The families that play together stay together, right?
We only have a few precious years to spend with our kids before they grow up, move out, begin lives of their own. I don’t know about you, but I want to fill those years with memories that will last them a lifetime.
So this summer, make it a point to create some fun memories with these summer activities for kids and families. Good for kids of all ages- from toddlers to teens!
20 Summer Activities for Kids- and Families
Plant a Garden
Gardening is fun for kids and families of all ages. No matter if you have a large backyard or a tiny patio- you can still grow something together!
My kids- ages 2 to 16 all love to plant and grow. It’s a magical experience to watch something huge grow from a tiny seed.
My kids particularly enjoy growing BIG things- Big Max Pumpkins, Mammoth Sunflowers, etc.
Fly a Kite
Kites are fun things for families to do together- and there’s no age minimum or limit.
So grab your kite- or make one yourself– and get out there with the kids this summer!
Play at a Sprinkler Park
Water is so much fun- and the local sprinkler park is a great way to cool off in the summer heat.
Most cities have dedicated areas or maybe have a riverfront area downtown with fountains to play in. Check out your area- and visit them all!
What’s not to like about sleeping out under the stars?
When my kids were small we would have a cookout and camp-out in the back yard. Much easier on my part for planning but still just as exciting for them.
Whether it’s in your back yard, in a national park, or at the beach….plan a camping trip this summer. Your kids will remember it forever!
Visit a U-Pick Farm
There’s a disconnect with a lot of young people these days- they don’t know where their food comes from or how it grows. But education aside- going to a u-pick farm is FUN!
My crew loves to pick anything so every year we go to the strawberry farm, the blueberry patch, and the apple orchard. Sometimes we’ll add a trip to pick peaches or pumpkins as well.
The produce is usually cheaper than if you bought it at the store or farmstand- and then you get to make memories in the kitchen using up all that yummy, fresh-picked food!
Have a Cook Out
Food just tastes better eaten over a fire. And it’s fun to roast your own hot dogs!
Use a big fancy grill, a small cheap grill, a fire pit, a charcoal grill at the local park- but cook and eat your food outside.
And don’t forget the chips!
We’ve been blessed to live around the mountains, lakes, and rivers of Tennessee and North Carolina for most of our lives. That means ample areas to fish.
Fishing is one of the most requested activities of the summer by my kids- and we have years of fishing memories. From a 1 year old digging in our can of corn (that was supposed to be bait) to a 3 year old trying to put a wiggly worm on a hook to a 10 year old catching his first 15 lb catfish.
Lot’s of smiles, laughs and memories!
Throughout the summer you have a couple times to catch a big firework show- Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day- or maybe you can set off your own.
Sprinklers, screamers, lights flashing and booming in the sky- it’s a must every summer.
Have a Water Balloon Fight
I have this memory from when I was about 9 years old, water balloons being thrown from second story windows, through doors, and running away screaming as my brother counter attacked. It’s one of my standout childhood memories. And- my parents were right in the middle of it all- throwing their own balloons.
Water balloons are even easier these days with the invention of the bunch-o-balloons!
Attend a Local Festival
There are all sorts of festivals that take place throughout most locations in the summer. They are usually inexpensive or free to attend and are a ton of fun for families.
I’ve seen strawberry festivals, apple festivals, historical reenactments, musical festivals or craft fairs.
Check out a few in your area- you may find a new summer tradition.
Build a Fort
Forts are fun no matter how old you are.
Build a tree house or a club house.
Build a air fort with sheets and a box fan. Get creative and build you and your kids a fort- then let them sleep in it. Or watch a movie in it. Or eat dinner in it.
Play in a Creek
Sometimes a pool just won’t do! Find yourself a mountain steam or a running creak.
Skip rocks. Catch minnows. Go rock jumping. Build a dam. There’s a lot to do together in a creek!
Make Matching Tie Dye Shirts
We’ve made shirts a few times as a family- and they get worn all summer long!
We’ve done dyed shirts with a kit. We’ve painted shirts with acrylic paint. Both work equally well….and my photo albums are full of kids proudly wearing their creations.
Learn how to decorate Red White and Blue Patriotic T-shirts with the kids.
Frisbee is an activity that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. But it’s one that kids of all ages can play. Families can toss it back and forth.
My family likes to keep track of how many throws we can go before it gets dropped- and tries to beat the highest score.
Disc Golf is another great activity- one my teenagers love to play with the family.
It gets them off their screens, participating in family activities and gives us all a chance to reconnect.
Geocaching is a recreational activity that uses GPS to find hidden containers.
Basically a high-tech game of hide and seek that spans the globe.
Find out more at GeoCaching.com
Take a Hike
My kids have been hiking since they were in the sling as infants. There are hikes of all difficulties, so you can find a simple nature trail for small kids or a steep incline for teens.
Explore your area. Search out waterfalls. Watch towers. And other amazing views from your area.
Roast Marshmallows and Make S’Mores
Are there any kids out there who don’t like to roast marshmallows?
This is probably one of the most requested activities for the summer. A bonfire in the evenings- when the summer heat is dying down and the sun is starting to set.
What’s a better way to end a summer day than with a gooey marshmallow and melty chocolate s’more?
Watch a Meteor Shower
The Persieds Meteor Shower falls on my son’s birthday every year- August 12.
It’s a great way to end the summer before school starts again. Let the kids stay up late, grab a few blankets and pillows and lay outside looking up at the sky.
We usually see a few meteors and sometimes we get lucky and see some bigger fireballs in the sky.
Play Badminton (or other yard games)
Badminton. Baseball. Kickball.
Build a jumbo jenga set.
Ladder ball. Basketball. Croquet.
You get the idea. Get out there in the yard and PLAY together.
Make Homemade Ice Cream
Ice Cream is the perfect summer treat. But homemade is even more fun.
We have 3 ice cream makers:
A Ball– which is so much fun to roll around together
They are all well used and loved each summer.