Fun Summer Vacation Activities for Kids

By Tracey Dowdy

Summer vacation time is here and that means it won’t be long before you hear, “I’m bored. There’s nothing to doooooooo.” Instead of the “Well, When I Was Your Age” speech, try some of these fun ideas to keep your kids – and yourself – happy and entertained.

Summer Book Club – I know, I know, I said these were supposed to be fun, but if you turn your kids summer reading into a book club, it can feel less like homework and more like a party. Set out favorite snacks, or choose food and drinks that coincide with the setting for the book. For example, serve trail mix and water for a book like Grand Canyon, matzo ball soup, orange slices and Gatorade if they’re reading Lola Levine is Not Mean!, or, make lemonade like Lemonade Liberty Witt in Lemons.

Do a little stargazing – This summer we’ll be treated to the Perseid meteor shower from July 17 through August 24, peaking the 11th -12th  and August 12th – 13th, when we should be able to see about 60-70 meteors per hour. If you live in an urban area where light pollution hinders your view of the stars, Active Junky has some tips on finding the best location for star-gazing. And, now that you’re hooked, check out apps like Night Sky (iOS) or Sky Maps (Android) to keep stargazing.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt – Apps like Actionbound let you create your own custom scavenger hunt or download Big City Hunt to explore your hometown or one of over 200 cities worldwide. Or, explore nature with apps like Project Noah, which allows kids to submit nature photos to help with global research missions around the world.

Take a Roadtrip – If you’re going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, or even the White House, make the most of the trip with apps like National Geographic’s National Parks. The app includes visitor information for 25 of America’s 59 national parks, maps, a photo gallery of some of National Geographic magazine’s archived images, as well as user-submitted photos. Parents can purchase complete guides with trail guides, articles, professional images, tips, and facts for $1.99 per park or $12.99 for all parks. If you’re sticking closer to home, apps like Kids Planet Discovery lets your kids take virtual adventures around the world and learn about different cultures, animals, music, dress, and geography.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

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