobbler recipe? If you do, share it in the comments!
Join a Summer Reading Program at Your Local Library
Libraries are great for keeping kids learning throughout the summer AND making it fun! Check your local library or county library and see if they are offering a summer reading program for kids. If you feel up to it, some libraries offer adult reading programs too!
Play Bocce Ball
A fun and compact game you can play in your backyard, at the park, or camping! Younger kids love seeing how far they can throw the ball, while older kiddos are in it for the competition. Play this at a picnic and invite the whole family!
Visit a National Park
Look for National Parks near you and plan a day to visit or even camp there! Check out this website here to find the closest one near you. They used to have passports that kids could have stamped at each National Park. I’m really hoping this is still possible. I’ll report back after we’ve gone this year.
So there you have it! A fun list of adventures and activities to check off throughout the summer. Did I miss anything in this summer checklist? What are you looking forward to doing this summer with your family? Let me know in the comments below!