11 Ways to Kick Off Summer with Your Family

    Memorial Day Weekend officially rings in the start of summer.

    It’s time to break out the swimsuits and sunscreen and get ready for all of the family-friendly activities that create lasting memories with your kids.

    Not sure where to begin? Celebrate the start of the season with these 11 super fun ways to kick off summer with the whole family!

    1. Go Camping in Your Own Backyard

    When you have little kids, packing up the car for a weekend away can seem overwhelming. Instead, simplify the process and create your very own campsite right in the backyard.

    You can grill out, sing around the campfire, make s’mores, play card games, and so much more. Set up and take down is easy, and the experience is a great way to get a break from TV and technology for the night!

    2. Take a Hike

    Summer is the best time for a hike. Look up the nearest National Park or even take a long stroll in the small parks around town. Bring a printout of local trees, plants, and animals, and challenge your kids to spot and name as many as they can.

    3. Cool Down at the Local Watering Hole

    We are lucky to have some great bodies of water in Toledo in the Maumee River and Lake Erie. Grab the kids and get ready for a fun-filled day splashing around in the sun.

    Even if you can’t make it that far, you can still create your own version of a waterpark in your backyard. Set up a slip n’ slide, kiddie pool, sprinkler, or some water guns and your children will be captivated for hours.

    4. Check Out the Farmer’s Market

    Farmer’s markets are a great place to shop local and support small businesses. The kids will love the colorful fruits, veggies, flowers, and arts and crafts. Plus, there’s bound to be some yummy food samples for the whole family to try.

    While you’re there challenge your children to find one food that they’ve never seen before… then take it home and learn how to cook it together!

    5. Visit the Local Tourist Attraction You’ve Never Seen

    Everyone has one. That one place in town that you’ve been meaning to take the kids to but just haven’t quite made it yet. Well, summer is here and it’s time to pencil it in firmly on the calendar. Plan a trip to the attraction and spend the rest of the day pretending to be tourists in your own town.

    6. Create Messy Fourth of July Art

    Cleanup is much easier when it’s outside. Finger-paint Fourth of July fireworks with red, white, and blue, or even use straws to blow the paint around on the paper and make them look extra realistic. Other fun craft ideas include painting rocks for the garden or even tie-dying a shirt to wear for the holiday.

    7. Draw a Giant Chalk Mural

    Take the kids outside as it starts to cool down in the evening and hold an art competition with chalk. Each person can draw one square and at the end they’ll all blend together into one beautiful mural. Bonus points if you can inspire the neighbors to join in on their own driveways!

    8. Go to a Baseball Game

    Going to the ballpark is one of the most iconic American summer traditions. If you can, grab some tickets and take the kids to support the Mudhens.

    If that’s not in the cards, though, you can still recreate the experience at home. Buy some cracker jacks, grill out hotdogs, dress up in the team colors and cheer on the baseball game from a picnic blanket in your living room!

    9. Learn About Constellations While Stargazing

    This great nighttime activity is one your kids are sure to enjoy while also learning something new. Print out some super simple star charts and bring some warm blankets out into the countryside.

    Once you’re far from the light you’ll be able to easily find some of the constellations near you. Tell your children the stories behind the ones you can see, and when you get home try your hand at drawing your own.

    10. Plant a Small Garden Together

    There are so many hands-on activities for children to enjoy right in the backyard. First, choose a small plot in your gardens together. Then, visit the store to buy seeds or plants. Pick out some flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and water them together every day.

    Once they start to grow, measure them, learn about the bugs that live near them, and of course, pick the bounty and cook something delicious together!

    11. Step Back in Time at the Drive-In

    Most drive-in movie theaters are only open during the warm weather, so this activity is a perfect way to kick off summer with the family. Pack up the van with blankets and lots of snacks and enjoy the fresh air while you watch a movie outside.

    Kick Off Summer with These 11 Family-Friendly Activities

    The opportunities to enjoy the warm weather and long days with your kids are truly endless. Start your summer plans with a bang with these 11 activities that kids of all ages will love.

    From camping to gardening, art projects to day trips, and everything in between, these crowd-pleasing activities are perfect for the whole family to enjoy this summer!

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