100 Fun Summer Activities for Kids

Summer is finally here! Now what? With all free time, your kids are going to be looking for things to do and ways to have fun. Keep your kids busy with some fun activities and save this list as a quick go to if you get stuck. With 100 ideas, we’ve got you covered all summer long! 

Day Trips

  1. Check out a state park near you and start knocking out a bucket list of ones you want to visit.
  2. Visit an amusement park.
  3. Look for a waterfall to go see.
  4. Go to the closest zoo near you.
  5. Visit a nearby small town with attractions like a farmers’ market, bookstore, etc.
  6. Go hiking and bring along provisions for a picnic.
  7. Find an interesting halfway place to meet out-of-town friends for a visit.
  8. Try a different pool or swim spot (lake, pond, ocean).
  9. Find a place to paddle boat, canoe, kayak, or paddle board.

Learning Activities

  1. Learn a foreign language as a family.
  2. Take a sewing or knitting class.
  3. Organize a summer book club for kids. Start with these classic children’s books. Be sure to hand out completion prizes to serve as incentive.
  4. Try a couple new online educational games, like the games on Funbrain.com.
  5. Each week plan a meal based on a state or country and prepare it together. Try the books Eat Your Way Through the USA or Eat Your Way Around the World.
  6. Buy or build birdfeeders and document the different kinds of birds that visit in a nature journal.
  7. Plant a vegetable garden. Teach children how to tend and pick vegetables from the garden.
  8. Travel the USA through books. You can ask your local librarian to recommend books set in each of the 50 states.
  9. In that spirit, visit the library. While you are selecting books, check out their free classes.
  10. Build and launch a Diet Coke and Mentos rocket.
  11. Learn to play a new instrument.
  12. Create an animal book: pick a new animal each day and print out a picture. Research and write notes about the animal.
  13. Have kids plan, budget and shop to prepare a meal.
  14. Try some science experiments. There are many experiments on this list you can do with items in your pantry.
  15. Plan an hour each day for a quiet reading time.
  16. Take advantage of free classes at your local home improvement or craft store.
  17. Learn about different trees and plants. Use the Seek app to identify and learn about various plants and trees.

Neighborhood Gatherings

  1. Plan a neighborhood party and play a few of these fun outdoor games!
  2. Create a backyard obstacle course. If you’re able to construct some plywood structures, try this obstacle course inspired by American Ninja Warrior.
  3. Make the perfect bonfire (with s’mores of course)! Genius Tip: Gather RSVPs and ask for s’mores contributions with a sign up.
  4. Start a neighborhood drama club and put on a play.
  5. Plan a parade for the neighborhood. Ride around on decorated bikes and hand out awards for creativity.
  6. Form a band or singing group and perform free concerts.
  7. Plan a weekly neighborhood meet up for moms to chat and kids to play. Genius Tip: Schedule play group hosts and snacks with a sign up.
  8. Play flashlight tag. Learn the rules here.
  9. Put on old t-shirts and have a water gun fight with colored water.
  10. Host ice-cream sundae night.
  11. Plan a neighborhood field day. Try a few of these ideas, games and activities.

Giving Back

  1. Find a local nonprofit to help out. Start with some of these kid-friendly volunteering ideas.
  2. Sign up to volunteer for Vacation Bible School.
  3. Make cookies and distribute to local fire stations. Firefighters love a sweet treat (check first to confirm they can accept homemade treats)!
  4. Pre-package non-perishable food items and toiletries to carry in your car and give out when you see someone in need.
  5. Help out an elderly or disabled neighbor with yard work.
  6. Plan a fundraiser (dog wash, car wash, bake sale) and donate the proceeds to a nonprofit. Genius Tip: Organize fundraiser volunteers with a sign up.
  7. Collect donations for a local nonprofit such as a food bank or homeless shelter.
  8. Plan a neighborhood clean-up day.

Local Fun

  1. Take in a minor league baseball game.
  2. Go to a movie at the discount theater.
  3. Visit the bowling alley.
  4. Join the YMCA.
  5. Go fishing.
  6. Go geocaching. Be sure to download the Geocaching app.
  7. Check out a new museum or go back and visit your favorite.
  8. Go to the farmers’ market in your town.
  9. Play miniature golf.
  10. Go biking and take along a picnic.
  11. Join a swim team.
  12. Find a roller skating rink or go rollerblading outside.
  13. Arrange an outing with friends to a pool, movie, mall, etc.
  14. Attend Vacation Bible School at a nearby church.
  15. Visit a nature trail.
  16. Feed the ducks at a pond.

Earn Money

  1. Set up a lemonade stand and donate the proceeds to a good cause.
  2. Create a flier and distribute to neighbors offering babysitting, pet sitting, yard work, etc.
  3. Have teens plan a backyard camp for younger kids. Genius Tip: Coordinate registration and collect money on a sign up.
  4. Display a list of jobs your kids can do around the house for extra cash.

Just for Fun

  1. Have your kids create a summer bucket list. Start with some of these summer bucket list ideas.
  2. Coordinate a water balloon toss.
  3. Paint a room in your house together.
  4. Keep a journal.
  5. Learn to juggle.
  6. Make homemade bubble solution.
  7. Build a fort inside or outside.
  8. Throw a Frisbee or play Frisbee golf.
  9. Read a chapter book aloud as a family. Here’s a list of summer reading book ideas.
  10. Draw a family portrait with sidewalk chalk.
  11. Make a list of DIY activities.
  12. Set up a play date swap with another parent on a recurring day.
  13. Compete in a camera scavenger hunt: find something fuzzy, something brown, something silly, etc.
  14. Have a newspaper "snowball" fight in the backyard.
  15. Make homemade ice cream in a Ziploc bag…yummy!
  16. Tie-dye a shirt.
  17. Wash your car together.
  18. Buy a reusable cup at a restaurant or gas station. Many places offer great deals on summer refills.
  19. Get out the slip-n-slide.
  20. Have a slumber party in the family room.
  21. Find a place to go stargaze away from city lights. Use an app that will help you identify constellations.
  22. Camp out in your backyard. Borrow equipment from someone if needed.

Indoor Activities

  1. Use masking tape to build city roads through a room for toy cars to drive on.
  2. Make paper airplanes and have flying contests.
  3. Create a family tree together.
  4. Build a one-of-a-kind Lego creation.
  5. Put on a puppet show.
  6. Give everyone a box and see who can come up with the coolest creation.
  7. Play Pictionary.
  8. Make homemade play dough and sculpt.
  9. Plan an indoor spa day with manis, pedis, and foot massages.
  10. Go ice skating at an indoor ice rink.
  11. Write letters or send pictures to grandparents.
  12. Find a pen pal.
  13. Use crushed ice to make snow cones.
You don’t need a big budget to have lots of summer fun, just a little creativity! Let kids choose some activities they would like to try and dream up your own ideas as a family. 

Contributors: Kate White, CG Kennedy