Here are ten fun and safe summer activities for your family to enjoy.
Explore Your Community
Summer is a great time to get to know your community and explore new destinations and activities. Visit a bike trail or a local farm. Discover new places to hike and to picnic.
Visit Area Beaches
New England beaches are popular and can get crowded. To avoid crowds, go later in the day at off-peak hours. Some of the most beautiful, peaceful times at the beach are in the evening as the sun sets, the air cools, and the moon shines. Take a camera for some great shots! You may even save on parking fees during off-peak hours.
Go to pools, beaches, lakes, and ponds that have trained lifeguards for the safest experience. If the pool gets busy, hop out and take a break until fewer people are in the water. Consider water safety and swimming classes for young children. The best time to learn to swim is when children are young!
If you are thinking about a family road trip, AAA is a good resource, as well as newspaper and magazine articles about your intended destination. Ask friends, family, and colleagues for ideas. Before you identify a destination, consider everyone’s interests and tolerance for long car trips. If the children are school age, they can help research and plan fun places to visit.
As states update COVID safety mandates based on health data, here are some essential things to consider before you pack up the car and head out:
- Do your research. What is the current COVID-19 case data at your destination? Is it low or is the area experiencing a spike in cases?
- Each state is different. Know in advance what the restrictions are.
- Be thorough. Consider calling ahead to any place you plan to go. Ask hotel managers how they are ensuring people’s safety. Ask about refund policies, if they reduce capacity, and what cleaning protocols are in place.
- Pack masks. It is best to have masks handy for everyone in the family, even if adults are fully vaccinated and especially for children who are not vaccinated. Some businesses and public areas require masks, as do hospitals, health centers, and public transportation.
Plant a Garden
Summer is a great time for gardening. You can find some surprising benefits of gardening here.
Free college classes and lectures are available online to jump-start fall classes or learn something entirely new like photography or videography. Check out edx.org for free courses on thousands of different subjects. You can also learn a new lifetime skill like cooking. Online and in-person cooking classes abound. What better way for teens to help the family than to prepare some home-cooked meals?!
Check with your local schools, library, senior center, or food pantry for suggestions on where to volunteer. Follow your passions and skills to discover volunteer opportunities that are a good fit.
Plan a Block Party
Get to know your neighbors and welcome new ones to the community. Find out from your local police station if you can obtain a permit to block off your street. Talk with neighbors to identify some dates that might work best. Plan a potluck outside, bring some chalk and encourage the kids to bring outdoor toys.
Set a Family Fitness Goal
Summer is a good time to set a family fitness goal. Maybe it is to walk one mile together every night after dinner, or bike 20 miles each weekend, or conquer a 5K race by the end of the summer — whatever it is, enjoy doing healthy outdoor activities together!
Summer nights are captivating with the stars, warm air, fire flies, and other night creatures. Plan an evening to lie under the stars and see what you observe. Bring a flashlight and a drawing pad and encourage family members to draw, or write about what they see. Sleep outside in a tent for a fun adventure.
A NOTE ABOUT BABYSITTERS
As you plan fun summer activities, you may need childcare help, or a babysitter. Here are some tips for a safer experience:
- Candid, open conversations are essential to a healthy sitter/family relationship, during the pandemic and in regular times, too.
- Know if the prospective sitter is fully vaccinated and follows safe practices to prevent getting COVID-19.
- Consider who should wear masks, especially if unvaccinated children are part of the gathering.
- Have a plan in place if the sitter, child, or family member becomes sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive.
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