School’s out for the summer!! If you’re following this blog (thank you by the way) you know that we’re a big family. Party of 8 coming through! Having such a big family is such a fun adventure but sometimes it can be a bit tricky, especially when you’re trying to plan outings. Large summer vacations tend to be a bit expensive, so no matter where we are, I have learned to be the staycation guru for our family. My ultimate desire is to make our homeschool breaks enjoyable for the kids and create fun memories for them. I’ve put together a quick list of fun activities we can do that won’t break my husband’s pockets but still show the kids a good time.
When we moved to Austin a few summers ago, we were took a tour of the city. We tried our best to participate in all of the free fun activities that were available, hence our list. Lots of those activities inspired our own summer list. Each year we try to get through all the activities before the summer is over. We have yet to complete the entire list. I encourage you to use our list as inspiration for your own summer list, or take our list and have a blast. If you do get through our entire list, I’d love to hear how you did it!
Every summer our girls beg me to have a sleepover with some of their friends. I think we can finally get around to accomplishing this feat. I was thinking of a spa themed sleepover where the girls can paint their nails, make face masks, and stay up watching age appropriate movies and having a fun girl time together.
When we first moved to Austin and we were still waiting for all of our things to arrive from the moving company, we had a few movie nights in our very empty living room. I can’t wait to set up the projector in the back yard, get some blankets, or chairs, make some popcorn, roast some hot dogs and have a movie night in the backyard. I’m sure the kids would love it, and it’ll remind them of the times we would go to the drive-in back in San Diego. I can’t forget the mosquito spray though, these Texas mosquitos are relentless.
We’ve always been an outdoorsy type of family (I’m not really sure how that happened), so hiking is always something fun (and free) that we can do as a family. Austin has lots of hiking trails that are family friendly and not too rigorous for small kids. It’ll be a great way to spend time together and create our own little adventure.
When we lived in San Diego, the kids would write plays and with the help of their cousins act out these plays. They would go all out making posters and placing them all over the house inviting us to the play. One play had an intermission AND there were snacks! The laughs were endless and it’s always fun to watch the kids bring ideas they have in their heads come alive in play form.
I am a big history buff and I love learning about history by visiting museums. We’ve never lived in a state capital until we moved to Austin, and we had a blast touring the State Capitol, so I would love to get to the some museums. I know that museums offer free admission on certain days of the week, so I’m hoping to get some fun educational outings included in our summer activities.
Every fall we pack our family up and we head to the wilderness. The kids LOVE pulling out their sleeping bags and the idea of sleeping outside in tents just makes them giddy. Every year I wonder why we don’t do more backyard camping. I’m hoping to get a bit more practice for our fall trip by having a fun night of camping in the backyard. We’ll gather up all of our camping equipment from the garage, and set everything up for a fun night of burgers, chips, and s’mores. It’ll be a great way to explore our back yard at night.
Austin is bursting with beautiful state parks and we were given a Texas Parks and Wildlife gift card from a very thoughtful friend shortly after our move. We haven’t been able to use the gift card, but now is the perfect time to get out and explore. Perhaps we’ll pack up a lunch and some snacks and make a day of our park visit.
As a kid, the rule was to be in the house by the time the street lights came on. I have always loved to watch the stars from my window. I would love to have a night where we could lay out on the grass (doused in bug spray) in the back yard and just watch the stars. We could probably put some of those astrology apps (since we don’t own a telescope) we have on our electronic devices and see if we can identify some stars.
We have a trove of board games and card games. Having a game night with the kids is always lots of fun! I have been wanting to play some of those crazy Minute to Win It games for a while now. This would be the perfect time to claim a victory. We’ll set up different game stations and have a bunch of finger foods to enjoy while we have our game night. This would also be a great time to invite over some friends. It’ll make this night even more fun for the kids and the adults.
Austin has a special family area near Bergstrom International Airport which is one of Austin’s best-kept secrets. This would be a great morning activity for the kids to watch commercial planes arriving and departing. We’ll gather up some breakfast (peak hours are from 6am-11am) and have a fun family morning checking out the planes.
I’m excited to get a break from our homeschool activities. It’s been a long year. I’m also excited about participating in different events that are free or very inexpensive to pull off this summer. In addition to all the fun, I’m looking forward to making memories with the kids and having my husband around to enjoy these activities with us. I hope you enjoy this list, as it was really hard to narrow it down to only 10 activities. I’m hoping we can throw in a library visit along with this list, but I’ll be happy just following the list. I’d love to know what some of your summer break activities look like for your family. Feel free to share in the comment section.
You can keep up with us this summer over on Instagram
Until Next Time,