Now I know to most people summer is over right after Labor Day, but officially, summer is not over until September 22. And, if you are in the South, it can feel like summer up to late November! So, here are some ideas to help you make the most of our last summer days or weekends!
photo credit: The Duke
If you are like my family, then you spend most of your time outside. We just recently took a hiking trip up to Amicalola Falls in North Georgia, and I couldn’t believe how much the kids loved it! Now, you have to definitely be prepared for a long hike with your kids (i.e. snacks, plenty of water, first aid kits, and make sure your kids are wearing comfortable shoes!). Also, if you have a son like mine that complains about walking a quarter of mile, then make the hike interesting by giving them things to look for like bird feathers, animal tracks, etc. Hiking trails are everywhere across the United States. You can do a simple google search to find a local trail or use sites like American Trails and stateparks.com to give you some ideas as to where you should plan your next hike!
photo credit: active.com
Taking a weekend camping trip is not only a great idea for your kids, but for you as well! Spending a weekend out in nature can help you unwind and recharge for the week ahead. Also, no matter if you go to a campsite 10 miles from your house or 100 miles from your house, it will still feel like you are in a different land. To find a great campsite near you go and visit these sites Go Camping America , 26 Best Places to Camp in the U.S. , and Top 100 Campgrounds .
photo credit: wikipedia
In downtown Atlanta, we have a park that kids love to visit! Kids love to play in the fountains where the water spurts out of the ground! So, if you plan on going here, I would bring your kids a change of clothes. Now most major cities have downtown parks that have cool statues, playgrounds, or art displays for kids to enjoy, but, if you can’t justify a trip into Atlanta or any other big city just for a downtown park, then you can make it a day affair by visiting the zoo, aquarium, or even the museum.
photo credit: fromballparkstobbq
If the temperatures drop below 75 degrees in the sun, my kids tend to be cold. So before the cooler temperatures of fall get here, take in a fun baseball game or go to a local high school football game. Your kids will be impressed by the athleticism of the older athletes, and these events tend to cater towards children because it’s an opportunity to get kids interested in the specific sport!
photo credit: Amy’s Party Ideas
If you live in the South, you know that College Football is EVERYTHING (up north it’s NFL)! So, one of our favorite things to do is have tailgating parties with friends and family! If you are not into football, then you can just hold a fun BBQ. This is an opportunity to indulge in the foods from summer that every kid loves: watermelon, ice cream, popsicles, and a cool sweet lemonade or sweet tea. So pull out the grill and cook up your favorite treats from summer!
photo credit: Home on Lake Martin
Before the water gets too cold to get into, try to take a last minute beach trip or lake trip. A lake trip would be better to go to right now than a beach trip because of Hurricane Season, but taking a trip to the water is a great escape from the busy schedule that all parents feel they get sucked into at the beginning of school and sports activities. Also, beaches and lakes will be less crowded due to it being the off season!
photo credit: trover.com
If you love going to museums, botanical gardens, Broadway shows, or art galleries, now is the time to go visit the latest shows before they change out for the holiday season. Usually, these shows will finish out through September, and then, they will change to either a temporary showcase before the holiday season or more likely begin their holiday features -because now, we get ready for Halloween in September and Christmas in October. I am particularly interested in visiting the Atlanta Botanical Gardens featuring “Chihuly in the Garden”. Check out your city’s attractions page to see the calendar for when these special events will end!
photo credit: Austin Texas Gov
My kids love the pool like most kids do, so if you have a neighborhood pool that is open past Labor Day take advantage of it! Going to the pool is a great way to keep your kids busy for at least a few hours! Also, if you are more adventurous, go visit your local natural springs. In Atlanta, we love to “shoot the hooch”, and in other places like Austin, Texas, they have natural pools and wells that people love to swim in!
photo credit: Firefly Experience
This was one of my favorite things to do in the summer when I was a child, and I have so much fun watching my kids enjoying this activity as well. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I love lights, and fireflies are nature’s light bulbs. Holding these small bugs in your hands and watching them light up gives me a sense of childlike wonder. Take some jars and light them up with fireflies, but make sure that when you are done let these beautiful creatures back into the air.
photo credit: vasadvrlist
I know a lot of moms including myself who love to document every little thing that they did with their children. Making a scrapbook/photo album is a great way to organize photos as well as help you remember what you did over the last year/summer. This is a great time to get it started before all of the crazy that comes along with the Holiday season. Also another pro mom tip, if you make one digitally through shutterfly or any other photo album maker website, you can order extras for presents to family members!
photo credit: makeena
If you don’t have a lot of time on the weekends due to sports activities etc., this is a fun way to eat your lunch on a Saturday with your kids. Pack a lunch or pick up some Chick-fil-A (my son’s favorite food) and head to a park or a playgound!
photo credit: The Duke
Just be warned, the water can be very cold, so always make sure that the water won’t be too cold for your children, and be aware of water levels as well as water flow particularly after rainfall! But if it’s a super hot day (which it can be in the South), rafting and tubing is so much fun!! This outdoor adventure is a great time for everyone in my family! There are some really great lakes/rivers around our area to float peacefully, but if you want something more fun and exciting like white water rafting, then I would recommend checking out a company that provides planned trips with an instructor.
photo credit: mabmontessori
Usually, people tend to be more active and out and about during the last days of summer and early days of fall, so setting up a lemonade stand can be a great idea to teach your kids about the value of hard work and money. This past summer, my kids got really into setting up lemonade stands! They love the concept of putting in hard work and getting something in return. I think though they really just like getting the extra change, so they can go and buy stuff in the morning from the school stores that they have set up at their elementary school. So, help your kids make some lemonade and get them selling to the dog walkers, yard workers, and outdoor enthusiasts in your neighborhood.
photo credit: Pinterest-hannahteague-messparty
If you have looked around my site, you can probably tell that I am very artistic. I love to get my kids involved in the arts and doing activities with them that let’s their creativity shine. Having an outdoor paint party is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors and create some art. You can do whatever you want with this. I like to set up big canvases and let my kids choose how they want to paint it. They usually choose the style of painting that creates the most mess!
photo credit: wdwnt
One of my friends used to work at Walt Disney World, and she told me that the times when they were the least busy was during the month of September. Now, most amusement parks are going to be some level of busy, but September is an off-season for these parks. It is when you can get the best deals on park prices and if you are traveling the best deals on hotels. So, check out your local amusement or water park to make a day of it or make a weekend trip and go visit that park that your kids are dying to see!
photo credit: country living
Yummy! I love to eat organically, and if I can make something myself, then I will. I have actually never attempted the daunting task of making ice cream, but I want to try it before summer’s end. You can find some great homemade ice cream recipes from foodnetwork and countryliving.
photo credit: liveweirdrealty
September is a great month for outdoor festivals and concerts. Usually, schools will have their back to school festivals as well as charity concerts! Also, if you leave near a larger city, there are always music festivals going on because the weather is so great! Take a look at your local city’s calendar to see what events are going on right now!
photo credit: umtownship
If your state allows you to set off fireworks, then by all means set some off in your own backyard! Fireworks are just plain fun, and they shouldn’t be limited to just the fourth of July! If you can’t set off your own fireworks, try to find an event that sets off fireworks or just settle for some cute sparklers that your kids can hold!
photo credit: ytravelblog
We have a metal fire pit, but you can easily and safely create your own fire in your backyard. Roast some hot dogs and s’mores to have a fun night with the kids. If it doesn’t get dark out until closer to your kids’ bedtimes, you can still start earlier and it is just as fun!
photo credit: Keep Akron Beautiful
Volunteering is such a great activity to do with your kids. We live in a very tight nit community that values nature and our environment, so cleaning up our local parks and trails is super important to us. Getting your children involved teaches them the value of giving back to their community and helping others. I truly believe that if more people volunteered with their families, children would grow up to be more compassionate and interested in improving the world around them.
I hope you enjoy trying some of these activities with your children! Comment below to include some activities that you like to do with your kids, and if you post on instagram or facebook doing one of these activities with your kids make sure to tag @creativeandthankful !