Saturday, June 1, 2013

50 Fun Summer Ideas for Kids and Parents

Aquarium of the Bay | San Francisco
Hello, June.

Around here, the schools just let out for the summer.  

In anticipation of summer break, I've been assembling this list of 50 {FUN} things that kids (and parents) can do this summer.  Keep in mind, though, that I reside in Northern California, so some of the links I've included will be specific to the region in which I live. 

1. Have a picnic in the park. 
2. Visit Baskin Robbins on their one dollar scoop night.  (It's usually on Tuesday nights, but call your local Baskin Robbins for more information.) 
3. Attend movie night in the park.
4. Take swimming lessons.
5. Enjoy family time at your local pool.  (Most public pools have a reduced rate one night a week.  Where we live, it's only $1 per person to swim on Wednesday nights in the summer.  Check with your local recreation and park district.)
6. Visit a museum.  (Ideas: Children's museum, railroad museum, discovery museum.)
7. Go to the zoo. 
8. Cook a meal together. 
9. Enjoy SkyZone or another indoor trampoline park. 
10. Try geocaching with your family.  (You'll need a smart phone and a geocaching application to get started.  For more information, check out this website.)
11. Spend a day at a water park.
12. Visit an amusement park. 
13. Participate in a summer reading program at your local library.
14. Attend story time at the library. 
15. Do a good deed.  (Ideas: Pick up trash in your area, visit seniors in a nursing home, or write thank you letters to your mail carrier and garbage collector.) 
16. Go camping.
17. Take a day trip to a local lake.  
18. Spend a day at work with your mom or dad.
19. Document your day.  Take pictures and write about what you do all day long.  Then, create a mini scrapbook.
20. Take karate lessons.
21. Attend vacation bible school.
22. Play in the yard.  
23. Take a tour of your local fire station (Call ahead to confirm that you can take a tour.) 
24. Tour a local farm or ranch.  (I've heard great things about Slide Ranch, which is located in the Bay Area.)
25. Visit a farmer's market.
26. Take a walking tour of your town or city.   
27. Go on a hike. 
28. Attend a rodeo.
29. Ride your bike around the neighborhood.
30. Cheer on a friend who is running a half marathon or marathon.
31. Go kayaking, canoeing, or rafting.    
32. Go bowling.
33. Sleep in a tent in your backyard.
34. View a movie on an outdoor screen in your yard. 
35. Go to a drive-in movie theater.
36. See a movie in the theater. 
37. Go to an indoor play place like BusyKidz or Wacky Tacky.  
38. Make a craft at Home Depot. (The kids workshop is available the first Saturday of every month, 9:00-12:00.) 
39. Make a free art project at Lakeshore Learning.  (Available every Saturday from 11:00-3:00.  Click here to find a store near you.)  
40. Attend an "open gym" session at a gymnastics center.
41. Play cards or board games.
43. Try indoor rock climbing.
44. Attend a county or state fair.
45. Watch a minor league or major league baseball game.
46. Host a neighborhood barbecue.    
47. Paint a piece of pottery. 
48. Visit a planetarium. 
49. Plant a garden.
50. Visit an aquarium.

Two final thoughts...
  • If your child is still in school, I'd encourage you to ask his or her teacher for summer field trip suggestions.  Example parent-to-teacher question: Where would you recommend I take my daughter this summer to build on her learning in fourth grade or to prepare her for fifth grade? For instance, great field trip ideas for fourth graders studying California history include: California State Railroad Museum, Sonoma Mission, Sutter's Fort, and Marshall Gold Discovery SHP
  • As I was doing research for this list, I came across these awesome summer learning calendars from Lakeshore.  There's one set for preK-K and one set for grades 1-3.  Just download and print!
Your turn: What would you add to this list?

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