8 Fun Things to Do in the Summer as a Family

School is out, evenings are long and warm, the smell of sunscreen and the sound of sprinklers are everywhere: it’s summer! This is primetime for connecting with family and creating adventure to experience together. There are so many things to do in the summer as a family!

If you’re looking for last minute ideas for how to take your summer as a family to the next level - or if you’re the planning type and want some fuel for dreaming up ways to spend time together - we have 8 key ideas and guidelines for you to help you get the most out of this time of year!

#1 - Connection is key - prioritize it

With the long weeks of summer vacation stretching before you, it’s easy to take the time you have together for granted. Don’t do it! When you’re planning things to do in the summer, make sure to set aside devoted time to give each other your undivided attention. Make that time about connecting, and nothing else.

A family sits around a table eating a meal together as something they do in the summer as a family.

This could look like choosing a ‘question of the day’ and taking the time for each family member to answer it around the dinner table. It could look like giving each of you space and time to explain something you love - a hobby, a tv show, an animal - while the rest of the family listens and asks questions. It could be as simple as going for a walk, one-on-one. Whatever connection looks like for your family, you will never regret investing in your relationships!

#2 - Give your family a ‘throwback’ experience

A great way to connect and to ignite excitement for things to do in the summer is to deep dive into nostalgic summer classics! Recreate a great summer memory you lived through as a kid, and invite your loved ones to do it with you. Build a fort, ride a bike, find a swimming hole, make some s’mores, play an album you loved in high school - and tell the stories from when you were growing up. 

#3 - Spend time in the sun together

This is a no-brainer for things to do in the summer! We’ve all been inside for WAY too long, and we know that the sun boosts our bodies’ serotonin levels. Get outside and bask in the light! (Just don’t forget your sunscreen.) There are so many fun things to do outside with your family, from hiking and camping to chalk art and geocaching

#4 - Try something new

Doing something NEW actually changes how our brains interact with people we are learning alongside! The novelty of the activity forces our brains to slow down its processes. Familiar stuff puts us on auto-pilot, but new things end up forcing us to focus and be fully present!

A family gathers around an outdoor tent set up for a outdoor sleepover.

Fresh experiences create striking and enduring memories. One of the best things you can do for your family’s connection is to find new things to do in the summer - unfamiliar experiences and opportunities to learn new skills together.

#5 - Go offline

If you’ve ever been annoyed by someone checking their phone in the middle of a conversation with you, you’ll also know the power of someone’s undivided attention. There’s nothing like it! 

Sometimes the best way to connect to your family is actually to disconnect from the internet. Phone addiction is so common: it’s crazy how a device that was made to bring people together can actually put up barriers between us and the ones right in front of us.

That’s why it’s so powerful to put your phone away every once in a while! As you explore things to do in the summer, pencil in some time when you can simply enjoy life together - undistracted.

#6 - Pay it forward

Choosing a way to give back to your community is a great way to grow as a family, make lasting memories, and nurture a sense of purpose! One of the best things to do in the summer is to volunteer together somewhere for a cause you believe in, or to take on a fundraising challenge to raise money for a charity. You could even start a competition in your family to see who raises the most! Having a goal to work towards together is going to unlock so much creativity as you dream up things to do in the summer.

A family smiles and celebrates while standing at the playground during their summer adventures.

#7 - Go exploring

You can’t talk about things to do in the summer without mentioning a road trip! If you ever took a trip with your family when you were a kid, you’ll remember the sense of excitement and adventure it evoked when you found yourself somewhere completely unknown. Exploring somewhere new is still one of the best ways to unleash inspiration, foster connection, and ignite passions. Whether it’s a trip across state lines, a visit to a nearby city, or even an international flight; the benefits of traveling are countless!

#8 - Step out of your comfort zone

If we could urge you to attempt just one of these things to do in the summer, it would be this: step out of your comfort zone! Breaking the rut of the familiar and trying something new (and maybe a little bit scary!) is the only way to grow and change. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you and your kids came out of this summer with a new adventure, a new skill, or a new friend? Stepping out in risk will send you home with a few good stories, if nothing else!

Things to do in the summer as a family

Hopefully this list has fired your imagination with ideas for the things to do in the summer with your own family! As endless as the years feel right now, you only get so many summers with your children as kids. It’s time to seize the moment and build lifelong memories together. For more ideas - 50 of them, to be exact! - about the kind of things to do in the summer you and your family could get up to in the coming months, check out our Adventure Challenge: Family Edition. Happy adventuring!


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