It’s hot. Like the “thighs sticking to a plastic seat” kind of hot.
And now, in that midsummer slump, you might be hearing the “b” word from your kids more than normal. So instead of letting them get too bored (what word did you think we were talking about?), here are a few summer activities for your kids that you’ll actually enjoy, too. Best of all? They’re totally free.
Go to the Library
When’s the last time you checked out your local library? If it’s been a while, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised. Libraries aren’t like the ones you grew up going to. Many have playgrounds for the really little ones, theaters with plays and concerts for kids, storytime, LEGO tables, craft nights, movie afternoons, some even have a restaurant or cafe. Oh, and then there are books, movies, and music, too. Most libraries now even offer tabletop games you can check out for family game night. Plan to spend a rainy day exploring your library. Don’t forget to check out your library’s summer reading program so your kids — and even you — can earn prizes.
Explore a New Park
Look, we’ve been there. It’s tempting to park your kids in front of the TV or a tablet (so they’ll just be quiet for 30 minutes already!), but why not get them outside for a bit? Even if you think you’ve explored most of the parks where you live, we’re here to tell you that you probably haven’t found all of those parks. Get out and explore a place you haven’t been. Go on Google or Instagram to find new spots. Bring water shoes and towels, and let your kids wade in a creek, collect rocks, and pick up leaves on a trail. Remember when you were a kid and you spent all that time outside? Let your kids do the same, even if it’s only occasionally. Just be sure to bring sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water. It’s hot out there.
Have a Dance Party
“Hey, Alexa, play some dance music.” Let everyone shake their wiggles out to the beats of Cardi B. (well, maybe the Kidz Bop versions), Macklemore, and Imagine Dragons. Everyone gets moving and burns some calories. Bonus: If you don’t know how to do The Floss (and all those other Fortnite dances), your kids will 100% teach you how.
Not going on a big summer vacay this year? Pack up your tent and some gear, and head to your nearest state park for a night of stargazing, marshmallow roasting, and mosquito-swatting. We love camping, and think it’s a great way to get the whole family outdoors. Plus, the pics and videos on your phone will be pretty epic. Not sure what to pack or where to go? We have you covered on those fronts, too.
Head to a Museum or Historical Site
Look, the heat this summer is no joke. So why not find a nice museum (with really cold AC) that’s free of admission (donations, of course, are appreciated because … the arts). If you’re in D.C., you can’t get better free museums than the Smithsonians. In Seattle? Check out the Frye Art Museum. From The Alamo (remember it?) in Texas to the Griffith Observatory in L.A., there’s plenty of free arts, culture, and science to be found.
So unstick your ass from that plastic chair and get busy with fun activities for kids and for you. Time to beat that midsummer boredom!
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