Let’s face it- the season starts to feel a little boring by late summer.
And although Autumn and Back to School are looming…what if we’re not ready to let go of summer yet?
Well, fortunately, you don’t have to.
Here are 11 activities to re-ignite those summer sensations and liven up the season’s end!
And don’t forget to check out 15 Affordable Family Activities to Offset High Prices and Top 15 Family Activities on a Budget for cheaper options.
1.) A Hotel Escape
Checking into a hotel with waterslides or a pool is a sure-fire way to feel as though you are on a mini vacation, even if home is just around the corner.
Children can gleefully spend hours in the pool, hot tub, and waterslides, and many hotels have family suites that feature children and teen-themed rooms with separate bedrooms for parents.
Wind down your stay with an in-room movie night, some room service, the hotel restaurant, or delivery, and have a delicious end to your mini-vacation!
2.) A Weekday Matinee
Much like the beach, people start to wane on the cinema scene after the initial summer blockbusters are released.
But a few tweaks to your summer flick habits can make movie-going enjoyable all over again.
Gather the kids and a friend or two for a weekday matinee, and afterward- how about ice cream for that cold, sweet taste of summer?
For a more active day, forego the ice cream for a playground and burn off some energy.
And as a bonus- there will be far fewer crowds!
3.) A Midnight Ride
Sometimes we need to just get in the car and go.
One of my best childhood memories was getting awakened by our dad who whisked us into the car PJs and all and drove to the local fairgrounds.
He put us on the hood of the car and voila- our town’s annual fireworks!
Think spontaneity, big city nights, excitement, and go for a cruise- don’t forget some hot chocolate at the local drive-thru!
If you live rurally, look for authentic drive-in movie theatres- the experience is worth the drive!
4.) Hit the Greens- With the Kids
If you enjoy golf, consider making a day of it with the kids- you may be surprised to find they really enjoy the game as well.
Aside from the exercise (ditch the cart), it’s just as nice golfing at the end of the summer as at the beginning- with cooler weather, equal amounts of sunshine, and fewer insects.
And if the kids are too young to enjoy golf- there’s always mini-golf!
5.) Check out Greenhouses- Again!
Most people flock to greenhouses and garden centers in the spring, but late summer visits are a great time to pick up extra annuals and perennials on sale.
It’s also a good time to have a chat with staff regarding winter care of your plants and bulbs, as there is less foot traffic and more one-on-one time for customers.
So, although the colors of the flora may change, you can keep your garden looking fresh and rejuvenated for months to come.
6.) Visit The Zoo
Another way to feel as though summer’s going to stick around forever is to visit the zoo.
Round up the family, head to the zoo, and take your time- mindfully experience all the exhibits the zoo has to offer.
You can also pack a picnic and make a day of it. Most zoos are situated near or within larger parks and there are ample places for lounging.
Check out our free downloadable Summer Picnic Checklist.
7.) Fairs, Exhibitions, Carnivals, and Rodeos
Due to the traveling nature of fairs, carnivals, and rodeos, there is usually one of these events happening near your community.
Enjoy petting zoos, merchandise vendors, games, entertainers, AND all the candy apples, mini-donuts, cotton candy, and mouth-watering foods you can handle- they won’t be around for another year!
Never miss out on a safe, organized trip with this helpful Vehicle Checklist.
8.) Concerts, Music Festivals, and Entertainers
Sometimes we can overlook events happening at smaller concert theatres, casinos, and clubs. These venues often feature non-headlining solo artists and bands.
You might also discover a host of artists performing at outdoor country music, folk, jazz, or rock festivals.
Casinos are a great option as their shows and performers often vary across tastes and genres: magic, comedy, dancers, hypnotists, game shows, and musicians to name a few!
Or you can head to the nearest comedy club for some comic relief- yes, do something corny!
Although these options are geared towards adults, smaller concert theatres or amphitheaters often host touring children’s performers during the summer, so you may find activities to suit everyone.
9.) Pow Wows or Other Cultural Celebrations
Pow Wows are traditional First Nations, or Indigenous celebrations that feature:
- Beautifully beaded, colorful, and intricate regalia
- Heart-pounding drums and mesmerizing singers
- A relaxed and happy environment
- Great food
- Amazing dancers from all age groups
- Spiritual connection and joy
- Indigenous handicraft and art vendors
Some of the dances include fancy dances, chicken dances, grass dances, jingle dances, and traditional dances.
Summer is high time for many cultural events and a quick Google search may present other celebrations in your area.
10.) Take a Hike
National and state or provincial parks are often crowded in spring and early summer, however, late summer is also a perfect time to visit.
Parks offer varied landscapes, geological wonders, and manmade structures:
- Rivers, waterfalls, lakes (limestone lakes, mountain lakes, crater lakes).
- Unique flora and fauna (think giant trees, boreal forests, and migrating birds).
- Deserts, sand dunes, snake pits.
- Craters, hot springs, caves.
- Canyons, hoodoos, and other rock formations.
- Tundra, marshes, and wetlands.
- Lighthouses and viewing towers.
- Suspension bridges, arch bridges, and boardwalks.
- Historical buildings and work sites.
- Maintained trails and facilities.
They may also offer services such as guided tours, discovery programs, and events, and also offer:
- Guided hiking, biking, horseback, and rafting tours.
- Outfitting services.
- Rentals such as kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, pontoons, fishing boats, bikes, safety equipment, and fishing gear.
Taking a safe, well-prepared day trip to a park will provide an entire day of fresh air, nature, exercise, education, discovery, and adventure.
11.) Hit the Beach- But Not to Swim!
I recently wrote an article entitled 11 Best Water Features for a Calming Space which discusses the amazing effects of water. And while swimming can be immensely therapeutic, there is something cathartic about heading to the shores when you have no intention of swimming.
There are many things to do without braving the chilly waters:
- Make beautiful collages right at the beach with cardboard, glue, shells, sand, rocks, small sticks, and driftwood.
- Use some twine, driftwood, flexible twigs, and your imagination to make wind chimes.
- Kids love Rocks! Bring a book to identify their finds and later, a mini paint-pot set in a baggie with a few brushes will create some lovely painted rocks!
- Bring buckets and shovels to build castles, pyramids, and mermaids- the skies the limit!
- Frisbee, volleyball, kite flying, scoop ball, Velcro ball, ball and mitt, and beachballs are great for the shore.
- Bring along your favorite books or comics and read.
- Make a reading circle with the kids, take turns reading, and snuggle under some soft throws.
- A wiener roast with marshmallows and a thermos of hot stuff lends the perfect ambiance, and if a fire isn’t possible, there’s always PB&J!
- Take a long walk along the beach, observe nature, and enjoy. Even better- have races with the kids- what memories they’ll have for years to come!
And the best part? Because you won’t be in the water, you can go in the early morning, all afternoon, or for a few hours in the early evening.
I hope you enjoyed these activities on how to liven up summer’s end, and we’d love to hear what your late summer activities include, along with any thoughts, questions, or concerns about life over 40!
If there’s something you like us to write about, please drop us a line!