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Parent and child gardening together.

School’s out and summer’s on! Keep the kids entertained while also making the most of the season by picking a handful of activities to do that the whole family will enjoy. You can also use these ideas as inspiration to create your own summer-fun bucket list.

1. Have a picnic. Pack up some items that travel well, such as green salads, sliced veggies, fresh fruit, and mixed nuts, as well as refreshing drinks such as iced green tea or sparkling water with citrus. Spread out a blanket in your backyard or at your favorite park and enjoy your assemblage.

2. Plant a garden. This is a great way to help your kids understand where their food comes from, as well as give them a sense of ownership and achievement. Plus, veggies tend to be more fun to eat when you’ve grown them yourself. For beginners, an herb garden is an easy place to start.

3. Camp out in your backyard. Pitch a tent and grab a bunch of blankets and pillows, and you’re set for a night of stargazing, storytelling, and campfires with s’mores.

4. Play a new sport. This could be something new to one or all of you, and anything that you can play as a group, such as basketball, soccer, tennis, baseball, badminton, volleyball, or kickball.

5. Explore a new trail. Head out on bike or foot to traverse a local trail you’ve never ventured on before. Depending on the location, you may encounter some unexpected sights or even come across some fun stops along the way.

6. Do a family workout. Pick your favorite routine or a few moves and turn them into a bite-sized workout everyone can do. You could also try this “8-Station Family Fitness Circuit,” or any of these family workout videos.

7. Take turns storytelling. Raining outside? Have every family member pick out a book you can take turns reading with each other at home.

8. Cool off with a healthy treat. Instead of reaching for sugar-filled ice cream or popsicles on a hot day, try making this better-for-you salted nut ice cream, watermelon sorbet, froyo bites, or pineapple pops.

9. Mow a maze. Give yourself the excuse to let your lawn grow extralong, then mow a maze into the grass that your kids will have a blast running through.

10. Throw a homemade pizza party. Instead of ordering in, transform the traditional pie into a healthier version. Let everyone customize their pizza to their liking.

11. Hold your own summer camp. Plan a day with your family that re-creates what you loved about camp as a kid: fun, games, crafts, snacks, and songs.

12. Host a game night. Engage in some friendly competition, whether it’s yard games outside or board games inside on a bad-weather day. Give each family member the chance to pick his or her game of choice.

13. Let the kids handle dinner. Encourage them to plan the menu and cook it themselves (or with a little help from you, depending on their ages). It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or fancy, but they’ll be proud to serve you their creations.

14. Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt. On sheets of paper, compile an assortment of pictures of objects you see outside — trees, flowers, birds, water, footprints, etc. Give one to each family member to mark off (or collect) when they find each one.

15. Show off your talents. Hold a karaoke-singing contest, or expand it to any other type of talent. Have everyone vote for their favorite performance at the end.

16. Make it a theme night. Engage in a night of fun, themed activities, like this superhero party, super builder challenge, or colorful spring crafts and games.

Molly Schelper
Molly Schelper

Molly Schelper is the director of content strategy at Life Time.

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