“Summertime and the livin’ is easy” – HA! Unless you’re a momma of course! I am ALWAYS searching for ways to entertain my two little ones, especially in the summer when their usual activities are over for the year. Here are a few creative summer play date ideas we have enjoyed lately and a few other activites we are planning to try out later in the summer.
1. Berry Picking
We went to a blueberry farm first thing in the morning and wore hats and sunscreen so the blazing sun would be tolerable and the girls ended up having a great time! I also brought along these water spraying fans to help cool us all down and they were lifesavers! This is a fun and very affordable activity year round because depending on where you live you can pick strawberries in the spring, blueberries and blackberries in the summer and pumpkins in the fall. The girls really enjoyed picking all of the blueberries and eating blueberry muffins and pancakes throughout the week.
2. A trip to the Pet Store & Fish Gallery
This is a dangerous one – pretty much every time we do this my poor husband gets a phone call at work “Can we PLEASE get this pet (kitty, puppy, bunny, fish, pig, etc.)” LOL! But, it is a lot of fun to go visit them at the store even if we can’t take them all home! Some pet stores even allow you to take the animals out of their cages to play with them. We also frequent a fish gallery by our house that provides tours for the kids and allows them to touch some of the sea creatures at the store. They even have a giant fish bowl for the kiddos to climb inside (see below).
3. Ice Cream & Popsicle Shops
Since I’m preggo and it’s hot as can be outside we’ve been doing this one a lot!!! Pop Bar is a new favorite place & luckily more shops like Pop Bar are popping up everywhere (no pun intended). Gourmet ice cream trucks & snow cone shops are also a savior for us in the hot Houston heat!
4. Church Playgrounds
The best thing about these is that they are usually very clean and always free which is wonderful! Everyone is welcome to the indoor church playground and some of them are extremely impressive. Check out this massive one in our area! There are usually designated times for the public to attend that don’t interfere with private schools or church gatherings so be sure to check the available times before you head out.
5. Trolley, Train & Water Taxi Rides
If any of the above exist in your area I definitely recommend doing this with the kiddos! My girls LOVE Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood so as soon as I found out we had a free neighborhood trolley service I knew we had to go for a trolley ride. I wasn’t sure if this would be exciting enough for them but they absolutely loved it & still talk about it all the time (it’s the simple things). We paired this activity with a picnic in the park to stretch the morning out.
6. Library Events
This may seem like a no-brainer but I was actually shocked to learn about all of the cool events our library hosts, especially in the summer! In addition to their usual toddler story time our library offers visits from therapy dogs, a snake and wildlife encounter and they even have an outdoor maze with book statues. Seriously, libraries are underrated!!! Check with yours to find out what activities are offered this summer, most events are FREE!
7. Fly a kite
We saw a few kids at the park flying kites and my daughters were extremely interested so we thought, why not? We ordered this rainbow kite on Amazon because it’s a great beginner kite for kids. I didn’t think it was going to entertain them for that long but they actually loved it! We took turns holding it and of course mom and dad had to do most of the work but this was a fun activity for all!
8. Nature Walk
We are lucky enough to live right next to a forest so we do this one pretty often! Here is a cute nature walk check list to bring along on your next hike with the kiddos.
9. $1 Summer Movies
I could not love this idea more, a cheap place to take the kids with buttery popcorn and lots of air conditioning to soak up – sounds like every pregnant momma’s dream! The price is also great because if the girls can’t focus and sit still during the movie it’s no big deal if we decide to leave. Info here on Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse.
10. Build-A-Bear Work Shop
We went to Build-A-Bear for the first time yesterday and the girls had an absolute blast! I can already tell we’ll be back several times this summer. The employees are great with getting the kids involved in the process of making their bear (or lion, unicorn, tiger etc). The kids get to pick out which animal they want and what sound they would like for it to make, they then help push a lever with their foot and watch a machine add stuffing to their animal. The add-ons for these are endless you can add different smells, clothes, additional noises, and they even have mini hair brushes and hair dryers available for the animals 🙂 Each one also gets a birth certificate to commemorate it’s birthday.
More ideas we are planning to try this summer:
11. Check out this sidewalk chalk paint and glitter chalk – we have regular chalk of course but we’ve never tried chalk paint, especially not with glitter! My girls will not be able to resist this!!!
12. Visit a splash pad – This one is a given but there are so many in our area we haven’t even been to half of them yet!
13. Visit a board walk – We will likely take the kids for a trip down to Kemah this summer. Kemah has a huge boardwalk and tons of kid-friendly restaurants including The Aquarium with no shortage of things for them to see and do. I feel like kids of all ages will enjoy this!
14. This Inflatable Backyard Bowling – The girls played with this at a friend’s house and absolutely loved it! We are going to have to order one this summer!
15. Outdoor Concert – Luckily our area offers a lot of these in the evenings throughout the summer and most are completely free! Check with your local city or township to find out about concerts in your area.
16. Get a manicure/pedicure – I cannot wait to bring the girls with me to do this!
17. Feed the ducks – This is fun to do if you live close to a pond or lake but beware – some ducks get aggressive when they see bread which can be scary and overwhelming for younger kids.
18. Make your own ice cream – We definitely want to try this one! I found this ice cream maker on Amazon that has high ratings and is under $25.
19. Throw an ice cream party play date – Clearly I’m preggo and cannot stop thinking about ice cream LOL! But, I think this would actually be a lot of fun! Here are some cute ideas for an ice cream party or play date.
20. While we’re on the topic I’ve never met a kid that doesn’t love these ice cream cone cupcakes! So simple and fun for the kiddos!
I would LOVE to hear about your summer plans/kids activities! Please add to this list by commenting below 🙂
SunniJune 5, 2018 at 2:21 pm
Great list of ideas! I pinned this for later. 🙂 My friend has a kiddie pool and some other water activities she set up and we’ll be hanging out at her house at least once a week. Can’t wait!
MereKopalJune 5, 2018 at 7:59 pm
Yes, kiddie pool is a great one too! Perfect for toddlers 🙂
ShootingStarsMagJune 5, 2018 at 3:07 pm
I love visiting pet stores. I want all the animals too – but I can see why kids would really love seeing the animals, especially if they can hold and/or pet them. I’m not pregnant, but I’m with you on the ice cream! Yum. We have some local places around me that are fun to go too – and bring my nieces and nephew who all love ice cream too. I really like that they have cheap movies during the summer for kids. Such a great idea.
MereKopalJune 5, 2018 at 8:00 pm
I know, I love going to pet stores but always want to come home with ALL of the animals!!! It’s fun though, and yes the cheap movies are the BEST!
JanaJune 5, 2018 at 3:29 pm
Great ideas! Flying a kite brings back all sorts of childhood memories 😩☺️ Thanks for sharing!
BrandyJune 5, 2018 at 4:04 pm
Great ideas! Berry picking and nature hikes are always favorites around here 🙂
MereKopalJune 5, 2018 at 8:01 pm
Yes, my girls love berry picking too, that’s why I put it as number one on this list! It’s also SO much cheaper than getting them at the grocery store and we have enough fruit after to last all week, a win – win!!!
Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendorJune 5, 2018 at 4:58 pm
These are awesome ideas! School is almost out for my girls and they do not start camp until late July. So I will definitely be using for of the playdate ideas. First on my list is to find a popsicle shop here in MA.
MereKopalJune 5, 2018 at 8:02 pm
Oh my gosh the popsicle shops are the greatest!!! We are pretty much obsessed! LOL
ElizabethJune 5, 2018 at 6:18 pm
Great and creative ideas! I know there are similar things in my area thst we can do from this list.
JenJune 5, 2018 at 8:15 pm
My kids are a bit older but we still grab some friends and go berry picking. Love being outdoors and they like the adventure of spotting the best berry.
MereKopalJune 6, 2018 at 1:45 am
I know, when we went over the weekend I was surprised how many older kids there were! It’s a great activity for all ages!
LaraJune 5, 2018 at 8:39 pm
These are all great ideas! And so affordable, if not free! Love them all!
MereKopalJune 6, 2018 at 1:46 am
Thanks lady! I’m always looking for something affordable and of course freebies!
CyndiJune 6, 2018 at 12:48 am
These are such good ideas. We are going to a blueberry farm next week. We cannot wait. I’m going to add a few of theses to our summer buckets list!
MereKopalJune 6, 2018 at 1:46 am
Thanks! Hope y’all have a blast!
HillaryJune 6, 2018 at 7:33 am
Fabulous ideas! I wish we had a popsicle shop near us. What a great thing to do with kids.
We love nature walks as well.
StaceyJune 6, 2018 at 2:35 pm
I love your list! I can’t wait till next week our local farm is having a Strawberry Festival to pick strawberries and play games with the kids. I also love going to ice cream shops with the girls and see their excitement as their eyes light up!
MereKopalJune 6, 2018 at 6:49 pm
Thanks lady! You’re so lucky you all still have strawberries in season right now!
asmaJune 8, 2018 at 7:48 am
Perfect list of ideas! Thank you.
Melissa JavanJune 19, 2018 at 2:33 pm
This is such a cool list. Thank you.
Andrea@SharingMyFavoritesJune 19, 2018 at 2:36 pm
Some great ideas here! We’re going to a $1 Summer Movie tomorrow. Another one of your ideas that’s on my summer bucket list is the outdoor concert. We usually go to an outdoor patriotic concert on the 4th of July.
MereKopalJune 20, 2018 at 8:16 pm
I love the 4th of July concert, so much fun! We plan to start going to the $1 movies soon too!
JennyJune 19, 2018 at 6:02 pm
I had not thought of going to the pet store! What a great idea! We are heading to our local library this afternoon to make slime… I’m a little worried about the mess but the kids are super excited.
MereKopalJune 20, 2018 at 8:17 pm
The pet store is my favorite, always makes me leave dying to bring home a new pet thou! Good luck with the slime!!!
SamanthaJune 19, 2018 at 7:37 pm
I don’t know why I never thought to bring my daughter to a pet shop! She would love it since she’s animal obsessed! I love how unique and useful this list is!
MereKopalJune 20, 2018 at 8:17 pm
Thanks lady! I’m so glad you found it to be useful 🙂
LaraJune 21, 2018 at 12:24 pm
These are all such great ideas! Whenever I have kids, I will definitely be checking out the events at the library! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
BlancaMarch 5, 2021 at 2:33 pm
Very well worded!