Summertime. It’s a great time of year. The weather is nice, warm and sunny. Children are home from school and parents may take some time off work. Though we all may look forward to this wonderful season, it is one that can drag on for some, especially with kids complaining about being bored. And while some families might be able to go away on a vacation, and some parents may resort to various camps or summer programs for their kids, other parents might find themselves scrambling to find ideas to keep their children happily occupied.

6 Ways to Get the Family Enjoying the Outdoors This Summer

1. Road trip for the day: Pack up some things in the car and see where the road takes you. I remember my parents doing this when I was a child. We would set off on an adventure for the day and just explore. Find some new wonderful cities and towns to discover! You can either be spontaneous about this or plan ahead if you maybe want someplace specific to enjoy.

2.  A day at the beach! Perhaps your road trip brings you to a nice beach for the day. Lay out some blankets or towels to sit on and a good book to read while the kids build sandcastles. Don’t forget to bring hats and make sure to re-apply sunscreen.

3. Go to your local park and have a picnic. Pack some blankets or chairs to sit on and bring a frisbee to throw or a ball to kick around. Bonus points if you find a park with a splash pad! Have some fun in the water with the kids (Don’t forget the sunblock!)

4. Have a backyard barbecue: Okay, so this one does not take you far from home, but it does get you outside! Invite some relatives or friends to join in the fun, maybe even make it a potluck — you supply the burgers and hotdogs while guests bring some salads and dessert!

5. Go for a neighbourhood walk or bike ride: Whether you decide to walk or jog, grab a bike or scooter, get out and about in your neighbourhood and have fun getting some exercise together as a family!


6. Go camping: If your family is really into the outdoors, pack up your tent, sleeping bag and other camping essentials and head out to a campground for a couple of nights (or more!) Or if you don’t want to stray too far away from home you could set up a camping adventure if your backyard! Either way, roast marshmallows or make s’mores, sing songs, tell stories and star gaze. Don’t forget to bring the bug spray!

We all know that it can’t be blue skies and sunshine for the entire summer, so here is a bonus list of four fun indoor activities the family can do on rainy days and still get out of the house (especially if everyone is feeling cooped up!)

1. Go to the library or community centre: Got lost in the shelves of your local library and enjoy some reading time together as a family. Or check out what sort of programs for children and families your community has to offer.

2. Visit a museum or art gallery: You can easily fill an afternoon exploring science, history or art. Have fun learning together as a family!

3. Go to the movies! Maybe you will watch a family-friendly flick together, or depending on the age of your kids, you and your spouse will catch a different showing around the same time as a movie your kids went off to see. Either way, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

4. Grab a bite to eat! If a rainy day is making you feel blah and you just don’t feel like cooking, head out to a family favourite restaurant and delight in some yummy food! Whether you all decide to order some shareable plates to sample or get your own dish, sit back and let someone else worry about the dishes for a change. Don’t forget to save room for dessert!