Summer Activities for Kids

Summers are where memories are made. As a kid I have some of my best memories in the summertime because school is out, the weather is great and the days are long.

As an adult I still love summer and even more now that I have kids of my own. We love to fill our days with fun activities and take full advantage of the beautiful weather while we have it.

If you are out of ideas on what to do for fun this summer, here is a quick list of some of the things we have been doing with our kids:


Charlie loves the Zoo and the best thing about visiting in the summer is that more of the animals come out of hiding. We like to go on weekday mornings because it is less busy and we can go before it gets too hot outside.


We have a park near our house that has a pretty good sized playground and we go several times per week. Like the zoo, we go first thing after breakfast to beat the heat. It is a great way to get lots of energy out before lunch and afternoon nap time.

It’s nice if you have a park nearby because you can just walk there and back but if you don’t, I’m sure you can find some within driving distance to visit a few times per week!


When daddy comes home from work sometimes we like to have dinner as a picnic rather than at home. I like to pack everything before he gets home and when he walks through the door we just load up the stroller and head out.

When I was a child we used to go on picnics when my dad got home from work a few times per week and I remember that those were some of my fondest memories. We would all sit on a blanket and eat and then we would go play while my parents sat and watched us. I loved that we were all together outside and I love making these same memories with our own children now.

Ice Cream Dates

Almost every Friday night in the summertime we go an a family ice cream date. We either walk or drive and we all enjoy some ice cream. When I tell Charlie it is Friday, he gets excited because he already knows that Friday night is ice cream night.

We have also been having play dates with other friends and their kids and it’s fun to either have ice cream at home or all go to an ice cream shop. Ice cream and summer are just so right together!

Water Activities

Pools, sprinklers, water guns and basically anything to do with water is probably one of the most loved children’s summer activity. We have a little kiddie pool in our backyard and we like to put it under the slide so that the kids can slide right into the water. This is another activity that we do almost every day when it is hot out.

Bubbles & Sidewalk Chalk

If it is not warm enough for water activities, simply sitting on a blanket in the shade and blowing bubbles or drawing with chalk on the sidewalk can be so much fun! Sometimes the most simple activities are the best.

Dirt Play

Our backyard has a little flower bed area and Charlie found a spot where he can play in the dirt with his tractors and tonka trucks. He literally plays in that area every single day when we are in the backyard. He loves to load dirt and dump it into piles, he could play for hours!

I know dirt is messy, but I just let him have fun and then run through the sprinkler to rinse off before coming inside.

Beach Visits

On the days when it is just too hot to stay in the city, we have been escaping to the beach where it is always cooler. Staying on the beach all day and then making a bonfire before driving home is a favorite of mine.

Movies/Music in the Park

In Portland we have a great summer activity list and every summer we like to choose a few activities off of that list to do. We usually do the movies and concerts in the park. If you are in Portland, you can visit the activity site here. I’m sure every city has a list of activities if you look online! These are usually so fun and family friendly.

Saturday Markets

Lake Oswego, Oregon has one of our favorite Saturday Markets. They have so many great vendors, food, live music and activities for the kids. They also have a great little train that you can take from Lake Oswego to downtown Portland and back. We have gone twice this summer and plan on going a few more times!

Summers are short so take advantage and have more fun! Enjoy it while it lasts!

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