There is something so exciting and magical about summertime! When you are little it starts with ice cream and playing outside and as you grow up those same things are such a treat too! All babies and kids love to be outdoors in the summer. So I wanted to share a really fun list of awesome summer fun ideas with all you mommas today.
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Of course depending on where you live the sun may be too hot to stay outside for long! So, I have added to the list some of the places we love to go cool off when one of those days hits. Being a nanny for so many years and a mommy now I have discovered some pretty fantastic events and activities and I’m so excited to share them!
Outside summer fun…
Being outdoors in the summer and soaking up that vitamin D makes me and the kids so happy! Everyone is in a better mood and everyone sleeps better after a day out of the house adventuring. Here is my list of awesome outdoor places, events, and activities to go and do!
- WATER PARKS – Waterslides, wave pools, lazy river and the kiddie pool! Something for all ages and such a fun environment for the kids to cut loose! Consider getting an annual pass if you will attend more than once, often times it pays for itself in about 2-3 visits.
- POOLS/WADING POOLS – Try out your local pool or one in a nearby city! Many of them have great kid sections and other fun additions too! We also love our local wading pools! They are shallow pools, only a couple feet deep at most, where all the little kids can really enjoy themselves in a safer way for moms. Take some containers to fill and empty and some squirt toys and enjoy!
- SPRAY PARKS/ SPLASH PADS – This is all the fun of sprinklers at a park full of other kids to play with and none of the muddy mess in your yard! Usually on concrete so pack some water shoes to prevent slips, bare feet can work too, just remind the kiddos to slow down. We love to bring buckets, shovels, squirters and anything else water friendly to play with and share with friends!
- BEACHES – My personal fav summer days are spent lounging at the beach! Whether at the lake or on the ocean we love to get in the water! We live in Seattle and have a lot of rocky beaches here but we have found quite a few gems in our beach adventures. Where there is soft sand to play in and sea creatures to explore. Take a picnic and make it a long day!
- AT HOME WATER FUN – Some days when you need a break from adventuring we still love to enjoy the water at home! My kids LOVE their water table! Such a fun treat to splash at home with all their favorite toys! Other fun choices are water balloons, squirters, kiddie pool, sprinklers, slip n slides! How ever you play at home it can keep the kids cool and happy for hours! Plus you just have to slip them inside when it is nap time!
- BOATING – If you are lucky enough to own a boat or have friends or family that do, then get out on the water and enjoy it! The kids will love adventuring! Water skiing, inner tubing, wake boarding, swimming, whale watching are just some of the boat fun to be had! One of our favorites was to boat to a new city and dock and check out the town! Get some ice cream, check out the locals, shop a little, see new museums! So fun and great memories! Renting pedal boats, canoes, kayaks and paddle boards are some other super fun choices for when the kids are a little older.
- FERRY BOAT RIDES – Don’t know anyone with a boat? No worries! The kids will love to walk or drive onto the ferry boat! Such a treat to check out the boat and the scenery! We love to drive on and head to a special park we call “Castle Park,” on the island. Pack a picnic for a long adventure and check out the local town!
I was just telling my husband that summer is totally my season of the year! All the events I love to do happen in the Seattle sunshine! He definitely agreed, every weekend we have something I’m dying to do with him and the kids! Summer is such a great time to try new things, learn about new things and experience new people and things! Here are some of my favorite events to attend!
- CONCERTS – Whether it is a concert at the local fair, or in the local parks, at the winery, or one of our many other amazing outdoor venues I love them all! The kids really love the weekday kid-friendly concerts hosted in the park where we sing all their favorite songs and dance like silly gooses! We always pack a picnic and get in some play and music time.
- OUTDOOR MOVIES – Another fun event put on by the city is movies in the park. They can be a little late for younger kids but if you have mixed ages try putting younger ones to sleep in a front pack or stroller. The kids love to lay out in on blankets in the grass and pack fun snacks! Always so fun to meet up with friends there too!
- FARMERS MARKET – This is one we attend on a regular basis! I love getting fresh food, seeing local performers and finding out about new things in our town! It is such a great way to spend the day trying new foods and soaking in some local culture. We have sooo many in Seattle so we try to venture out to nearby towns too!
- FAIRS/CARNIVALS – Mmmm…I can smell the yummy fair food just talking about it! I love when our local fairs and carnivals come around. From the food to the rides and entertainment it is a kids wonderland! Make sure to scout out all the local fairs and carnivals in your area and try going mid-week to save some money!
- FESTIVALS – Depending on your interest and of course, on kid friendliness, there are some great festivals to attend. One of our summer favorites is the kite festival! It is so magical for the kids! Waterfront festivals with boat building and the fishing derby are a hit too! The local block party is a hoot too! Check out the visit your state page to find some fantastic events to attend! Some may be worth a little road trip.
PLACES TO GO/THINGS TO DO
- FARMS – Spring into summer brings all the new baby animals out at the farms! Such a fun thing to take the kids to see. Try out a farm where the animals are on display or where there is a petting zoo. One of our favorites has playgrounds, trails, and great picnic areas too.
- BERRY PICKING – Another reason to head out to the farm is berry picking season! Most little ones LOVE berries and it’s so fun for them to grab a bucket and wander the bushes picking berries. They snack along the way, run around, play hide and seek and some farms even have a tractor pull take us out to the field. The berries are so delicious fresh picked and we always eat them for dinner that night! They freeze really well so don’t be shy to pick lots and save them for the not so summer months.
- ZOO/AQUARIUM – Summer weather makes it’s the perfect season to be outdoors and why not learn while you are there. We have a season pass to the zoo because it is close and we go often! The aquarium here is half outdoors and half indoors so it is a perfect sunny day choice too! AC to cool us off inside and the summer sun to keep us warm outdoors. The kids LOVE the animals and we spend lots of time picnicking at the zoo and playing in the play areas.
- BOTANICAL GARDENS/ COMMUNITY GARDENS – There are some pretty amazing gardens to explore. Ours offer fairy house building, giant tree knots to climb on, suspension bridges and of course beautiful blooms! Try a day wandering the garden, learning about nature and plants. Another fun option is to plant a patch in your community garden. The kids get to help and you all get to enjoy fresh foods! Many kids love to decorate their garden area too! So fun!
- PARKS – This is an obvious one but shouldn’t go unmentioned. Here in Seattle, we wait a long time to get some sunshine and get all we can out of our local parks. Try finding new parks! All summer long we tried out all the different local parks. We even enjoyed driving to some of the farther away parks for a new adventure. Try checking out Yelp for pictures and reviews of parks in your area. The playgrounds, skate/bike parks, trails and open space are great for the kids to run off some energy.
- DRIVE/TRAIN TO A NEW TOWN – My little ones LOVE this one! Exploring a new town is so fun! We head to the main street and check out the local food, shopping, museums or whatever they have to offer. The anticipation of the unknown is so exciting for the kids! Of course, I have checked it out online to see that it has some kid friendly things to explore. The train is the obvious favorite because it is something totally different and magical.
- HIKING/ NATURE WALKS – Hiking with kids may sound intense but if you choose a kid friendly trail with things to see along the way it can be a lot of fun. Carrying the baby in a front or backpack is an AMAZING workout too! We like to pick the short trails where the kids can collect rocks, sticks, berries, leaves along the way. Another fun option is to find local nature walks with signs along the way. Our favorites are always the ones with h bridges of course. A great way to get some exercise and learn at the same time.
- HORSE RACES – My husband is a horse racing nut! He loves it! The race track hosts family Sundays in the park and it is so much fun on a sunny day! The kids get to run around and eat ice cream. They offer a bouncy house, pony rides, face painting, live music and of course the horse races. The kids can pet the outrider horses and they love that too! Some tracks offer playgrounds in the infields as well. We just got to check out the ostrich and camel races too! There are some great themed days to choose from and they host an amazing firework show here.
Inside Summer Fun…
Some days it is just too hot to enjoy anything outside. The kids and you are sweaty and frumpy so why not pick an indoor kid venue to cool off and still enjoy the day! Here is a post about what to do all day as a SAHM with lots of activities to check out too.
- INDOOR PLAY PLACE – Some freeways to play are to head to McDonald’s, Burger King or Chick Fil A. Enjoy the play place and a lunch or treat while you are there. Free Wi-Fi for the parents to enjoy makes it a perfect combo. There are also the paid versions of these which are usually much larger and tons of fun.
- BOUNCE HOUSE/TRAMPOLINE PLAY PLACES – A kid favorite! Make sure it is air conditioned and head over some amazing exercise! Many places offer a little kid zone for the little ones to play safely while the big ones bounce to their heart’s content. Don’t forget to join in and get some laughs and exercise in parents!
- BOOKSTORE/LIBRARY – Reading is one of my kids favorite pass times. Our local bookstore has a great play area for the kids and hosts storytime weekly. Our library also hosts some fabulous events for the kids. Storytime, crafts, science experiments, music and more. We love to bring home new books to read at bedtime too, of course!
- MOVIE THEATER – Many theaters offer early AM movies that are family friendly. Meaning they leave the lights on, tickets are free or cheap and babies are welcome. It is a non-miss for us! On a super hot day, it is a fun way to check out a movie in a kid-friendly way.
- FAMILY FUN CENTERS – Packed full with video games, go carts, play places, mini golf, small rides, bumper cars and more these are indoor/outdoor kid heaven. They get expensive to try to find a deal on Groupon or LivingSocial.
- BOWLING/MINI GOLF/BATTING CAGES – Often times these activities are under the same roof. Bowling can be so fun even with the little ones! They love to roll the ball and watch the reaction. Mini golf is for a little bit older age but is a ton of fun. We like the black light courses! Batting cages can be another older kid fun activity.
- THE MALL – The mall usually has an indoor play place for little kids to climb around on. There are also many fun stores like The Lego Store, Disney Store, The Candy Shop, Build-a-Bear, REI and more. Our malls have play places, bouncy houses, animal go kart things to ride on and more. For me, I love a good pretzel at the food court!
- ROLLER SKATING/ ICE SKATING- When the kids get a little older and have some balance it is so fun to get them skating! During the day when it is less busy and you have some space is the perfect time to take the kids.
- CHILDRENS MUSEUMS – One of my favorites! I love that the kids are learning and can touch everything! Everything is interactive and imaginative. Watching their little brains fire up is so magical! Ours has a rooftop playground so it’s even more exciting and the water mess stays at the museum so I don’t have to clean it up! How can you go wrong?
- KID FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS – We have some great cafes and restaurants where the kids can eat and play. This is a super fun play date for the parents! You get to eat and chat while the kids play! I love it! Another non-miss on a hot day.
Well, there you have it. All my secrets to enjoying summer both indoors and outdoors. I hope this list inspires you to get out and about with your little ones and make the most of your summer! Get out your planner or calendar and mark all the fun events so you don’t forget and miss out. Even if it is just you and baby don’t feel like you can’t be out enjoying many of this adventure because you can! Baby will learn from it all!
I’m sure I have forgotten to mention some adventures here so my other mommas out there please help me out and to add to my list in the comments below! I love to hear from all of you about the adventures you will try, have tried and all the fun you had doing it! Even if you don’t usually leave comments I would LOVE if you left one here!