So, what if your family isn’t going to the Grand Canyon this year? For MANY of us, it’s going to be a stay-close-to-home kind of summer. With a little creativity and planning, we can still have memorable summer adventures that are in our community and are budget friendly (or even free!).
Listen on Monday mornings at 7:45am for ideas and share your adventures with us on the Z88.3 Mornings Facebook page.
Week 1: Let’s Go Around Town
- Kids Bowl Free: More than 1,500 bowling centers around the globe provide 2 FREE Games of bowling each day to kids during the summer. You can find a location near you and sign your kids up at KidsBowlFree.com.
- Regal’s Summer Movie Express: A film festival for families that offers $2 movies at theaters across the country. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, participating Regal locations will showcase two movies during the first show of the day. You can see the schedule on their website.
- AMC Theatres Summer Movie Camp: For the first time in four years, AMC Theatres is bringing back its Summer Movie Camp, classics returning to the silver screen, with ticket prices as low as $3 on Wednesdays and $5 on Saturdays. You can check out what classics they are showing on their website.
- Wawa Summer Fun Days at Bok Tower Gardens: Wawa has teamed with Bok Tower Gardens to offer complimentary admission to Bok Tower Gardens on select Thursdays and Fridays of each month (May through September). Visit the famous Singing Tower carillon, and kids will love the interactive Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden. Pre-registration is required and you can click here to select a date.
- Free Summer Library Programs: Check out summer programming at your local library branch. Most offer fun events such as magic shows, bubble shows, circuses, and more.
Week 2: Let’s Go Camping
- Leave an invitation in the mailbox for your kids and their favorite stuffed animals inviting them to a living room camp out.
- Using sleeping bags, blankets, couch cushions, and such, and let the kids help you build a fort.
- If you have a sound machine, put it on the nature setting in the background. You could also find a track of nature sounds on YouTube.
- Have “camp food” for dinner…hot dogs, burgers, etc. Serve on paper plates and eat on the floor or in chair by your “camp site”.
- Walk around your neighborhood with flashlights after it’s dark. Don’t forget to point out the stars if you can see them.
- Keep the lights off in the house and use flashlights while you play games and tell stories (they don’t have to be scary ones).
- Make microwave s’mores.
- Before everyone falls asleep, thank God for his many adventures, big and small.
Week 3: Let’s Go on a Scavenger Hunt
- On our website, we have scavenger hunt lists that you can print out if you’re going to the beach or exploring a trail…even my mom enjoys doing these.
- But with a little creativity, we can kick it up a notch. Write out items you would see around the grocery store, and then print the list and give to your kids. Give them a marker or pen and with a few rules (like no running), you can create a fun indoor activity right at your local grocery store.
- If you want to take it to the next level, plan it at one of our malls. There will be more options that you can add to your list. Plus, you can add fun activities like trying on an outfit at one of their favorite stores.
Week 4: Let’s Go on a Hike!
- We have so many amazing nature trails here in central Florida. Taking a hike can be super fun for the kids and doesn’t require much planning.
- Let them help pack up some snacks for your adventure. You can even create your own trail mix. Let the kids pick out the different ingredients.
- Get your hiking clothes and maybe even pack binoculars for them to use along the trail.
- You can do a Google search for trails near you but here a few in central Florida to check out.
- Lake Apopka Wildlife Trail
- Black Bear Wildness Area
- Bonnet Springs Park
- Seminole Wekiva Trail
- Spring Hammock Preserve
Week 5: Let’s Go Gardening!
- Get the kids outside for a hands-on learning experience: gardening!
- Being outside gives kids time to cut loose and burn off some steam. Your garden can serve as an outdoor classroom for showing the kids how and where we get our food while connecting them to nature and the environment. Even the littlest ones love to learn about dirt, plants, and bugs.
- Whether you want to grow vegetables, flowers or both, gardening is a great way to teach environmental awareness by exploring the workings of nature.
- Start by choosing your space. Do container gardening or just pick a spot in your backyard. Prep your area. Get little hands dirty and dig away!
- Choose your seeds and starts. Let the kids help with the whole process!
- With our Florida heat, planning your adventure early morning or evening will make for a more enjoyable experience.
- It could be fun to have a picnic-themed snack prepared for the kids that you can enjoy in or outdoors.
- After your hard work is done, reading through the first couple chapters of Genesis and God’s garden could be a special family moment.
Week 6: Let’s Go H2O!
- With the heat turned up in central Florida, it’s the perfect time to have a water day!
- It can be fun to visit one of our water parks or splash pads across the community. If you can’t though, why not have the kids create one! This is a great way to get outside without it being too hot.
- It could be a fun day to invite the kids’ friends over or have the whole family participate.
- Here are some fun water game ideas:
- Water Relay Races is the perfect way to mix water and competition. Try to get the water from point A to point B on the other side of the yard using cups or sponges as fast as you can.
- Classic Water Balloon Toss or even play a game of Hot Potato.
- A good ol’ fashion run through the sprinklers…you can even kick it up a notch by playing freeze tag.
- Cup of Chance could also be a fun addition to water day. This one is so easy to set up. Put 15 or so plastic cups on a table. Fill some partially with water. Blindfold the kids and let them take turns picking a cup to dump on top of their head. If you really wanna increase the fun factor, you play too!
Week 7: Let’s Go On A Road Trip!
- We live in one of the greatest communities in the entire world for enjoying summer break! It could be fun to plan a local “road trip”. Take a tour of central Florida landmarks or locations for a quick stop and picture.
- You can surprise them with what the next stop is or print out a map for the kids to mark off throughout the day.
- Lake Eola, Old town Kissimmee, a state park, Lake Dora, maybe even visiting a fire station…make it yours! Visit Orlando has ideas if you need them.
- Make sure to learn a little something about each location.
- You could even include a restaurant for lunch that you have never tried before.
- At the end of the day, get the kids’ highlight for the day and thank God together for our amazing community!
Week 8: Let’s Go Serve!
- Let’s serve our community together as a family!
- It doesn’t have to be something big. You could drop off cookies at your city’s police department or fire station. Or maybe have the kids make cards or pictures for a family member or friend and drop those in the mail for them.
- We have a whole list of different ideas your family can do. You can check it out here.