9 Ways to Liven up Your Summer

The kids are out of school and you have vacation that you’ve been saving up. Hmm, what to do? With summer fully in swing, it’s time to venture out and create family moments that you all will reflect on for years to come. How exactly do you do that, you say? Well, we have nine great ideas to help you get started.

1. See a fireworks show – You’d be surprised to find out that venues blaze fireworks well beyond the 4th of July. Dodger’s Stadium, for example, has what is called Friday Night Fireworks, where nearly every Friday they set off themed fireworks after the game. The Hollywood Bowl is also known for its fireworks displays. To find shows in your area, do a simple Google search.

2. Barbecue or picnic – If you have a grill, there is no reasonable excuse as to why you can’t throw a barbecue. Purchase a few packs of meat and vegetables, marinate them in your favorite marinade or rub, then throw them on the grill. Bang! To give your party some oomph, try some of these unique party ideas from Country Living. Don’t have a grill? Not to worry. You can have a picnic at your local park, which by the way has community grills that are open to the public.

3. Travel (local and beyond) – While airfare may not seem affordable, set up some alerts with travel sites like Kayak and Expedia to see which airlines are having summer deals to specific locations like Las Vegas or Orlando.

4. Take a dip – Many cities and towns that have pools will offer great summer deals for families. Having a family pass means you can pop in and spend as much (or as little) time as you want before heading back home.

5. Catch an outdoor movie – Make a family trip out of a drive-in movie, or put of a sheet in the yard and project one. Make snacks and get some drinks, and the kids will have an absolute blast. Some cities and towns will also show family-appropriate movies at your local parks. And that’s not all. These “movies in the parks” often feature live music, cast members from the movies and food trucks galore. Many are also pet-friendly, so bring Fido.

6. Take nature hikes/walks – Instead of your child sitting around and watching television all day, go out and explore the world around you. Nature walks or hikes are fun, free and, most importantly, educational. You and your child can learn about various plant life and animals that roam the terrain.

7. Hit the beach – This one is a no-brainer, as beaches have become synonymous with summer. But don’t just surf, swim, make sand castles or bury yourself in the sand, make it an educational experience. Go during low tide, when the sea life is exposed. If you have a marine biology book, you and your children can point out sea anemones, chiton, sea cucumbers, and more.

8. Thrill seek – If you are a family who doesn’t like to sit around, try going to an amusement park, white water rafting, tubing, kayaking, camping in the woods or dirt biking.

9. Everyday celebrations – There are a number of "weird" celebrations that make every month interesting to explore. For example, July 2nd was "I Forgot Day"; July 7th was "Chocolate Day"; July 10th was "Teddy Bear Picnic Day"; and July 17th was National Ice Cream Day. Run a quick search online and you'll find that there's plenty to do.