Summer is the best time of year to get out of the house for a family adventure. School’s out, the sky is blue, and everyone is out soaking up some extra vitamin D. The only problem? If you’re a working parent, the FOMO can be real. But, there’s good news! Even if you’re stuck in the office during the week, you can still enjoy summer with your family. Make the most of the season with a few of these fun ideas:
1. Explore nature
Nature offers a ton of benefits for you and your family, and there are so many different ways to experience it! Check out a local park, botanical garden, arboretum, or hiking trail. In the summer, outdoor locations often have a variety of events scheduled for kids. Check out your local newspaper or Park District website for a few ideas. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can even plan a weekend camping trip (or just set up your own backyard campsite).
2. Head to a carnival or county fair
Carnivals and county fairs are a great weekend activity for the summer. Local county fairs often have animals or petting zoos for the kids, and carnivals are filled with tasty treats, fun games, and exciting rides for the whole family to experience.
3. Attend an outdoor event or festival
Whether you live in a big city or a smaller town, there’s always something happening in the neighborhood during the summer. Maybe it’s an outdoor theater event like Shakespeare in the park, or a 4th of July parade. Most communities publish a calendar of events–keep an eye out online or in your local newspaper!
4. Plan a day at the beach
If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach, plan a day trip on a sunny weekend. From building sandcastles to getting a quick swim session in, beaches or lakes can provide lots of opportunities for family fun. Some even offer boat rentals or free grills for a cookout!
5. Take a trip to the farmer’s market
Check out a local farmer’s market to get some fresh produce or baked goods for your family. Let the kids pick out their favorite fruits and veggies or a few pretty flowers for the dining room table. Once you have some tasty ingredients, find a recipe or two and practice cooking with the whole family.
6. Head to the local library
Even though school is out, learning doesn’t need need to end. Most local libraries plan events to keep kids engaged all summer long. Attend story hour or join a summer reading challenge, and maybe even inspire some healthy competition amongst family members.
7. Watch a sporting event
Nothing says summer fun like a sporting event. Catch a Major League baseball game together or find a local Minor League team to cheer on. Ballparks often have lots of kid-friendly games or giveaways during the game.
This year, World Cup soccer games will be taking place throughout the months of June and July. Check out the schedule, pick a team to root for, and find a fun place to watch the game with the kiddos.
8. Go to an amusement park
Take a day trip to your local Six Flags or other theme park. Amusement and water parks are great for older kids–they might even bring a friend along! If you can’t make it to a larger park, check out your local splash parks or water playgrounds that are open for the summer months in your area.
9. Plant a family garden
Pull your sleeves up, grab your gardening tools, and be ready to get a little dirty! There’s nothing more fun (and tasty!) than planting your own family garden with fresh fruits and vegetables. Gardens are a great way to teach kids about the time and effort needed to grow fresh produce. Check out some helpful tips for planting a family garden here.
10. Attend an outdoor concert
Is there anything better than live music on a warm summer night? From local musicians to chart-topping artists, there are so many options to choose from. Some outdoor venues even let you bring your own food or beverages. (Feel like a picnic anyone?)
To get started on making some unforgettable summer memories, sit down together and plan out a summer calendar for your family. Discuss all the summer goals that each of you want to accomplish and be sure to schedule your ideas.
By Brittany A. Hamilton, former Sittercity sitter