15 Things To Do In The Summer With Kids

things to do in the summer with kids

Can you believe we’re already finishing up another school year? With the last day of school approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we can spend time together as a family while they’re on summer break. There are many fun things to do with kids during the summer, yet sometimes it’s hard to come up with ideas that work for your family.

If your children are forgoing summer camps and spending their days at home, consider these fun summer activities for kids to help keep them entertained (and you sane). 

things to do in summer with kids

15 Things To Do In The Summer With Kids

Spend A Rainy Day At A Museum

Museums are always a great option for a kid-friendly activity, especially on a rainy day. They provide hours of fun and ample learning opportunities (shh, don’t tell my kids about the latter one), whether you’re at home or on summer vacation.

We’ve explored fantastic museums close to home as well as abroad. For more on some of my favorite museums, check out my posts Family Things To Do In Orange County and Things To Do In Tokyo With Kids.

Plant A Garden

What better way to spend some time with your kids this summer than out in nature? Planting a garden together is such a fun idea! Just don’t forget to lather on the sunscreen!

There’s no wrong way to plant a backyard garden. You can have a few plants or seeds ready to go, or you can bring the kids with you to help pick them out. Consider including a bird feeder, butterfly shelter, or fairy houses to add the fun!

Visit A Local Park

Are you looking for free summer activities to do with kids of all ages? Plan a day at one of your local parks. You can pack a picnic lunch and bring your own fun. Ride bikes, blow bubbles, throw a frisbee, etc.. Remember, what you do with your kids matters less than how they feel while doing it. Your kids will love spending time and making memories with you. 

We’re lucky to live close to several amazing parks, so family time at the park is one of my favorite family things to do in Los Angeles

Have A Backyard Movie Night

If your kids are old enough to sit and watch movies, consider having a movie night in the backyard. This is a fun summer activity for the whole family and it’s easier to pull off than you might think. 

Set up a projection screen (I’ve also seen people use a bed sheet) and a portable projector, which is surprisingly affordable these days, and then make some popcorn. Get comfortable with some pillows and blankets and enjoy! 

Take A Trip To A Local Farmers Market

Find out when the local farmers market is open and plan a visit with your kids. Check out the fresh fruits and vegetables, try a few homemade treats, and let the kids pick out ingredients for that week’s meals. 

things to do in summer with kids

Cool Off In The Water

You can pack up the kids and head to a nearby splash pad or water park for some kid-friendly fun this summer, or you can skip the crowds and create your own fun at home. 

You don’t have to invest in fancy equipment to keep summer boredom at bay. A simple sprinkler or some water balloons can provide a ton of entertainment for kids of all ages. I highly recommend using quick-filling, self-sealing water balloons or reusable water balloons for frustration-free fun. If your older kids aren’t sold on the idea, challenge them to an old-fashioned water balloon fight!

With a little creativity, you can ensure they’ll be entertained for hours. 

Have A Scavenger Hunt

I love scavenger hunts because they’re a do-anywhere, anytime activity. Best of all, you can decide what items your kids look for. 

Are you stuck inside on a rainy day? Do a scavenger with random items found around your house. Trying to kill time between plans on vacation? Have a scavenger hunt at the hotel. Want to keep your kids active without having to go anywhere? Have a scavenger hunt in your backyard! 

Make Homemade Ice Cream

Ice cream is a quintessential summer treat. For a fun kid’s summer activity, make your own ice cream at home together as a family. There are a ton of easy-to-follow recipes for homemade ice cream, like this one for ice cream in a bag, that are great for kids of all ages. Your kids will have a blast shaking the bag and you get to taste test the final product!

Create A Backyard Obstacle Course

Kids of all ages love obstacle courses. Make your child’s day this summer by putting together an obstacle course in your backyard. Use whatever you already have on hand to make various obstacles for them to climb up, squeeze through, jump over, crawl under, and more. This post from Hands On As We Grow includes several fun course ideas as well as tips for putting together a successful backyard obstacle course. 

Go Camping

For inexpensive, family-friendly fun, take your kids camping. You don’t have to go far; you can spend a night under the stars at a nearby campground. Most national and state parks have designated campsites where you can pitch a tent and stay overnight for a small fee. However, regardless of where you’re planning to camp, you’ll want to call ahead. Depending on the campground, you’ll need to reserve a campsite for your family.

If all of that sounds like too much for your family, you don’t have to give up on camping altogether. If you have a yard large enough for a tent, you can camp just a few strides from your doorstep! Pitch a tent, roast some s’mores, and enjoy the night with your kids knowing that your own bathroom is just a short walk away! 

Collect And Paint Rocks

For a creative summer activity, help your kids collect several smooth rocks from outside and paint them. Use acrylic paint pens. They’re much easier for small hands and create a lot less mess! You’ll then have fun, handmade decorations to place in your garden, on your mantle, or elsewhere in your home

Host Family Game Night

Family game night is a hit any time of year, but summer is a great time to bring together members of your extended family for a fun and memorable evening of kid-friendly fun. You can play classic board games or card games, or use games like Minute of Fun Party Game and Kids VS Parents to get everyone involved in the fun.

Decorate Your Driveway Or Sidewalk With Chalk

Do you enjoy driving through your neighborhood and seeing your neighbors’ latest sidewalk chalk creations? Encourage your kids to create artwork of their own on your driveway or sidewalk. I make sure to keep this Crayola Build Your Box Cool Blue Sky Chalk stocked in our house in the summer. 

This Melissa & Doug Ice Cream & Cake Chalk Set is cute too, but if you really want to kick it up a notch, grab one of these DIY sidewalk chalk kits!

things to do in summer with kids

Build A Fort With Cardboard Boxes

Now you have an excuse for all of those packages showing up on your door. Grab as many empty cardboard boxes as you can and build a cardboard fort. With this Upcycled Cardboard Construction Toolkit, you and your kids can work together to build a truly epic fortress.

Conduct Science Experiments

From oozing elephant toothpaste and exploding watermelon volcanoes to chain reactions and homemade sundials, there are so many fun summer science experiments for kids. Science Sparks is an amazing resource for DIY science experiments and activities that are entertaining and educational. 

Make this summer one to remember with these kid-friendly activities!

With the kids on summer break, it’s important to plan some activities for them to enjoy, not only to prevent boredom but to ensure you take advantage of the opportunity to spend quality time together. With that said, which activities are you looking forward to doing with your kids this summer?

For more family fun ideas, head over to the blog.

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