20 Fun Summer Activities for Kids

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With summer vacation almost here, you may be looking for some creative ideas to keep the kids busy throughout the summer break.

Here are 20 indoor and outdoor summer activities that will keep them busy, active and having fun all summer long.

1. Go to the movies

Many local movie theaters have summer movie programs where kids movies are shown at a substantial discount. Be sure to bring your own snacks to save money.

2. Go bowling

Divide into teams and see who has the better skill. Bowling is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Bowling alleys also feature classic stand-up arcade games. After you bowl, challenge each other to a foosball match or a game of Ms. Pac-Man.

3. Visit nearby tourist attractions

Go to your state’s tourism website to get some ideas on some local and nearby tourist attractions. Some even have online tourism guides that you can download.

4. Become a part of a book club

Check the local listings for those in your area. You may already have a copy of the book that they are reading. 

5. Plant a garden

This is a family activity that will pay off in more ways than one. Kids learn how to till the soil and plant crops. When the harvest comes in, they can head to the backyard instead of the grocery store for fresh fruits and veggies.

6. Go hiking

This can be done around town or in nearby mountain landscapes if you have them. Gather your gear and head out as a family to explore the great outdoors. Take pictures to commemorate your trip.

7. Hold a family picnic in the park

Prepare a big lunch. Bring blankets and while the day away relaxing on the grass. Play Frisbee, blow bubbles and fly kites if the wind is right.

8. Head to the zoo

Even older kids may enjoy seeing different kinds of animals. Don’t miss the petting zoo where you can actually touch and feed the animals.

9. Visit a science museum

Kids can get hands-on experience with the exhibits. Also, many science museums hold special activity days throughout the summer showcasing special exhibits. Allow your kids to participate if they want to.

10. Take a class

Do you have a hobby that you have always had an interest in but never quite found the time to pursue? Summer may be the perfect moment to seek out that painting class, bird watching, dance class or writing workshop. Teens may like the idea of learning a new skill. Check out the local community college for class listings.

11. Go Camping

One of the best ways to teach your kids about nature is by getting out in it. You can easily do this by going camping for the weekend.

A few of the things you can teach your kids while camping is how to use a compass, how to bait a hook and go fishing, the things involved in setting up a campsite and much more.

12. Hold a yard sale

This is a great way to get kids to clean up their rooms and also make a little money. It costs nothing to host it but your time.

Many people love to hit the various sales on Saturday morning searching for unusual finds. They may discover what they are looking for in your yard.

13. Play backyard games

When was the last time everyone got up from the television and played a good old-fashioned game of kickball or volleyball or tag? Do it on the next sunny summer day. Divide into teams. If you don’t have enough people, invite a few of your kids’ friends over.

Also, be sure to check out my post, 15 Best Summer Toys for Kids for more ideas!

14. Turn on the sprinklers

When it gets hot, you don’t need a pool to cool off. Kids can blow off steam and have fun by running through the water sprays. Put on the bathing suits and have a blast. If you have water guns, use those too.

15. Catch fireflies

They are also called lightning bugs. Once upon a time, kids used to go out at dusk and catch them in Mason jars. See if your kids are interested in running around the yard in search of these bio-luminescent creatures.

16. Create art with sidewalk chalk

Kids can have the entire sidewalk as their canvas. You can join them too. Draw hopscotch squares and use a stone to play the game. Looking for something more creative? Be sure to check out this fun stencil kit, the Outdoor Mandala Flowers and Butterflies Kit that transforms your driveway or sidewalk into an outdoor canvas!

17. Create a scrapbook

Do you have a lot of family photos lying around? Pull them together and create memory books. You can purchase scrapbook pages and embellishments for less at dollar stores and party shops.

18. Take a turn at the park

Large city parks have a variety of activities for families in the summer time. Take your rollerblades and bikes and get a bit of exercise.

For a small fee, you can ride in paddle boats and enjoy the lake. Young kids may want to spend time at the playground. To save money, bring snacks and drinks.

19. Create crafts

Crafting has grown far beyond pipe cleaners, construction paper, glitter and glue. Invest in crafting kits at your local Michaels, Joann’s or Hobby Lobby store.

Create stunning jewelry; make lanyards (just like in summer camp); crochet or knit a scarf; paint stained glass. All of these ideas can appeal to both kids and teens and provide hours of fun, especially on a rainy day.

20. Play a few rounds of miniature golf

Even those who don’t enjoy regular golf games can find that they have fun with the challenge of a mini golf course. The entire family can participate, from the youngest to the oldest.


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Published on: May 11, 2015

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