11 Super Summer Activities for the Entire Family

Take advantage of the longer days and get outside for some warm weather fun!

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The grass is growing, the flowers are blooming, the days are getting longer, and the weather is getting warmer. Now is the time to leave the indoors behind and spend some quality time outside.

School will be ending soon and summer camp is just around the corner, making this is the perfect time to create some long-lasting family memories.

Grab your hats, sunscreen, and reusable water bottles and choose from some of these free or inexpensive ways to have some hot summer family fun.

1. Have a Family Picnic

Changing your usual routine is fun and exciting for kids. Instead of eating lunch in the kitchen, pack a picnic bag and go eat in a local park or by a lake instead. Food tastes so much better when you eat it outdoors. Your kids can help you choose and prepare the meal. Bring some games and make the experience last even longer.

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2. Create a Sidewalk Masterpiece

Sidewalk chalk comes in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes and is chunky enough for even the littlest hands. Your kids can decorate a concrete driveway or sidewalk and let their imaginations take them to green forests or fairy tale castles. Their masterpieces will last until the next summer rain.

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3. Plant a Garden

Whether you live in the country, a suburb or a city apartment, planting a garden adds lots of value to your life and community. You can even grow plants on a patio or balcony in pots or even a window herb garden. Or join an urban community garden. Kids love watching the seeds germinate and watching plants grow. Share the responsibility of weeding and watering the garden and picking the fresh fruits and vegetables. Everything tastes better if it is homegrown.

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4. Go on a Hike

Go to a marked trail or take a long walk through nature. This is a great way to get fresh air and exercise. Walking a trial in a historic location like Garvies Point Indian museum and preserve in Glen Cove, New York can combine learning with outdoor fun. You may even find some arrowheads on the trail.

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5. Go Fly a Kite

Almost nothing is as exciting as seeing your kite take to the sky and soar.  Kites are easy to make or inexpensive to buy. On a clear windy day, you can fly your kite in a park, at the beach, or in the schoolyard.

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6. Play Ball!

It's hard to find an activity for kids of different ages until you pick up a ball and play with it. From t-ball to softball, kickball, soccer or anything with a net, playing with balls is great fun for the family. You can play in your yard or go to a park where you will find lots of other kids who want to join the game.

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7. Throw a Street Party

Throw a street or block party in your neighborhood. Plan ahead with your neighbors and make sure you get a street closing permit from your local municipality. Have a communal barbeque and rent popcorn or cotton candy machines. Play music and dance in the street, set up a slip-n-slide, plan kid-friendly races and games with prizes and if your street is large enough, you can bring in a bouncy house or inflatable slide.

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8. Ride a Bike

Summer is a great time to teach your child to ride a bike or take a family bicycle ride with older kids riding and little ones in child seats. Bicycle riding is a great form of exercise and a fun way to explore your neighborhood. Be sure to wear bike helmets and use bike paths whenever possible.

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9. Go Mini Golfing

There are miniature golf or putt-putt courses in most communities, and it is fun for all ages. Little ones might need help hitting the ball, but older kids can form their own groups. The game features geometric layouts and obstacles like tunnels, tubes, ramps and even moving windmills.

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10. Life's a Beach

Take the family to the seashore, or lake, or public swimming pool to cool down from the summer heat. At the beach, you can bring sand molds and build sand castles or collect shells by the shore. Don't forget to bring beach shoes or flip flops, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats.

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11. We all Scream for Ice Cream

Nothing is better than going out for ice cream on a hot summer day. Soft serve or scooped, vanilla, chocolate or bubblegum, come or cup, it's all good. Today, Americans eat 20 quarts (19 liters) of ice cream a year. That's a lot of ice cream! So, take the family and walk, run, bike, or roller skate to an ice cream shop today.

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