“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:
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 🙂