Between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, summer fun abounds. You experience all your seasonal firsts: barbecues, parties, beach days, and even the first official day of summer. The season is fresh and new, and so you are excited to dive right into summer fun. Then Independence Day hits, and once all the flag t-shirts have been sold and the smoke from the last fireworks show has cleared, it can sometimes feel like most of the summer has already passed you by.
The days are long and hot, and it’s like one big waiting game until fall. If you’re feeling a little stuck in this in-between stage, take heart—there is still lots of summer left and plenty of activities you can enjoy with your family.
Here are twenty-one items to add to your mid-summer bucket list.
1. Take advantage of a summer movie series.
The Regal Summer Movie Express offers $1 family movies starting in late June and ending in late August. The movies play on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and are a great way to escape the summer heat. Many local independently owned movie theaters also have their own family-friendly summer movie series, so check with one near you!
2. Go to the drive-in.
July and August bring tons of new movies for families, and what better way to see them than at your local drive-in? Dress the kids in pajamas, bring pillows, all your favorite snacks, and enjoy the small luxury of a movie under the stars.
3. Go berry picking.
Depending on where you live, there are plenty of fruits in season and ripe for picking in July and August. Blueberries, cherries, raspberries, peaches—they’re all fair game. So, hit up your favorite local farm and get to picking!
4. Hit the beach.
Always a summer favorite and now is the perfect time to go. Just don’t forget your sunscreen!
5. Try yoga in the park.
Many fitness studios offer outdoor classes during the summer—including classes for kids! If you’re not sure what’s offered in your area, Google is your friend here, and now is the perfect time to find a class near you.
6. Visit a museum.
Another way to escape the heat when you just can’t take another ninety-degree day is by visiting a local museum. Find one near you and enjoy an air-conditioned day of educational fun.
7. Take a road trip.
If you have a few days or more to spare, consider taking your family on a road trip. There are so many beautiful sights to see in the summer, so why not take some time this month or next and soak them in?
8. Make an ice cream bucket list.
There’s not much better than ice cream on a hot day. Chances are, there are many great local spots renowned for their frozen treats where you live. Take inventory of the ones around you and try a new place each week until the end of summer. I’m not going to lie—this item might be my favorite on the list.
9. Be a spectator.
There are many road races that happen in July and August. Whether you are a runner or not, attend a race with your family and spend the morning cheering on the racers. They’ll appreciate your enthusiasm—especially as the mercury rises!
10. Visit a theme park.
Amusement parks are a staple of kid summer and there is still plenty of time to visit one this time of year.
11. Check out your county and state fairs.
July and August are prime fair time in many areas of the country. If this is true where you live, take note of when your local fair is happening and plan to spend a day—or several—enjoying this quintessential summer activity.
12. Visit an indoor play space.
Another fun way to escape the heat and fill a few hours during an endless summer day is to hit up an indoor play space. Even if it’s the one at your local Mickey D’s, your kids will have a great time, and you may even get to relax for a second.
13. Make a playground bucket list.
This is like the ice cream bucket list, except with playgrounds. Make a list of the best ones near you and visit one each week through the end of summer. It’s a great way to keep the kids active and to enjoy a change of scenery!
14. Plan a vacation.
Have more than a few days to spare? Plan a vacation.
15. Find a new place to dine al fresco.
Patio dining is one of the best parts of summer (if you forget about the humidity and the bees). If you don’t already have a favorite outdoor dining spot, find a new one to try!
16. Sleep in a tent.
Even if it’s simply in the comfort of your own backyard, pick a day, pitch a tent, and enjoy a fun family slumber under the night sky.
17. Take in an outdoor theatre performance.
Some theatre companies offer outdoor performances during the summer. Check online to see what’s offered near you and pick a night to take in a production with your family.
18. Go to a local festival.
Art festivals, food festivals, cultural festivals: they happen all summer long, especially throughout July and August. Check your local events calendar and find out when one is happening near you.
19. Go for a hike.
Venture into the wilderness for a hike with your kids. Just don’t venture too far because someone will invariably get tired after about twenty minutes (obviously).
20. Test out a new bike path.
Bike paths are so underrated, but such a fun way to enjoy a summer afternoon. Just don’t forget your helmet.
21. Go fishing.
Finally, if you’re not averse to the activity, take your kids fishing. There are many life lessons that can come from a fishing session, and a day on the water is always fun during the summer.
Have a great summer!