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Summer Vacation with Kids

Updated on December 8, 2014

Summer Vacation with Kids

Kids look forward to summer all year long. They look forward to no homework, no report cards, and no teachers to tell them what to do. During the summer kids can sleep late, go to the beach, play with friends and even spend time with their family. But as a parent I know this can also be a pretty stressful time if the kids get bored. So lets try to keep them busy.

Summer vacation at the beach
Summer vacation at the beach

A Family Vacation

A family vacation is always a great bet. But obviously that can't take up the whole time. Most parents are busy with work and can't take the whole summer off too. Even if you did you might just get exhausted from trying to keep your kids busy. My wife and I usually take our two boys to 1 or 2 places each summer for a few days. We live in MA and most summers we go to York Beach, Maine, Storyland, Cape Cod or Weirs Beach in NH.

Summer Vacation Day Trips

A day trip can be a great way to spend a beautiful summers day. Day trips can save money since you won't need to stay in a hotel. During the summer we go on lots of day trips. Often times my wife and I need to switch off on who gets to bring them because we both work full time.

Every year we get a family pass to the Roger Williams Zoo in Rhode Island. The pass is pretty much the same price as going to the zoo twice so it quickly pays for itself. The pass can actually get us in free to lot's of other places in our area too. We can go to the Boston Museum of Science, the Stone Zoo, the Franklin Park Zoo and some other places. The Roger Williams Zoo is by far one of the greatest zoo's in the area. It has a carausel, a playground, Swan Boats and it is beautifully landscaped. Some other ideas are water parks like Water Country. We actually haven't taken the boys here yet but now that they are a little older and swim well we probably will. The boys love going to Amusement parks like Canobie Lake Park and Six Flags which are pretty close by. Anyplace with water is a hit for summer. There is an animal farm called Davis Farmland in Sterling, MA it has all kinds of animal you can feed and pet. But it also has a huge water play area with all kinds of fountains and hoses and sprayers. They also have a huge corn maze in the Fall. We often go to homemade ice cream places. They are open a lot more in the summer. I honestly hate having to end up with store bought or Friendly's ice cream. It just doesn't come close to the taste of homemade.

We recently started visiting Mystic CT. We heard about there aquarium last year and decided to take a trip down. It was a a rather easy 2 hour ride. Mainly because we only had to hop onto one highway and it was right at the exit. It was the best aquarium we have ever been too. We have to Boston one nearby. But, the Mystic Aquarium was so much better. It just had so much more room and more fish. They have a sea lion show, the biggest sea lion I have ever seen. They have beluga whales that you can get really close to. They have sting rays you can pet and feed. The place is well spread out so it is great to walk around. Even when it is crowded it never seems that bad. They have 2 XD motion rides and a few exhibits that regularly change. Nearby is the Mystic Village. This a bunch of old style shops with lots of places to eat, buy candy and unique gifts.

Outdoor Ideas for Summer

Our town has a great summer program through the recreation department.. We can send the kids to a local park with lunch. At the park they have a bunch of teenagers that organize and play games and make crafts with the kids. My boys had a blast last year.

We recently moved, but used to have a pool so that would keep us cool. This year we bought a little blow up pool for the kids at least. The pool is shaped like a pirate ship and looks like a lot of fun.

Go to a local lake for swimming and fishing. Last year we went to a camp for Cub Scouts and it had huge lake with lots of fish. It was the first time I ever took the kids fishing and they had a blast. Well to be honest, they were a little bored. But after about twenty minutes my oldest son Liam caught his first fish. He was so excited and seemed to like it better after that. Although we didn't catch anything else.

On a nice windy day my kids love flying a kite. Flying a kite didn't always go well. With regular kites I would get them in the air for the kids but as soon as I handed them off they would come crashing down. This year I got a box kite for them and it seems to stay up a lot better. It could be that it is made from a fabric instead of cheap plastic. But I think the actual shape is a big part of it too.

Indoor Ideas for Summer

The library is a great cheap place to bring the kids. Pretty much all libraries carry movies and cds along with books. Our local library actually has backpacks with different themes that my boys love to take out. The backpacks contain books, puppets, stuffed animals, movies or cds. The library has computer games and days when they show movies.

Joining Netflix or Block Buster online is a great way to rent lots of movies. If it is your first time with either you can get a trial for a few weeks. Often times you can find online promo codes to get it for a whole month. Gamefly is a similar service but for videogames.

Go Fruit or Vegetable Picking

My family and I love to go strawberry and apple picking. Their is even a place nearby that has peach picking. The peach picking is my absolute favorite. The peaches are so much better than the ones my local grocery store has trucked in from who knows where.

Fruit and vegetable taste so much better when they have ripened on the tree or bush. It is also so much fun to pick them yourself.

Great Outdoor Toys for Summer Fun

  1. slip and slide
  2. water guns
  3. water balloons
  4. pool toys: Dive Balls , Toypedo , Floats
  5. frisbee
  6. sand box
  7. bubbles
  8. bug vacuum
  9. a cool sprinkler
  10. bike
  11. six flags water thing
  12. moon bounce
  13. volleyball
  14. badminton
  15. croquet
  16. chalk
  17. kite
  18. airhogs
  19. remote control car
  20. scooter
  21. trike scooter
  22. basketball net
  23. monster games stuff like tetherball
  24. kiddie pool

Do you have any summer fun suggestions?

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    • daffodil2010 profile image


      7 years ago

      nice hub, nice picture. thanks for sharing

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice hub.

      People seems to forgot about local amusements and parks.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 

      8 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Great hub! I am lucky enough to live close to the Oregon coast so we go to a few of our favorite beaches; aquariums, beach fun, horseback riding, dune buggies.

    • heytappy profile image


      8 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Nice hub sounds like you really are a great dad and spend lots of time with your boys who are I am sure delightful.Thanks for sharing your ideas they are great ones.

    • Mountain Blossoms profile image

      Marianne Kellow 

      9 years ago from SE Thailand

      Hello Jim10, really found this site so useful. I'm going home in three weeks to see the family in UK and needed some ideas to help the families out. Have got 7 Grandchildren under 12 so I know it's going to busy, but so enjoyable.

      You sound so enthusiastic about your family life, its really heartening. Bet your boys love having you around! Really good luck and thanks for becoming one of my fans too!

    • apeksha profile image


      9 years ago from India.

      I think you like kids very much...

      Excellent idea, I am not maried yet...will definately think when will have kid...


    • JPSO138 profile image


      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Very excellent ideas. Once in a while we have to go out and enjoy. It does not matter where as long as we enjoy it together with our family. Great hub!

    • profile image

      how to increase vertical 

      9 years ago

      I do agree with this.. You keep rocking... Thanks for the excellent Hub!... keep going on with the good process....I was still wondering at your info's ideas..Thanks for sharing the ideas..Its really a pertinent info.. Very Great Hub!

    • Laura Marie profile image

      Laura Marie 

      10 years ago from UK

      Good hub here with plenty of tips on keeping kiddies entertained. I am just lucky I have none, yet

    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from ma

      Hi Tatyana, I am glad you found my summer vacation ideas helpful. I'm sure you and your boys will have a great time on your vacation. My wife and I just had our 3rd boy and to be honest I don't know what I would ever do with a girl. I have a hard enough time with onesies nevermind dresses and their hair. So with the newborn we haven't gone away as far this summer. He just hates the car. A new park just opened nearby with a ton of different sprinklers and the kids love it. We are planning to go to the Southwick Zoo in Mendon which will be quite a hike. It is supposed to be a great zoo so hopefully we can leave while he is tired.

    • reversefunnelsyst profile image


      10 years ago from Nashville


      Great ideas. Thank you for sharing and being my fan by the way. I am about to take my kids on vacation. We have two boys!

      Thanks again!


    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from ma

      Hi Cailin, I am glad you agree with all of the great vacation destinations in and around MA. I love finding fun places that the kids and my wife and I can enjoy together during the summer.

    • Cailin Gallagher profile image

      Cailin Gallagher 

      10 years ago from New England

      Great ideas! I live in Mass. and take my 3 kids to the same places! Thanks!

    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from ma

      I try to keep my kids as busy as I can. In the summer it is kind of hard since I work Monday through Friday. But I usually save up most of my vacation time till the summer too. The boys are so much fun having water balloon fights with and going to zoo's and amusement parks. This weekend we plan to go strawberry picking. So I guess I should add that at that to my list above too. It is important to play with your kids. I am always chasing them and their friends at parks and playing ball with them. I always feel kind of sad when I see lots of the other parents just sitting on benches. Their is no reason they can't enjoy the park too. Hopefully when they get older they will still let me play.

    • solarshingles profile image


      10 years ago from london

      Jim, I like how passionately you write about making fun for your boys. Summer time is a very special time for them. They have holidays and we as parents should make these free days as interesting and as full as possible. Thank you very much for the long list of possible plays-activities indoor and outdoor. I really like this hub!


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