17 Fun Things to Do in the Summer with Kids

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Your kids have been waiting for it all year and now it’s finally here—summer! As the days grow longer and the weather gets warmer, it’s the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your kids and create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you’re wondering: How do I keep my kids busy on summer vacation? Read on for 17 fun summer ideas to inspire smiles all season long.

Explore the Great Outdoors

1. Go Camping

Whether it’s a full-fledged camping trip in a national park or a cozy backyard campout, be sure to add camping to your summer activities list. Let kids help set up the tent, gather firewood, and cook meals. At night, gaze at the stars and try to identify constellations, or bring a telescope for a closer look. Sharing stories and singing songs around the campfire will be something they’ll always remember.

2. Ride Bikes

Looking for what to do on a summer day when you want to keep kids active? Plan a family biking trip. Choose a scenic trail or explore side streets in your neighborhood. You can even map out stops along the way at parks, ice cream shops, or landmarks to keep the ride interesting. And let’s not forget one of the most important tips for a safe summer: Make sure everyone wears a helmet!

3. Hit the Beach

Heading to the beach or a local lake is a must-do on any list of outdoor summer activities. Pack a picnic with plenty of cold snacks for summer along with individually packaged snacks like Welch’s® Fruit Snacks. Bring along beach toys like buckets, shovels, and inflatable balls. Build sandcastles, collect seashells, and jump in the waves all day long. And don’t forget sunscreen!

4. Take a Nature Walk

One of the simplest yet best summer activities is taking a nature walk or hike. Find local trails or nature reserves and spend a day exploring. Bring along a field guide to help identify different plants, animals, and insects. Turn your hike into a scavenger hunt by creating a list of items to find, like a feather, a specific type of leaf, or a certain bird to amp up the fun factor.

Get Creative with Arts and Crafts

5. Make Nature Crafts

Use items collected during your nature walks and outdoor summer activities to create beautiful and unique crafts. Use acrylic paints to decorate rocks with fun designs or positive messages. Leaf rubbings are another easy craft: place a leaf under a piece of paper and rub a crayon over it to reveal the intricate details.

6. Bring Art Time Outdoors

Another idea for creative things to do in summer is to set up an outdoor art station. It’s a way for kids to let their creativity run wild without worrying about making a mess. Use washable paints and provide large canvases or old sheets for painting. Try different techniques like sponge painting, finger painting, or creating collages with natural materials like leaves and flowers.

7. Do Some DIY Tie-Dying

Next on our list of fun summer ideas is tie-dyeing! Grab some plain white T-shirts, socks, or other items, along with a tie-dye kit. Let the kids create their own designs by twisting, folding, and tying the fabric before applying the dye. Once the items are washed and dried, they’ll have personalized wearable art to show off.

Cool Off with Some Water Fun

8. Run Through a Sprinkler

When it comes to fun stuff for summer, you can’t go wrong with an old school run through a backyard sprinkler. It can provide hours of entertainment on a hot day. Set up the sprinkler and let the kids run through it, play games, or set up an obstacle course that involves jumping over or running around the sprinkler. It’s one of the best summer activities when you’re looking for a simple way to help kids beat the heat.

9. Play Water Balloon Games

Fill up a bunch of water balloons and play games like water balloon toss, where partners toss a water balloon back and forth, taking a step back after each catch. You can also organize a water balloon relay race or have an all-out water balloon fight. It’s the perfect option when you’re asking yourself: “How do I keep my kids busy on summer vacation when it’s super-hot outside?”

10. Visit a Water Park

We can’t have a list of things to do in summer without mentioning water parks. They’re the ultimate kid-approved way to stay cool and enjoy a variety of activities in one place—from slides, to wave pools, to lazy rivers, and more. If the water park allows it, save money and time by bringing along your own snacks. Welch’s® Fruit Snacks are made with real fruit and are conveniently packaged to fuel on-the-go adventures.

11. Make a Splash in the Pool

It goes without saying that pool time is a must for every summer activities list. If you have a backyard pool, make the most of it with pool games like Marco Polo, pool noodle races, or diving for pool toys. For younger kids, an inflatable kiddie pool can provide a safe and fun way to splash around. You can also check out your local community pool and see if they offer kids’ summer camp programs.

Go On an Educational Adventure

12. Visit Museums

If you’re in search of indoor summer activities for a rainy day, museums are a great option. Look for one with interactive exhibits and hands-on activities to make learning fun. Kids can discover the wonders of science, history, and the natural world. Many museums also offer special workshops and kids’ summer camp programs as well.

13. Check Out Library Programs

Local libraries often offer plenty of free things to do in summer, like summer reading programs and events designed to keep kids learning during the break. You’re likely to find indoor summer activities like story time sessions, craft activities, book clubs, and reading challenges. Encourage your kids to participate and set goals for how many books they can read over the summer.

14. Tour Historical Sites

Another one of the best summer activities from an educational perspective is exploring historical sites and landmarks such as lighthouses, battlegrounds, historic homes, and more. Many places offer guided tours to make history come alive for your kids and give them a sense of curiosity about the past.

Bond as a Family

15. Volunteer Together

Volunteering as a family is one of our favorite free things to do in summer that pays dividends in teaching kids the value of helping others. Get involved in community service projects or volunteer at a local food bank, animal shelter, or community garden. It’s a great way to bond as a family while giving kids a sense of accomplishment.

16. Garden Together

One of the best summer activities for keeping kids productive is to start a small garden in your backyard. Plant flowers, vegetables, or herbs and teach your kids how to care for them and incorporate them as ingredients for cooking. You’ve got to love things to do in summer that teach kids responsibility and patience. Plus, it’s exciting for kids to see their plants grow and thrive.

17. Go to Local Festivals

Here’s another great option for how to have a fun summer as a family. Head to a local summer festival, fair, carnival, or outdoor concert together. These events often feature rides, games, food stalls, and live entertainment that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

That wraps up our list of the best summer activities for kids. Make your warm-weather adventures even sweeter with your favorite summer snacks for kids, like delicious and kid-approved Welch’s® Fruit Snacks. Happy summer!

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