Summer Vacation Ideas for Families

Summer Vacation Ideas for Families – Planning the Best Summer Ever


Summer Vacation Ideas for Families will help you plan the best summer ever.  You have probably been looking forward to summer vacation since last fall.  You may be thinking of all the summer vacation ideas for your family or the things you want to accomplish this summer.

Now that summer vacation has arrived, you want to make the most of your time and stretch it out as long as possible.  Without careful planning, the days of summer can slip away before you know it.

Here are some simple action steps to take to make this the best summer vacation ever!

Summer Vacation Ideas with Families

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Summer Vacation Ideas for Families – Planning the Best Summer Ever

Before you plan any big event, you have to sit down and make some plans.  Planning for summer vacation takes some intentional time and effort to maximize the benefits you will enjoy together as a family.

Summer Vacation Ideas Family Bucket List

Start by making a family summer vacation idea bucket list.  You can do some brainstorming together as a family or create individual lists of the things each family member would like to do during the summer.  The sky is the limit on this wishlist.  Write down all the ideas.  You will be able to prioritize them later.

Once you have your combined lists, talk about which things have specific dates, or need to be scheduled.  Things like birthday parties, summer camp, and family reunions will probably have specific dates attached to them.  Write those dates beside the items on your list.

Next, look at the things on your list that don’t have dates but are things you would like to do to.  Make sure you take into account the different wishes of each family member so you don’t miss something.


Plan a Summer Family Vacation

Summer is the best time to plan a family vacation.  The weather is great, the kids are out of school and often it is easier to take time off work in the summer.  With the summer weather, it’s a great time to do lots of outdoor activities.  Plan a camping trip with your family.  The memories you make together will be irreplaceable!  If you aren’t quite sold on the whole camping idea, you might want to read 7 Reasons Why You Should Go Camping with Your Kids.

Plan your trip to one or more awesome National Parks and Historic Sites.   There are so many fun things to do in a National Park, including hiking, swimming, boating, camping, and Junior Ranger programs for the kids or kids at heart.

Have you dreamed of doing a summer vacation road trip with your kids?  There are lots of things to consider when planning for a road trip.  The time in the car can become the best time for making memories and building a positive relationship with your kids.

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Best Summer Ever Planner Freebie

Summer Vacation Family Activities

Now that you have the big things on your list – the things that take a lot of planning or have fixed dates on your calendar, you can now look at the list and add in the things that can fit in between.  Your list might include some of these things.

  • Summer Camp
  • Swim Lessons
  • Day camps
  • Summer school
  • Vacation Bible School

Create a Family Summer Vacation Calendar

Now that you have the big things on your list and the activities that will need to be scheduled or planned, start putting them on your family calendar.  If you don’t put it on the calendar, you are likely to miss it or get busy with other things rather than the things that your family has planned as important.

Once you have these things on your calendar, you can start adding the smaller plans that don’t take as much scheduling.  Put these smaller things on a list on the side of your summer calendar and make sure you do one each week.

  • Go on a picnic
  • Swim at the lake
  • Go kayaking or paddleboarding
  • Roast hot dogs around a fire in the backyard
  • Run through the sprinkler
  • Wash the car
  • Watch the stars

Do you need a new calendar?  My very favorite calendar is my Erin Condren Life Planner.  There is so much room to write and make notes.  It easily accommodates all of your family activities and dates with room for planning notes and more.

Keep the Household Running Smoothly with a Family Summer Vacation Schedule

Summertime brings a change in the daily routine and schedule.  If you want to get the most out of your summer vacation plans with your family, and combat boredom is to create a summer routine.  Your summer routine will include meal times, wake up and bedtimes, as well as individual chores and responsibilities.

Household chores and jobs

Everyone has a daily job list with their responsibilities.  Depending on the age of your children, you can have a set scheduled or a rotating schedule.  You can take turns setting the table and helping get the meals on the table with clean up and dishes.  Or perhaps your child feeds and waters the dog or cat and the next week they clean up after them.  It may take some tweaking and there may be some grumbling, but a household runs so much smoother when everyone knows what their job is.

Your job list might include some of these…

  • make bed
  • put away clothes
  • laundry
  • dishes/kitchen clean up/prep
  • weeding, yard work, housework
  • empty trash
  • pet care – (feed, play with, walk, clean up)
  • clean up bedroom


Once you have your household chores divided up, you will need to plan your daily routines.  You might take a few days right after school is out to let the kids sleep in, but having a routine with set times for getting up, meals, and going to bed will really help your state of mind.  We thrive on routines and schedules so keeping to some sort of schedule each day during summer vacation will help everyone’s sanity.

  • Get out of bed
  • mealtimes
  • library day
  • town trip
  • reading/math facts time

Don’t forget about summer reading programs through your local library or school.  7 Easy Ways to Keeps the Kids Reading this Summer will help you with some ideas and incentives.

Summer Vacation Ideas for Families

Intentional Family Time

With a more relaxed schedule, make sure you plan intentional family time.  Pull out the yard games like croquet, badminton, bocce, frisbee, or play catch or tag.  Eat your meals together and talk to each other.  Take time to have family worship every day and talk about the miracles God is doing in your lives.

Work on projects together and teach your kids how to garden, cook or bake bread, paint a room or fence, build something, can applesauce, or mow the lawn – if they are old enough.  Kids crave time with their parents and working side by side on a project teaches your child skills, but also helps them take ownership of a job well done. Document these projects by taking lots of pictures so you and your kids can “remember when…” as they look back at these memories.

Think about some ways your family can get involved in a service project.  Here are 35 Family Friendly Service Ideas to get you started.

Teachable Moments

Just because the kids aren’t in school during the summer, doesn’t mean that the learning should stop.  Take advantage of those Teachable Moments to help your child develop their reading skills.

When you are working on projects together, Capture those Teachable Moments around math and science topics.

Summer Vacation Ideas for Families – Planning the Best Summer Ever

Now that you have gathered all of your summer vacation ideas for your family, and have a plan with schedules and dates, you can enjoy each day and know that you are making the most of your time together.  The time you spend with your family will create memories that you can share in the future.  You will have stories to tell, pictures to capture the memories, and relationships that are stronger because of your intentional family time and planning.




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