22 Things To Do (with kids) Before Summer Ends
Summer is by far my favorite season. Yes, it is forecasted to hit over 100 degrees this week, but I will take it – without complaints. We moved our family up to the Northern Virginia/DC area two years ago in search of a beautiful and progressive place to live. We also wanted seasons. Man did we get them. Being a South Florida child, I knew nothing other than 100 degree days and the beach on Christmas morning. Shoveling snow will sure make you crave a sun tan and a margarita.
My husband thinks I’m crazy because I dress our snowmen up in bathing suits with a sign counting down to summer. That being said, it should come to no surprise that I take advantage of every drop of liquid gold sky beauty possible. We have about 1.5-2 months of summer goodness left - about 6 weeks before people start hanging fall decorations. (September 1 is NOT fall, people – let summer ride out as long as possible!) This may be the time that kids are getting bored, temperatures start tipping the thermometers over, and your power bill (and water bill, if you are like us) make your jaw drop. Well, instead of letting the heat make you grouchy, grab a margarita and change your outlook! I’m sharing all that I plan to do with the kids from now until fall arrives – join us in soaking up summer!
1. Put your toes in the sand: There is something about the sand and the beach that just reconnects you to the world and reminds you just how peaceful yet powerful it all is. Slather on sunscreen, pop up tents, guzzle down water and enjoy the ocean. Maybe even wake up for a sunrise – or stay on the sand for a sunset, depending on which beach you are visiting.
2. Road Trip: Not everyone is as crazy as I am, but I swear that our bi-annual 17-hour road trip is amazing. (I’m going to detail just how to plan it all out so you don’t lose your mind, in another blog- so keep your eyes peeled) Let your children pick the destination; go visit family or an old friend, or just drive a few hours to somewhere new. There’s something that happens on road trips that trigger those lifetime memories – the memories your children will tell their children about.
3. Leave your mark on a trail with a rock tower: This is our favorite thing to do when we hike! If you have ever seen randomly stacked rocks along trails, creeks, or campsites, do not knock them down. Someone before you was trying to start a new rock village. This is a way to teach your children that there is so much more out there than just ‘them.’ By building a tower and adding to the village, they are connecting to those who came before and those who will come after! Go ahead and start your own!
4. $1 Movies: Most local theaters have an early showing of older movies for $1.
5. Water Balloons: No explanation needed.
6. Cloud Watching: A big blanket and a morning or late afternoon sky can make for imaginary pirate ships and floating dragons.
7. Firefly Catching: We like to catch and release, but it sure is fun to watch those little insects light up a mason jar.
8. Late Night Swimming: Our pool is open until 9pm, but we normally do bedtime by 8pm. I plan to surprise the kids after dinner one evening with a pool trip. The water is cooler, the pool is basically empty, and there is just something crazy about swimming at night.
9. Visit a Museum or Aquarium: Most museums either have a children’s section or they have a ‘scavenger hunt’ for the kids. Call around to any museums within driving distance and figure out the best way to spend a day learning new things. DC is flooded with museums that we visited all the time when we first moved here. But then we just stopped. I don’t know why – so I am planning a trip to the Indian Museum (Scarlett’s favorite) and the Air and Space Museum (Emmett’s favorite).
I’m also going to take a day trip over to Maryland so the kids can visit the aquarium.
10. Ride Bumper Cars: Find a carnival – or Funland-type place that has carnival rides. (After a margarita) I hopped on the bumper cars with my 4 year old and had the absolute best time. I seriously believe the moment helped mold me as a mother. The pure joy and squeals that we both created made me smile so huge that I had tears!
11. Lay in a hammock: The saying “Lazy Days of Summer” was created based around a hammock, a hat, and a nap. Set up a hammock for the kids to play in, and you may just find some time to enjoy it too.
12. Tie-Dye Something: My hippie-heart loves that tie-dye is back. Even if it’s not truly back, every child under the age of 13 needs to tie-dye something. White shoes, a shirt, a towel, something!
13. Make Popsicles: Homemade is always tastier than store bought.
14. Slip-n-Slide: Soap suds and water will make this even better.
15. Go Bowling: On the hottest days, there is always bowling. And bowling is better than an entire day of Netflix.
16. Get Frozen Yogurt: Everyone gets to pick whatever toppings they want.
17. Find a Splash Pad: These parks are popping up everywhere now! We have about 6-7 within 20 minutes of us. The best ones will have a playground and a water feature – and bathrooms!
18. Eat Dinner Outside: The bbq grill is fired up and everyone is playing kickball in the yard. We love to invite neighbor kids over to play too. When everyone heads home to eat, we typically head inside too, but WHY? I plan to extend the evening by eating outside.
19. Make Friendship Bracelets: Amazon sells about 50 different kits for this.
20. Invite Friends Over for a Playdate: Invite the mom too – adult time is like Heaven.
21. Go to the Library: BOOKS. Books on CD. Storytimes. It’s all free.
22. Go Geocaching: Using a GPS (your phone), you will go on a ‘treasure hunt’ with your kids! Think of it like hide-and-seek, someone has left treasure hidden and you get to find it! The only rule is that you must leave a new treasure behind if you take something.