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Family Summer Activity Ideas

family at zoo

With the price of gas, eating out, and hotels on the rise, why not take advantage of what your local area has to offer and plan day trips and mini-excursions for the family this summer! Not only will you save money, but you won't feel like you need to take a vacation from your vacation.

Local Family Activities

Deciding Where To Go
One summer a group of my good friends and I picked one day each week to schedule a group field trip. Between the three of us we have seven children of varying ages, so we had to pick activities that everyone would like. We started by asking the kids what they wanted to do and made a list. Then we did a little research of our own and added a few more ideas for the summer and went about making a plan. Some of the family-friendly local destinations we found included:

  • Zoo
  • Museum
  • Hiking (and fishing) at a local state park    
  • Bowling
  • Mini Golf
  • Amusement Park
  • Local history attractions
  • A visit to a local farm to pick our own berries
  • And of course, the neighborhood pool

For more ideas in your hometown check local tourism web sites, ask around, or better yet, ask the kids.

What To Take

One thing I learned early on when trying to go anywhere with the kids is to be prepared for the unexpected! There’s nothing like a good splash in a mud puddle, scraped knee or hungry child to put a damper on the fun - unless of course, you are one step ahead of them.


Put a plastic bin or laundry basket in the back of the vehicle to hold:

  • A change of clothes for the kids (you may want to throw in a raincoat for good measure)
  • First aid kit with adhesive bandages, antibacterial cream, child and adult dose pain relievers and any allergy or other medications your children may need
  • A few zip top plastic bags to hold wet or dirty clothes, trash, or collected treasures (like rocks, flowers, or shells)

Children need to fuel their bodies more frequently when they are busy and many temper tantrums and meltdowns are the result of kids running on empty. Pack your own snacks and/or lunch so that you are prepared when the kids are hungry and you are not hunting high and low for an appropriate place to eat (plus packing your own food is so much less expensive).

  • Water to keep little bodies hydrated. If you are going to be doing a lot of walking/activity or it is hot, you may also want to include sports drinks to help replace the electrolytes and carbohydrates kids use up quickly when they are sweating.
  • Take fresh fruits and vegetables like bananas, apples and carrot sticks that are easy to eat and do not require refrigeration.
  • Pick up a variety pack of Kelloggs snacks before you go. The individual size packages are easy to pack in a backpack or purse, are fun for the kids to eat and help give them energy. Going to the zoo? Try the Keebler® Animals Assortment Pack. Want the kids to be able to choose sweet or salty? Try the Gripz® Variety 14 Pack™ that contains Chips Deluxe® cookies, Cheez-It® crackers, and Keebler® Grahams®.

animal crackers and gripz products

Oh and Don't Forget The Camera

You will definitely want to capture the smiles and preserve the memories of your mini vacations, so don’t forget the camera!! 

With a little planning and a sense of adventure, you can easily be a tourist in your own town and make memories that will last a lifetime with the entire family!

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