summer time fun

Create Lasting Memories: Family-Friendly Summer Ideas

Summer is the perfect time to create lasting memories with your kids, filled with joy, laughter, and adventure. Rather than spending the season glued to screens and video games, embark on a summer full of family-friendly activities that will leave you with cherished memories for years to come. There’s something for everyone, from backyard camping to library visits and neighborhood park adventures to cooking days. So, dive in and make this summer a season to remember! We’ll explore various ideas to make this summer truly unforgettable for your family.


With a wealth of experience as a homeschool mom, I understand the importance of combining joyful experiences with valuable learning opportunities. In this blog post, I share tried-and-true summer activities that will not only create lasting memories but also nurture your children’s growth and development.

With over 20 years of homeschooling experience, I have always cherished the opportunity to create fun memories for my children while providing valuable learning experiences. While writing this blog, I reminisced about the fun adventures I loved introducing my children (and now grandchildren) to over the past three decades!

Backyard Camping: Unleash Your Inner Adventurer

There’s no need to travel far for a camping adventure when you can create a magical experience right in your own backyard. To make the most of your backyard camping experience, consider the following ideas:

Set up a cozy tent: Let your kids pitch the tent and create a cozy camping space. Decorate it with fairy lights or lanterns to add a touch of magic.

backyard camping
Tin Foil Dinner

Tin foil dinners: Engage the whole family in preparing tin foil dinners filled with their favorite ingredients. Cook them in the oven and enjoy a delicious outdoor meal in your backyard. Click here for a great recipe.

Campfire activities: Gather around a fire pit or a portable fire bowl and engage in classic campfire activities. Sing campfire songs, share stories, roast marshmallows for s’mores, or even have a friendly family talent show.

star gazing

Stargazing night: Set up cozy blankets and pillows in your backyard and spend an evening stargazing. Use a stargazing app to identify constellations and share stories and myths associated with them.

Outdoor movie night: Transform your backyard into a movie theater by setting up a large projector and screen. Enjoy a family movie night under the stars with popcorn, snacks, and comfy seating.

movie night

Exploring Local Gems: Discovering Hidden Wonders Nearby

Sometimes, the most extraordinary adventures can be found right in your own backyard. Get ready to explore your local area by considering these ideas:

Research local attractions: Take some time to research local parks, nature reserves, historical sites, or interesting landmarks near your home. Create a bucket list of places you’d like to visit as a family.

planned themed actives

Plan themed outings: Make each outing special by planning themed activities. For example, have a nature scavenger hunt in a nearby park, visit a historical site and dress up as characters from that era, or have a picnic with a specific cuisine from a particular culture.

Capture memories: Encourage your children to take pictures or make sketches during your outings. Create a scrapbook or an online photo album to document your adventures and reminisce about them in the future.

drawing memories

Geocaching adventure: Download a geocaching app using GPS coordinates and embark on a treasure hunt. Explore nearby parks or nature trails to find hidden caches and discover little surprises left by other geocachers. Keep track of your adventures in this Geocaching Journal. 

Farm visits: Research local farms or petting zoos that allow visitors. Take your kids to interact with animals, learn about farming, and enjoy activities like berry picking or hayrides.

farm visit
scavenger hunt

Historical scavenger hunt: Visit historical sites or landmarks in your area and create a scavenger hunt with clues and riddles related to the history of the location. Learn about the local heritage while having fun as a family.

Libraries: A Wonderland of Knowledge and Imagination

Libraries are magical places where imagination and knowledge collide. Explore the world of books and stories by trying out these ideas:

Regular library visits: Make it a habit to visit your local library regularly. At one point, I loved traveling to all the libraries in my area because each library had different books for my children to choose from. Let your children browse and choose books that they find interesting.

father reading

Reading Aloud: Set aside dedicated reading time as a family. Take turns reading aloud to each other or create a cozy reading corner where everyone can enjoy their books together. It is also fun to read the characters in the story with different voices. Play with it and make it fun!

Participate in library programs: Check out the library’s event calendar for family-friendly programs such as storytelling sessions, book clubs, or workshops. Join these activities to engage with other families and explore new literary adventures.

library programs
dress up

Book character dress-up day: Choose a favorite book character and encourage everyone in the family to dress up as that character for a library visit. Let your children immerse themselves in their favorite stories and bring them to life.

Book club at home: Select a book that appeals to all family members and read it together. Schedule regular book club meetings at home, where you can discuss the chapters, share your thoughts, and engage in fun activities related to the story.

family story

Create a family storybook: Collaborate as a family to write and illustrate your own storybook. Each family member can contribute a chapter or a character, making it a unique and cherished keepsake.

Arts and Crafts: Unleashing Creativity Together

As a family, engaging in arts and crafts activities allows everyone to tap into their creative side and create beautiful keepsakes. Consider the following ideas for your arts and crafts day:

DIY projects: Choose a specific craft or DIY project for each session. Create personalized photo frames, design family T-shirts, or make homemade greeting cards for loved ones.

DYI Crafts
leaf craft

Nature-inspired crafts: Take advantage of the summer season by incorporating natural elements into your crafts. Collect seashells, rocks, or leaves during outdoor adventures and transform them into beautiful artwork or decorations.

Collaborative art: Collaborate on a large art project that everyone can contribute to. For example, create a mural or a family tree using different artistic techniques and materials.

kids art

Neighborhood Parks: Connecting with Nature and Community

Neighborhood parks are wonderful places to connect with nature and build a sense of community. Make the most of your local parks with these ideas:


Park-hopping adventures: Plan a weekly park-hopping adventure where you visit different parks in your neighborhood. Each park may offer unique features, such as a playground, a basketball court, a skate park, or a scenic trail.

Picnic in the park: Pack a delicious picnic lunch and spend a day in the park. Enjoy sandwiches, fruits, and snacks while playing outdoor games or simply basking in the beauty of nature.

park playdates

Organize a park playdate: Reach out to other families in your neighborhood and organize a park playdate. Encourage your children to make new friends while engaging in fun group activities like relay races, treasure hunts, or even a mini Olympics.

Mountain Adventures: Conquering Nature's Playground

Escape the mundane and immerse yourself in the wonders of the mountains. Consider these ideas to make your mountain adventures unforgettable:

hiking trails

Hiking trails: Research family-friendly hiking trails in nearby mountains and embark on an adventure. Ensure everyone has suitable footwear and supplies, and set goals for reaching scenic viewpoints or waterfalls.

Nature photography: Encourage your kids to capture the beauty of nature through photography. Provide them with disposable cameras or let them use your smartphone to document their favorite moments during the mountain adventure.


Storytelling sessions: Find a serene spot amidst the mountains and have a family storytelling session. Take turns sharing stories or create an imaginative tale together inspired by the enchanting surroundings.

Water Day: Splashing into Summer Fun

Beat the summer heat and create lasting memories by spending a day by the water. Consider these ideas for your water-filled adventures:

Beach or lake outings: Plan a day trip to the nearest beach or lake. Build sandcastles, collect seashells, swim in the refreshing water, and enjoy picnics by the shore.

water fun
water games

Water games and sports: Engage in various water games and sports such as water balloon fights, beach volleyball, paddleboarding, or even family-friendly canoeing adventures.

Seaside or lakeside exploration: Encourage curiosity by exploring the marine or lake ecosystems. Teach your children about different species of fish, birds, or plants they encounter, fostering a love for nature and conservation.

fun in the water

Cooking Day: Unleashing Culinary Creativity as a Family

Food brings people together, and cooking as a family can be a delightful and educational experience. Consider these ideas for your special cooking day:

kids cooking

Family recipes: Share and teach family recipes that have been passed down through generations. Involve your kids in the entire process, from grocery shopping to food preparation and cooking.

Fun recipes: Explore new and exciting recipes together, such as baking fabulous cookies, cakes or trying out unique dishes from various cuisines around the world. Let each family member choose a recipe they’d like to try.

family cooking
girl cooking

Masterchef challenges: Organize friendly cooking competitions where family members compete to create the most delicious or creative dishes using specific ingredients or themes. This adds an element of fun and adventure to your cooking day.

Happy memory-making! As summer rolls in, let’s seize the opportunity to create lasting memories with our children. By stepping away from screens and engaging in family-friendly activities, we can foster stronger bonds and create moments that will be cherished for a lifetime. Whether it’s camping in the backyard, exploring local gems, visiting libraries, engaging in arts and crafts, venturing into neighborhood parks, embarking on mountain adventures, splashing into water-filled fun, or unleashing culinary creativity, the options for creating lasting memories are endless. So, gather your loved ones, embrace the cheerful spirit of summer, and embark on an unforgettable journey of family togetherness and joy.

Looking to make this summer unforgettable for your family?

Check out Choosing Wisdom’s blog post titled  “Summer Travel Memories: Learning,” which highlights how travel can be a transformative opportunity for learning and personal growth. Discover how exploring the world together can create cherished memories while expanding your family’s horizons. Click here to read more!

Create Lasting Memories

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