We are finally into the full summer swing and we are using this summer has the perfect opportunity for our family to spend some quality time together. You don’t have to take a week long vacation to get that quality time in! There are so many activities you can enjoy all summer long.

1. Enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Summer means warmer weather. Warmer weather means outdoors activities. We spend a lot of time outside during these months. Consider planning weekend picnics in the park. Head as a family to the local swimming pool. Take a hike or ride a bike. The idea is that the weather will make you want to get outside and get active.

2. Many communities have creative opportunities, many of which are free or low cost. Summer art in the park, or arts camps and arts fairs are common activities families can enjoy. You may also be able to find summer theater or concert series that will give your family something to share and an opportunity to be creative at the same time. Movies under the stars are also popular and a great way to end the perfect summer day.

3. Plan and plant a summer garden. We planted our very first garden last year and the kids loved it! They were in charge of watering and harvesting. Every day, they were so excited to see what was growing on their plants. Keeping a family garden is a great summer activity for the family to share.

4. Set up a picnic table and chairs underneath a big shade tree or umbrella. Put together a basket of board games the family would like to learn or has enjoyed in the past. Take the games outside and enjoy the fresh air while you play Monopoly or Candyland.

5. Plan to have a water balloon war. We kicked off our summer with a massive water balloon war with Bunch O Balloons in the neighborhood. You could also buy water guns for everyone in the family and see who can stay dry the longest. Not only will this get the family involved in an activity together, it will keep them active and hopefully cool them off at the same time.

6. Plan a Random Acts of Kindness each month. Do random acts of kindness for people in your neighborhood – weed an elderly neighbor’s flower garden, mow a single mom’s lawn, gather canned goods from your neighbors and take them to the local battered women’s shelter or food bank. There are so many good things your family could do if you just put your minds to it.

These are just a few ideas of things your family can do together during the summer. Take some time to sit down together and talk about things you would like to do. Children grow up so fast, make this summer a summer of family memories that will last a lifetime.