Summer, with its long hours of daylight and warm weather, is the perfect season for families to build some great memories together. Yet all too often, kids find themselves in a rut looking for things to do. Whatever size your family is or how old the kids are, you can have a great summer with some of these easy and affordable ideas.

1. Routinely take family walks or bike rides. Pick out fun destinations in and around Chippewa around like Sahli Nature Park, Wright Fields, Brady’s Run Park, etc. The more often you do this, the more adventurous your outings can become.
2. Eat together outside whenever the weather is accommodating. Use a patio or deck if you have one or grab a picnic blanket and pack your food to your backyard or a nearby park in town.
3. Shop at weekend garage sales. You’ll find the best selections on Fridays or early Saturday mornings, but you may find the best deals on Sunday afternoons when the sales are ending.
4. Spend a day “park hopping” in Chippewa and surrounding communities. Stay an hour or less at each park to keep the activities fresh.
5. Learn to cook new recipes together. Everyone in the family can contribute. Small children can help with simple steps like emptying packages into bowls or mixing with spoons.
6. Go geocaching. All you need is a GPS device to find “treasures” that are hidden all over the world. Register at to find what’s near you.
7. Visit your local animal shelter or volunteer there as a family. Our furry friends are always looking for visitors to spend time with them.
8. Go on a shopping spree at dollar store or thrift shop. Give each kid a few dollars to spend and see what they come up with.
9. Play tag on a playground. It’s a fun way for both kids and parents to get exercise.
10. Bring the fun of the pool to your backyard. Put on bathing suits, turn on the sprinklers, and toss a few beach balls around the backyard.
11. Go stargazing in a remote area away from city lights and try to identify constellations and planets. This is a great activity for camping but doesn’t need to be an overnight trip.
12. Volunteer at a local charity such as a food pantry or a homeless shelter. Organizations like these are always looking for volunteers to help organize, clean, and serve or deliver meals.
13. Watch an outdoor movie in your backyard or in your driveway after dark. This requires some equipment, which you may need to borrow or rent if you don’t have it. You’ll need a large white space such as a garage door or hanging shower curtain or sheet. Use extension cords to connect a computer, speakers, and a video projector to a power source. Place the projector on an elevated surface like a chair or table and show the movie on the white space.
14. Grow a vegetable or flower garden. Give each family member a job or section to oversee.
15. Go birdwatching. Discover what species are native to our area and learn how to distinguish their markings and songs. This activity can span the seasons as different species pass through your area on their annual migrations.
16. Redecorate your home with homemade art projects. You can use basic art supplies such as crayons, paint, and paper, or you can think outside the box. Household items like buttons, ribbons, dried pasta, newspapers, magazines, and worn-out clothing are handy alternatives.
17. Hike trails at a nearby State or National Park. Contact the park’s office to find out what to look for when you are there.
18. Have a dance party outside during a warm rainstorm. Crank the tunes and grab your dancing partner!
19. Watch the sun rise or set in an open area, elevated above your surroundings so you can view as much of the horizon as possible. Rooftops, hilltops, or open fields are usually best, depending on your surroundings.
20. Attend local events and farmers markets.

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