16 Fun Things to Do on the Last Day of Summer Vacation

The last day of summer breaks rolls around so quickly, but you can savor the summer with these exciting activities.

Updated August 2, 2023
father and daughter eating ice cream

Make the most of your last day of summer vacation by doing a few fun things with the kids before everyone gets busy. Whether you stay home and relax or head out for one more epic adventure, you're sure to create a new family tradition. If you need ideas for what to do on the last day of summer, we've got you covered.

Active Last-Day-of-Summer Ideas

If you've got little kids who are always loaded with energy or want to capture some time with your teen before they head off to college, consider getting active on your final day of summer vacay.

Have a 'Yes to Each Other' Day

The idea is to say "yes" to every little thing family members request of each other in celebration of the freedom that comes with summer for kids. As soon as school starts, everyone will be back on tight schedules and their best behavior, so this is one last chance to be totally unencumbered.

Re-Do Your Favorite Summer Day

family at the beach

Ask everyone to describe which day was their favorite and why. As you plan your last day of summer break, try to incorporate one element from each person's favorite summer day. If everyone agrees on one day as the best, simply re-do the day exactly how you did before.

Hide Painted Rock Memories

Capture your favorite summer moments in paintings on small, smooth rocks. This is a fun, modern way to document your summer, share it with others, and keep it alive forever.

  • Younger kids or those who aren't artistically inclined can decoupage clip art images on the rocks.
  • Add one word that best describes the memory and printed directions for finders.
  • Ask that anyone who finds the rock use a specific hashtag and share on social media so you can see.
  • Take a walk around your town and hide the rocks for others to find.

Sightsee in Your Hometown

Instead of loathing the end of summer, celebrate being home. Play tourists for a day in your own hometown. Visit places you've never seen before or plan stops to all your favorite restaurants and sights. This can help you all get grounded before heading back to school and work.

Host a Block Party

summer party

If you live in an area with big weather changes throughout the seasons, you know neighbors become scarce once it gets cold. Host an end of summer block party with a pot-luck barbecue and yard games to spend time with neighbors before you all become buttoned up inside your homes for fall and winter. It can be the perfect back-to-school party or just a final celebration of summer.

Make a Tradition of Summer Family Games

With the summer making way for cooler temps and school, nows the time to burn out all the summer energy. Challenge the family and even some friends to an end of summer family olympics.

Have a lineup of backyard games, pool games, and even indoor board games. Break off into teams if you have enough people and break in this new end-of-summer family tradition.

Have a Summer Treat Crawl on the Last Day of Break

family eating snocones

One of the best parts of summer is enjoying all the treats of the season. Pack the family in the car and go out for a day of finding the best summer treats your town or surrounding area has to offer. Look for food trucks you love, ice cream shops, craft smoothies, and bakeries making summery sweets.

Helpful Hack

You can also plan a day trip to a neighboring town to enjoy all the eateries there that you don't often get to have.

Have Family Fun in the Water

For many kids, summer is all about swimming and water. Look for ways to get in the water as a group with refreshing outdoor water activities.

  • Rent a canoe and head out on a local lake together.
  • Grab your pool floats, tie them together, and float on a river or pond as a family.
  • Buy or borrow one of those giant inflatable island rafts and spend the day snacking, talking, or playing games on your own mini island.
  • Have a final fun day at your closest water park.

Binge on a Summer Foods Buffet

Summer engages all your senses and there's nothing quite like summer foods. Think about what produce is in season in your area during the last days of summer and plan menus around it. Make a list as a family of all your favorite summer foods, then make sure you eat each one on this last day.

Relaxing Last-Day-of-Summer Ideas

For some families, the last day of summer is a time to rest up and catch up after an action-packed couple of months.

Have a 'No' Day

kids relaxing in hammock

Similar to the 'Yes' Day, a 'No' Day is where you say no to everything you don't want to do. Give everyone in the family the chance to enjoy their own lazy day by giving them the power to say "no" to anything that's not completely necessary. Each parent and child will be able to spend the day in their own way.

Make a Bucket List Jar for Coming Year

Summer can feel so short you might not get to everything you wanted to do. But, you can write down all the things you didn't get around to so you can work your way through the list and tackle them throughout the year.

  • Grab some craft sticks and write one thing you didn't get a chance to do this summer on each one.
  • Put them all in a large glass jar with a lid.
  • Throughout the year, pull out a craft stick and do what's written on it.

Plan a Family Night in Staycation

family camping out in living room

For this last day of summer, plan some frugal family fun with a family staycation that requires everyone to stay home under the same roof. The only other rule for the day is that everyone has to do everything together.

  • Prep and eat all meals together.
  • Do activities and games together.
  • Camp out in the living room or other large area together.

Make a Story of Your Summer

Turn your summer memories into a tangible book you can read whenever you want.

  • Ask each family member to write one, two, or more chapters about their summer memories.
  • Compile the chapters, add titles to show whose perspective each is from, choose summer phrases and quotes to include, then use a family photo as the cover image.
  • You can use an online service to make them into real paperback novels or simply add printed versions to a 3-ring binder.

Make a Summer Photo Collage

family doing photo crafts

Have each family member pick out their favorite photos from summer. Make a physical or online collage of these images to frame and hang in a central area. Every time you look at the collage, you'll be taken back to that time.

Host a Summer Film Festival

This is a great summer activity for teens because they'll probably have some of their own videos to share.

  • Gather up all the videos taken by every family member.
  • Add the files to a slideshow or simply hook devices up to your television and play them all.
  • Serve up movie snacks and take turns rating each video for added fun.
Quick Tip

Plan your viewing outdoors with comfy seating and a large projector screen. Don't forget the popcorn!

Make a Next Summer Countdown

Use the last day of this summer break to start preparing for next summer. Make a countdown chain as an activity for preschoolers or a calendar with older kids to keep track of how many days there are until next summer begins. You won't have to be sad about the end of summer because you'll always be thinking about next summer.

Say Goodbye to Summer, But Keep That Summer Spirit

Summer is all about fun and freedom. Whether you're looking for things to do with your tween this summer or cheap summer activities for the whole family, keep that summer spirit and beat the end of vacation blues by making the last day as memorable as any other.

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16 Fun Things to Do on the Last Day of Summer Vacation