8 Things to Do at Your Local Park This Summer

This is our last week of school (only 2 more packed lunches to go!), so we’re gearing up for a summer of fun.

The girls and I will be home for the next 11 weeks — that’s 77+ days of fun, sun, and sleeping in!

Or, more accurately, 3 days of fun and sun, absolutely no sleeping in, and 75 days of trying to figure out how to keep the kids busy enough to stop fighting.

One of our favorites each year is our local parks. We are blessed with numerous parks and playgrounds — 3 within walking distance — of all shapes and sizes.

We try to hit a park each week, and they’re already listing our favorites. Most of the things they love about parks have nothing to do with the playground equipment. If you’ve seen one slide, you’ve seen them all — but there is still a lot of fun to be had at the park away from the play area.

Here are a few of our favorite, off the beaten path park activities:

  • Creek Stomping 1 of 8
    Creek Stomping
    What's more fun than splashing in muddy water? Doing it fully clothed! My girls love creek stomping, so if we're headed to a park where this activity is a possibility, I have learned to come prepared with spare clothes.
  • Geocaching 2 of 8
    Your local parks are favorite hiding spots for both geocaching and letterboxing. Do a little treasure hunting next time the kiddos get bored with the playground.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user: mychachemania
  • Outdoor Games 3 of 8
    Outdoor Games
    Parks are full of wide open spaces, perfect for running, playing tag, and other awesome games we just can't do at home. Plus, there's no shortage of kids who would love to join in the fun.
    Read more at Family Fun
  • Park Tour 4 of 8
    Park Tour
    In addition to our usual haunts, the girls and I try to hit up new parks throughout the summer. Our goal is to visit a different park each week — keeping the kids interested and allowing us to find new favorites.
  • Play with Rocks 5 of 8
    Play with Rocks
    Climbing on rocks, collecting pebbles, building with rocks, and even throwing stones — it's a right of passage for kids, and parks have plenty of opportunities.
    Read more at The Risky Kids
    Photo Credit: Flickr user
  • Scavenger Hunt 6 of 8
    Scavenger Hunt
    Send your kids on a hunt through the playground, trees, and trails. They'll have a blast, and you'll get to explore parts of the park you never knew existed.
    Read more at The Taylor House
  • Pickup Sticks 7 of 8
    Pickup Sticks
    There's a reason the stick was officially inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame. (No, really.) It's the most imaginative toy you can find. Sword, walking stick, building logs, drumstick — there is just no end to the fun kids will have with a simple stick.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user: boedker
  • Water Play 8 of 8
    Water Play
    Splash parks are always on our list, but even at regular park, come prepared for water play. Bring squirt guns, water balloons or wet sponges for hours of cool fun. Let the kids dry in the sun before you head home, and you'll keep the drippy mess out of your house. (Plus, you can fill your water toys for free!)

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