Summer is here and with it comes the daunting task of entertaining your little ones. Whether you live in a big city or a small suburb, finding and enjoying your local treasures is a great way to enjoy the summer as a family. Here are some great summer staycation ideas for your family.
Local Museums provide the perfect place to not only get out of the heat of summer, but to help start conversations with your kids about the different forms of art. Let the creativity flow and have your children embrace their inner-artist by exploring the different mediums that artists use to create their masterpieces. Some museums offer special (and sometimes FREE) kids programs during the summer so take advantage of them!
• Out & About: Bring a notepad and crayons. Draw what you feel when you look at different pieces of artwork.
• At Home: Put up your own artwork and have a gallery viewing for family.
Most libraries offer a free summer reading program that gives incentives for reading. Sign up at your local library but if your city does not offer one, create one that caters to your child! Establish a goal of how many books they want to read by the end of summer and work towards earning a special treat that you can designate. Also, check your local library for free special events throughout summer that you can participate in together.
Zoos and Aquariums
Big or small, local zoos and aquariums can be the perfect spot for your family to spend an afternoon naming different animals and learning about them too! Visit and trek through together as you look for favorite, rare, and interesting animals!
• Take along a drawing pad and crayons to draw/document animals.
• Take along a camera and have them take photos on their “safari” and create a photo memory book.
Festivals, Movies, and Concerts
When the sun goes down later, you have more time to play! Make it a night out and take your family to enjoy an outdoor event in your town. Many cities offer free summer festivals, outdoor movie showings, and live music concerts that cater to all ages. Take your lawn chairs, blankets, and plenty of snacks and experience live music and movies under the stars!
Explore the Town
Summer is the perfect time to explore your own town. Take your family around town and try new places, revisit old favorites, and encourage your children to try and explore new cuisine and experiences. Plan these dates out or make them impromptu outings to keep your family on their toes!
• Create a “scorecard” so that your children can rate each new place and rank their favorites.
• Have a different member of the family choose a new restaurant/dessert place for each outing.
Parks and Recreation
Pack a picnic and sunblock and head to your local park to spend a day discovering the joys of the playground life. Most cities offer summer programs for children where they can participate in different themed days or workshops. Some parks are also equipped with spray pools to help keep everyone cool. The playground is an excellent adventure for your children to enjoy and to help burn off that extra energy. Check your city’s website for more information on what your city is offering for the summer.
Summer is a great time to get reacquainted with your kids and your town, so take advantage of the time and enjoy each other! Remember, it’s not what you do but who you do it with. Have a great summer and make some memories!
Jennifer N. is an educator and photographer converted to stay-at-home mother of two spunky girls. When she’s not wrangling her two wildlings on one of their adventures, she is writing and documenting the joys of parenting and childhood one photograph at a time. After surviving two children under two, she believes she can take on the world.
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