16 Family Fun Ideas to Make the Most of Your Summer

These fun summer activities are perfect for the whole family!

Updated June 16, 2023

Summertime is the season for getting outdoors, having adventures, and making memories with your family. But after playing in the backyard for a few weeks, things tend to get a bit boring. For the parents looking for some summer family fun, we have a creative list of ideas that will all leave your brood sun-kissed and smiling by the day's end!

Make Memories With a Summer Picnic


Eating meals together as a family has so many perks, and summer is the prime season to take the tradition outdoors. Create your favorite picnic dishes, pack them into a basket, and enjoy an alfresco dish or two under the warm sun. Throw in a bottle of wine for the adults and a few items to play with post-picnic, like kites, frisbees, and soccer balls - and make an entire day out of this remote meal!

Give Your Family a Yes Day


Kids ask for the sun, moon, and stars day in and day out. In a year packed with school, homework, sports, and more, parents say the word "no" hundreds of times. During the summer, make it a point to surprise your kids by saying "yes" for an entire day! A Yes Day means that parents grant their kid's every (reasonable) wish, letting them can pick the meals they want and do the activities they choose!

Sleep Under the Stars While Camping in Your Backyard


Pack up your tent, sleeping bags, and other camping essentials and sleep under the stars for a night. Sure, you can book a campsite at any number of stunning spaces around the country, but for the parents who don't have the time for a long getaway, you can also create the experience right in your own backyard. Make fun campfire meals, sing campfire songs, and tell scary stories around the crackling fire.

See What Sprouts Up in the Garden


When the weather turns warm, pull out a shovel and seeds and plant a family garden. All hands are needed on deck with an activity such as gardening. Have someone pulling weeds and another person planting flowers, herbs, or veggies.

Your kids can also create cute plant signs to help identify where each type of plant is growing. During the summer days, work as a family to water and tend to your garden as it grows to its greatest potential!

Find Your Dinner at the Farmer's Market


Making healthy meals all year long is a challenge for busy families. With working parents, juggling a career, the kids, the housework, and the many errands throughout the week can lead to a lot of frozen meals making an appearance at the kitchen table. Change the game up this summer and head to a local farmer's market.

Here you will find locally grown fruits and veggies, fresh baked goods, and locally raised meats. Everyone in the family can fill their bags with delicious and nutritious items and then head home to put them together into a meal that no one feels guilty about.

Did we also mention that you can play an array of games while at the farmer's market? Talk about a win-win-win! You get summer family fun, healthy food, and an errand checked off the list!

Make Summer Treats


Everyone loves a popsicle on a hot summer's day, but unfortunately, these sweet treats are filled with empty calories. Why not turn this snack into a fun and healthy activity? While at the farmer's market or grocery store, grab some fresh fruits and vegetables, juice, milk, and any other ingredients you want to include in your custom popsicles.

Then, grab the blender and help your kids craft their vitamin packed treats! Best of all, you can make these popsicles for kids as young as nine months old!

Spend an Afternoon Picking Berries


In many parts of the country, summer is prime berry picking season. Locate strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry farms near you and take the family out for a day of picking. See who can fill their buckets the fastest and guess how many pounds your family ends up gathering by the day's end.

Once home, create delicious pies, strawberry desserts, and muffins. If you plucked a bunch of blueberries, you can also freeze some to use later on in the year.

Need to Know

Flower farms are also blooming in the summer months! Make sure to check out the gorgeous lavender and sunflower farms that pop up across the country!

Head to the Water's Edge


While wintertime is all about the snow and ice, summer is made for life in the water. Head to the water's edge and engage in any number of aquatic activities. Go boating, swimming, surfing, wake boarding, or float the river in tubes. Build sandcastles, play frisbee, or hunt for interesting rocks and shells. Your family will probably never tire of a day by the water. Just remember to bring plenty of sunscreen!

Find a Festival


In the summer months, there's always cause to celebrate. Festivals are great outings for families looking to do something outside. Chances are there is a nearby festival just about every weekend in June, July, and August.

These events circle around holidays, history, music, and food! Whatever festival your family attends, there's bound to be something interesting for everyone there.

Host the Family Backyard Olympics


During the months where the weather is nice, create a day of backyard games with your family to enjoy. Engage in a friendly competition with loved ones, holding games specifically for kids and a few for adults only.

Quick Tip

Make it even more special with homemade trophies and medals for the winners and celebrate the end of the fun-filled day will homemade ice cream or other frosty treats.

Set Up a Lemonade Stand


It's the quintessential summer job for kids. Lemonade stands have been around for over 130 years and they are a great way to teach your kids about entrepreneurship and marketing, while also giving them the opportunity to practice their math skills! The cash they can add to their allowance is simply a sweet bonus!

Have a Water War


Let the battle of summer begin! One of the best ways to beat the heat in the summer months is to play in water. What better way to spend your day than by having an epic water fight? Grab some rapid-filling, self-sealing water balloons, water blasters, buckets for quick refilling, and then pick sides!

Quick Tip

Parents can also add in a slip and slide for dramatic effect and any other fun water gear that they have lying around. We recommend also putting on some dependable non-slip water shoes to prevent any accidental slips!

Enjoy a Performance in the Park


Every summer, cities across America put on outdoor concerts, musicals, and movie screenings. These fun ideas for summer are a great way to change up already entertaining activities! They are also another wonderful time to pull out the picnic basket, soak in some sunshine, and even dance around to the sounds of summer.

Pick Wildflowers and Get Crafty


Another fun idea for summer is to explore your region and pick an array of wildflowers! Then, head on over to your favorite craft or hobby store. Grab some containers and floral foam to arrange some natural masterpieces for your home or make beautiful flower crowns to dress up any look.

Take Them Out to the Ball Game


This is the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon! While you may be thinking that it will be an expensive outing, if you skip the major leagues and head out to watch the minors or go enjoy a college game, tickets are surprisingly affordable.

Not only that, but between the food, the music, the excitement of the game, and the awesome activities that most stadiums offer to kids, everyone is bound to stay entertained throughout the excursion and then go home ready for a nap!

Have a Beach Day at Home


If you can't make it to the ocean, then bring the ocean to you! This activity can bring summer family fun for the whole season! Parents can invest in a sand table, water table, or a cheap blow up pool. Fill it with sand and then grab some beach toys. You can also snag funnels, colanders, measuring cups, and any other kitchen tools you don't mind getting dirty!

Kids can search for buried treasure, build sandcastles, or simply work on their math skills with this fun outdoor activity. For the parents who don't want to deal with a mess, simply head to a local park that has a sandbox instead!

Spend Summertime Doing What You Love With Who You Love


Whether it's water, festivals, food, or backyard fun, summer is the ideal time to focus on family. Explore your community, find new passions, and even check some things off your bucket list with your kids! These fun things to do with the family in summer are a wonderful way to build memories that will last a lifetime.

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16 Family Fun Ideas to Make the Most of Your Summer