20 Must-Do Summer Break Activities

You did it! You made it through the school year and it is finally summer break! Now comes the question all parents face though, what on earth should we do all summer? While the extended break is nice, days on the couch watching TV or playing on tablets will get old really quickly. Instead, get outside, move around, and enjoy these summer break activities:

1. Go Hiking

Take advantage of the nice summer weather by getting outside and exploring nature. My son loves trying new trails, sharing a bunch of nature facts wherever we go. Use the free app, All Trails, to find trails close by. You can filter trails by difficulty, distance, and even special features like waterfalls or great views.

Summer Break Activities: Hiking

2. Visit an Amusement Park

One of my favorite memories growing up was spending our summers at the local amusement park, Kennywood, in Pittsburgh. Take your kids to enjoy the rides and the overly priced food. Trust me, the memories are worth the splurge. Even younger kids will enjoy a day at an amusement park with rides designed just for them.

Explore More: Check out my amusement park essentials list for tips on how to stay cool and keep your kids happy.

Summer Break Activities: Amusement Park

3. Have a Picnic

Picnics make for an easy free thing to do that your kids will love. Put together some sandwiches and bring along some chips; it doesn’t need to be fancy. If you don’t even want to make food, pick up some of your favorite take out. Just be sure to disconnect from devices and enjoy quality time together outside. Make it extra fun by having a picnic near a local playground where your kids can run off that extra energy.

Summer Break Activities: Picnic

4. Attend a Baseball Game

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, so I was brought up to have a love of sports. We spent most of our summers going to many Pittsburgh Pirates games. There is nothing that screams “summer” more than watching a baseball game, eating a hot dog, and indulging in some ice cream. If you don’t have a major league team close by, check to see if there are any minor league or other local teams nearby.

Summer Break Activities: Baseball Game

5. Go to the Zoo

Going to the zoo is a fun, easy summer break activity! Kids absolutely love watching and learning about animals. Bonus points if it is a petting zoo that allows your kids to touch and feed the animals. Zoos can also be a lot of walking; so just make sure you remember to bring a stroller if your kids are five or under.

6. Day at the Lake

Continue to enjoy the nice weather by spending your day at the lake. Often larger lakes will offer a swimming area that is roped off from boats and jet skis. Make a day at the lake by packing a lunch and some snacks. The kids can enjoy the water while you catch up on some reading. Or, you can explore the lake on the water by renting stand up paddle boards, kayaks, or canoes.

Summer Break Activities: Lake Day

7. Enjoy an Outdoor Concert

Check out the tour schedule for your favorite band or performer for a chance to see them live this summer. Whether you choose to see a big stadium concert or enjoy something quieter on the lawn, there is nothing like listening to your favorite music with thousands of other fans around you. Use Ticketmaster to search for your favorite upcoming musical acts.

8. Start Gardening

Try out a new hobby by learning how to garden. Summer is a great time to plant fresh herbs that you can cook with in new recipes. Gardening isn’t personally for me as I manage to kill everything I try to plant. However, you can take the “cheater” way of planting herbs by using self watering systems like an AeroGarden.

9. Go to the Beach

Surprise the kids with a day in the sand at your closest beach. You can find beach condos for a decent price through Expedia or VRBO, which can make for a great weekend getaway. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen, beach chair, and beach toys!

10. Stay Cool with a Water Day

Beat the heat with a backyard water day! Get a cheap kiddie pool, turn on the sprinklers, set up a slip and slide, and fill up some water balloons. Invite over other kids (or adults) for an epic water gun battle. Your kids will be asking for a water day every day of the summer!

11. Go to the Farmer’s Market

Check out your local farmer’s market to stock up on some fresh produce. Farmer’s markets are often lively and colorful, making for a great way to start your mornings. They will often offer other foods like homemade salsa, desserts, or local honey.

Explore More: Looking for some summer recipes? Head over to my meal planning section for some inspiration.

12. Have a Cookout

Invite friends over for a classic cookout with hamburgers and hot dogs. Some of my cookout favorites include deviled eggs, mac and cheese, and popsicles! Having a cookout doesn’t need to be a lot of work though; you just need some good food, good music, and good company.

13. Go Camping & Make S’mores

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is sleeping outside with all the nature sounds. Camping is relatively cheap after you have the supplies, which makes it a great summer activity. My husband prefers to complete rough it, but I personally prefer a local campground with a bathroom. Either way, enjoy the evening disconnected from your phone, playing cards, sharing ghost stories, and eating s’mores.

Summer Break Activities: Camping

14. Eat at a Food Truck Rodeo

Food truck rodeos are a great way to try a number of different cuisines without breaking the bank. You can get appetizers at one truck, entrees at another, and finish off with your favorite dessert. Use Street Food Finder to locate food trucks near you.

15. Attend a Drive-In Movie

Enjoy a movie under the stars at your local drive-in. Drive-ins are great for little kids who might need to get up and move around during the film. They can also fall asleep in the back of the car while you enjoy a quiet date night. Just remember to bring a lot of pillows and blankets to make the back of your car super comfy.

Don’t have a drive in nearby? No worries! Buy a cheap projector and show a movie on the side of your house.

Summer Break Activities: Drive-In Movie

16. Treat Yourself at an Ice Cream Truck

Your kids’ ears will perk up when they hear that ice cream truck jingle coming down the street. Treat them (and yourself!) to something special by allowing them to pick out whatever they want. Just be sure to keep some cash on hand for when you hear that familiar tune.

17. Make Lemonade

There is nothing more refreshing than a glass of ice cold lemonade on a hot day! Get your kids to help you make some lemonade from scratch. In return, see if you can challenge them to set up a lemonade stand. It will keep them busy (and off screens) and help them learn how hard work can pay off.

Explore More: Check out my favorite recipe for lavender lemonade!

Summer Break Activities: Make Lemonade

18. Tie Dye Shirts

Another fun activity to try this summer is tie dying t-shirts. Don’t limit yourself to just shirts though; dye socks, bandanas, bed sheets, and more! You can pick up a tie dying kit online or at your local craft store.

19. Take a Family Road Trip

Take the weekend and hit the road for a memorable family road trip. Use the app Roadtrippers to help you plan your trip. It allows you to find nearby activities, restaurants, and other places to explore along your desired route.

Summer Break Activities: Road Trip

Hot Tip: Traveling with kids? Head over to my post about must-have road trip essentials to make your trip a breeze.

20. Volunteer

If you have extra time on your hands this summer, take the time to volunteer with your kids. Use Volunteer Match to find age appropriate opportunities near you. You can look into working at a food pantry, homeless shelter, or other local non-profits. Volunteering with your kids teaches them about giving back to others.

Want to go above and beyond? Visit Disney & Universal Parks in either Florida or California for a vacation you will never forget. Let me help you! Get a free, no obligation quote by filling out a travel inquiry form.

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