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Top 5 Summer Activities for Kids

Updated on April 21, 2014

Summer Can be Fun!

Sometimes as parents we wonder, "what in the world am I going to do with the kids this summer?"

To avoid bored stares or too much tv, here is a terrific list of top 5 summer activities for kids to help you stay sane and show your children a great time.

Summer Swimming


1. Swimming, Splashing and Keeping Cool!

Of course the kids love to go swimming! Especially during those hot, humid months when the A/C just isn't cutting it anymore and the playground slides are scorching your little ones back end. There are many resources to finding swimming spots in your area. You can look up outdoor swimming holes which are usually located in State or County parks. There are also tons of public pools which have open swim days. Also, open up a map and simply check out any lakes or rivers in your area. Once you find the nearest body of water, simply do a google search for "_____" lake swimming or "_______" river public beach areas.

You can also check with your local county or parks and recreation department which should list splash parks and public swimming pools managed by your city or county.

There are also many businesses near rivers and lakes which offer boat, canoe, kayak and fishing rentals as well!

The link below lists nationwide swimming holes and is very useful during the summer!

2. Free Kids Events At Local Retailers

Many businesses have realized that if they want to bring parents into their stores, they need to involve their children as well. That's why many places now offer weekly or monthly free events and activities for kids. These can be anything from creating a free craft, story time or free art classes. One of the favorites for the top 5 summer activities for kids since it allows parents to be indoor and generally promotes a fun and learning environment for all ages.

Here are a few places which often have free kids activities.

  • Barnes & Noble - Offers free story times and other events for children and families
  • Michaels and Hobby Lobby Craft Stores - Offer free craft events and may have a Kids Art Club
  • Lowes Home Improvement Stores - Has a fun "Build and Grow" Event for kids
  • Home Depot - First saturday of every month has a free kids workshop
  • Whole Foods - Often has free snacks and healthy cooking classes for kids
  • Bass Pro Shops: The outdoor outfitter has many opportunities for kids. Recent events at my local store included feeding the fish in the big tank while getting a lesson about the different types of fish, a behind the scenes store tour, and an appearance by a local race car driver. Many of their fishing and sporting classes are appropriate for older kids, as well.
  • Disney Store: There are many activities such as story times, craft classes, how to draw classes and events centered around upcoming or recent movie releases.
  • Pottery Barn Kids: Another option for story times, reading challenges, tea parties, and themed events such as Star Wars, National Geographic, Lego, or other special activities.
  • Apple Store: Really fun activities, especially for those savvy teenagers or techie kids. Kids can learn things such as using GarageBand to record a song, using iPhoto to make interesting photos and photo books, and making movies with iMovie. They also offer a more comprehensive three-day summer camp program dedicated to making movies that culminates in a film festival.
  • Toys R Us: These stores often promote new toys by having kids come in and play for free. They also often have board game competitions.

Each retailer location offers different opportunities so you will want to contact them directly but this should get you started with a solid list of things to do this summer!


3. Fairs and Festivals

Many communities are constantly producing local fairs, festivals and events in your area. Often these are free events which help bring people together and promote local business. is a great resource for finding things like craft fairs, art fairs and community festivals. Many counties also have tons to do around the 4th of July including parades, fireworks and outdoor events.

Keep an eye on your local chamber of commerce or city event guide for these bigger events. They will pop up all the time!

Kids Eat Free

4. Kids Eat Free

There are surprisingly tons of kids eat free or discounted kids meal places nationwide. Many of the chain restaurants especially offer days for you to be able to eat out with the family and save on the child plates. In fact there are more than 50 participating restaurants nationwide. Below are some of the chains, you will have to do a local search to find out which days they offer the kids eat free or discounted deals.

  • Denny's
  • I-Hop
  • Golden Corral
  • Applebees
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Cody's Roadhouse
  • Denny's
  • Piccadilly's
  • Captain D's
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Fazoli's
  • Fuddruckers
  • Lonestar Steakhouse
  • Perkins
  • Planet Sub
  • Shoney's
  • Firehouse Subs
  • O'Charley's
  • Rainforest Cafe
  • Cici's Pizza
  • Pizza Hut
  • Steak n Shake
  • Tropical Smoothie
  • Zapata's


50 Outdoor Activities For Kids

5. Backyard Fun

Turn your backyard into a summertime haven. There are so many things you can do with your kids in the comfort of your own home/yard. Invite your children's friends and enjoy a day of entertainment. Here are some terrific ideas:

  • Create a splash/sprinkler park with slip and slides, water balloons, sprinklers or simply let the kids play with the water hose!
  • Cut up sponges and time them together to create reusable water bombs. Dunk them in water and throw them at each other all day long.
  • Make an obstacle course. You can use hula hoops, sprinklers, logs, etc. Have them race around the yard trying to capture a flag
  • Scavenger Hunt. Create a fun scavenger hunt and give away prizes.
  • Bubbles
  • Outdoor painting and Crafts
  • Create a secret garden
  • Build a fort or treehouse

Not everyone can afford an extravagant vacation or outing every day. Enjoying the summer with your children shouldn't be too difficult if you use some of these top 5 summer activities for kids. Some of the best fun is the simplest. They will remember the fun and won't be bored if you keep them busy.


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    • FunScavengerHunts profile image

      Brett 3 years ago from Asia

      I bet this helped a lot of parents this year!

    • dagny roth profile image

      dagny roth 4 years ago from Neverland

      Thanks Kitty and Vertualit!

    • vertualit profile image

      Abdus Salam 4 years ago from Bangladesh

      Great information about summer activities. thanks for sharing...

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

      I was actually looking for some fun summer activities for my daughter and me, so this came in handy for sure. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful! :)