Summer is right around the corner, and although we are basically chock-a-block with day camps and trips to visit relatives, I’m also totally excited about some of the adventures I have planned for my kids. Stuff they aren’t even expecting, that we’ll just wake up one sunny Saturday morning and head out to enjoy. What I love about taking my kids out on these totally must-do adventures is how much they get out of it and (like most moms) I am fairly obsessed with creating lasting family memories and experiences that my kids will want to reminisce over and share with their kids, down the line.
And here’s the thing: family adventures don’t have to cost mucho dinero (so, no, Disneyland isn’t on this list even though my 6-year-old won’t quit asking about it). There’s a little bit of everything, so check out this list of super fun, super easy, and super creative summer adventures that every kid should experience, and see which ones might be right for your family.
1. Hit the beach. There is nothing like a trip to the beach; that moment when you first spot the ocean, glistening beyond the sand. Whether your kids are swimmers, wave jumpers, hole-diggers, or sand castle champions, they’ll never forget a perfect summer day spent on the beach.
2. Go on a scavenger hunt. Nothing beats searching for clues that lead to a fun prize (pro tip: candy never fails). Not to mention, it’s a fun way to create some order if your kids’ playdates are known to get out of hand from time to time.
3. Take a boat ride. My kids love being on the open water. It’s a cool way to stay active and get into nature while spying fish and counting ducks or singing silly songs. It’s a blast, and the kids have even more fun when you give them a chance to paddle!
4. Go camping. To be honest, I’m not a huge camping gal, but there is something about being inside a tent that my kids go crazy for. In fact, we often just put the tent up in our garden and sleep near the house; the kids have just as much fun and I have access to a shower in the morning!
5. Have a water balloon fight. Another great one for hot summer days. Now that the water balloon industry has upped its game with those Bunch O Balloons multi-fill things, you and the kids can load up, hit the park, and throw down the most epic water balloon fight of all time. Take no prisoners!
6. Go fishing. Man, fishing is so hard, but I have fond memories of trying to learn to fish on the dock when I was a little kid. Maybe I didn’t catch anything, but there’s something about that level of concentration in such a serene environment that makes it unforgettable.
7. Pick fruit. Summer is the perfect time to go on a fruit picking adventure. Something’s always in season, and there’s nothing more rewarding that hunting for juicy berries and then stuffing your face with your spoils (just make sure the kids don’t eat all the fruit before it gets paid for!).
8. See a baseball game — at the stadium. Maybe I’m not that good at sports, but one of my favorite things to do is take the kids to a minor league baseball game every summer (farm teams are way cheaper than major league, and it’s still fun). And don’t forget to grab a hot dog and an ice cream in one of those little plastic helmets (that’s the best part)!
9. Take in a concert. One thing I love about living in Brooklyn is having a beautiful park with an awesome summer concert series. Several of the shows are family friendly (and free), and I love giving my kids the opportunity to let loose and boogie with the grass between their toes, not a care in the world.
10. Go on a roller coaster. It doesn’t have to be Disneyland, but if there’s an amusement park of any kind where you live (or a short drive away), the kids will never stop thanking you for giving them that unforgettable rush of adrenaline when they zoom and zigzag on a fun (and probably terrifying) roller coaster!