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The Ultimate Summer Guide for Kids

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If you were a kid again, what would you want to do with all your time off?

If I were a kid again, I’d probably do the same thing I did 20+ years ago… set up Barbie houses, play with my dolls, ride bikes in the neighborhood, swim until my hair turned green, go on road trips, go to Disneyland, go camping and attend a few of my favorite summer camps.

Here are some other things I’d probably want to do if I were a kid again.

Things for kids to do in the summer

Specialty Camps

I was big into ice skating, gymnastics, dance and horseback riding as a kid so when my mom signed me up for a week of gymnastic camp or a week of skating camp? I was in heaven. I remember doing specialty camps through places like the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club but now, almost every stable, gym, ice rink, surf school and soccer league has specialty camps for kids.


Like bug spray (make sure it’s DEET-free!), paper plates with those woven plastic thingies that keep the plates sturdy, 6-person tents, fire pits with s’mores, singing kumbaya and innertubing down the lake kind of camping. As I’ve grown older, I prefer to stay in a RV or hotel but I can’t help but to think back and remember those everlasting memories from our yearly camping trips. I even caught a fish once!


That’s a given. Many of my childhood summer days were spent at the beach.

Water Park

I was a little dare devil as a kid (oh, how things have changed). But 20+ years ago? give me the highest ride, fastest water slide and craziest wave pool and I was like a pig in poop. One water park that we’ve been to recently is the LEGOLAND Water Park in Carlsbad, CA. If you live in Southern California or are planning a trip to San Diego… you must consider the LEGOLAND Water Park. My kids (and my inner kid) love it.

Theme Park

Nothing screams summer like crowds, over-sized pickles in plastic bags, strollers running over your heels and long lines. Sounds lovely, right? As an adult I much prefer to avoid the crowds and eat a pickle in the comforts of my own home but as a kid? Some of my best memories were from the most Magical Place on Earth… Disneyland! I still have the stuffed Mickey and Minnie that my mom got me when I was three.

Airplane Ride

I don’t know what it is about airplanes but I thought I was hot you-know-what at the ripe ol’ age of 4 when I took my first plane ride. And yes, I remember it well. My first plane ride is actually one of my earliest memories! There’s something super exciting about packaged peanuts, wing pins and peeking into the cockpit as you walk to your seat. Ah, who am I kidding.. I still peek. If you’re planning a family vacation, you might as well wrap them all into one- airplane ride, theme park, water park… you’ll be like the BEST mom (or dad) ever 😉

An Adventure

An adventure (for a kid) is something so different than everyday life, something so new and exciting. Anything from riding a ferry to hiking a mountain… unless you like in Seattle or Colorado. I’ll never forget our road trip to Yellowstone when I was 8. We drove through Moab Utah, ran through Arches National Park and saw some amazing caves and red rocks.

I’ll never forget standing in front of one of the large rocks while my mom directed the placement of my hand– to make it look like I was holding up the rock! We stopped in a little town call Telluride and I remember laughing as I passed a touristy store that had a T-shirt in the window– the T-shirt said “to he..(double hockey sticks) you ride” with a picture of a biker. I guess cycling is big in Telluride, CO. We also stopped at the Railroad Museum in Golden, CO. and learned some cool stuff. That road trip is one of my favorite adventures.

Video Game Day

I don’t know about you but I plan to limit the video games this summer and while my son is not going to like the initial thought of that, I think he’ll appreciate a Video Game Day better than nothing at all. Schedule the day with an outline of events. Plan time for meals, snacks, outside breaks, stretches, etc… and play games with the entire family. If done right, this could be a really cool day for your child(ren) to look forward to and help keep them off the games each and every day.

So think like a kid this summer and create long lasting memories for your kids!

What are your plans for Summer?

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Mary Withrow

Thursday 16th of June 2011

I think I would be more adventurous (did I spell that right, lol) I would probley try more things and would have went more places! I was always a little stand offish! lol

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