25 Things Every Kid Should Experience This Summer

If childhood had a season, it would be summer.

Long days of riding our bikes ’til the streetlights came on, playing in our neighbor’s sprinklers, and flagging down the ice cream truck — when we think back on our own childhoods, it’s the summers we remember most. Armed with our friends and our freedom, summer taught us everything we knew about being young.

Now it’s time for your kids to experience a season to remember. Check out these 25 things every kid should experience this summer, after the jump!

  • Catch a baseball game 1 of 25
    Catch a baseball game
    As the official sport of summer, baseball is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon with your kids. And many stadiums host family fun days over the summer, offering special giveaways, meal packages, and activities for kids. Check out your local ballpark for family days where you live ... and don't forget the peanuts, hot dogs, and Cracker Jacks!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Youth camp 2 of 25
    Youth camp
    Whether your kid's personality and your finances are a better fit for day camps or a sleepaway camp, camps are the perfect way to pack in summer experiences and make new friends. Confidence-boosting activities such as sports, arts, nature walks, and more, tailored around team-building fun create memorable summer experiences that will last well into adulthood.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Dollar movies 3 of 25
    Dollar movies
    When the troops get hot and weary, head off for some cheap cinematic fun! Check out the bargain theaters in your area to watch some older favorites back on the big screen.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Have a water balloon fight 4 of 25
    Have a water balloon fight
    The ultimate summer activity for kids, water balloon fights are a great way to keep kids busy, cool, and smiling in high temperatures.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Start a new book series 5 of 25
    Start a new book series
    Embark on a great adventure in the comfort of your own home by delving into a new book series. Your next great adventure is as close as your local library.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Make a new friend 6 of 25
    Make a new friend
    Whether your child meets a new pal on the playground or at the library, summer is the perfect season for making new friends. And with so much to see and do outdoors, a new pal is a great person to create unforgettable summer memories with! Make sure you trade snail-mail or email addresses before the summer ends so your child can keep in touch during school, too.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Take a hike 7 of 25
    Take a hike
    Hiking is a great adventure for everyone, including the family dog! Stock up on plenty of water, bug spray, and comfy boots and hit the woods with your kids! Not only is this a great way to enjoy the summer fresh air, but it's also a great place to teach your kids about different flowers, trees, bugs, and animals lurking in
    the forest.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Become a sidewalk artist 8 of 25
    Become a sidewalk artist
    Break out the sidewalk chalk and invite the neighborhood kids to join in on the creative fun! Maybe even host a neighboorhood art contest as part of a summer block party!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Go to the zoo 9 of 25
    Go to the zoo
    Where else can a kid get up close and personal with wild animals? From lions and tigers to crocodiles and parrots, you're sure to find an animal that sparks every kid's interest. And don't forget to stop by your zoo's petting zoo, which gives kids the chance to feed and pet everything from goats to pigs!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Play until the street lights come on 10 of 25
    Play until the street lights come on
    It doesn't get much sweeter than long days of outdoor fun with neighborhood kids. Hitting their bikes with their pals early in the morning and not heading home 'til the street lights pop on is a quintessential summer memory every child should have. Late to bed and early to rise, just in time for another day of outdoor fun and adventure.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Play frisbee 11 of 25
    Play frisbee
    Whether you play frisbee with your friends or your dog, at the park or at the beach, it's a fun way to get moving and enjoy the summer sun.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Rollerblade 12 of 25
    Roll through summer on wheels! Rollerblades and skates are a fun activity to keep your kids fit this summer — just don't forget your protective gear! Like biking, learning to rollerblade is a great milestone that your child can accomplish this summer.
    Make a game out of a family rollerskating outing by assigning each kid with a different color and seeing how many things you can spy in that color on your skating trip. Winner gets to choose the path home!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Amusement park rides 13 of 25
    Amusement park rides
    Satisfy your young thrill-seekers with a day of fun and high-speed adventure! Just don't be surprised when they want to ride the same rides over ... and over ... and over again!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Fireworks 14 of 25
    Watch your kids' faces light up as they witness color explosions in the summer sky. Bring a blanket, sweet ice pops, and the whole family to enjoy a free fireworks display at your local park or beach this summer! If you're not sure where to find them, look out for local carnivals or Fourth of July celebrations.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Concerts in the park 15 of 25
    Concerts in the park
    Pack a picnic and enjoy concerts in the park in your area. Free summer concerts are a wonderful way to expose kids to a wide variety of musical genres.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Sprinkler fun 16 of 25
    Sprinkler fun
    Your lawn is thirsty and your kids are thirsty for fun, so grab those swimsuits and turn the sprinklers on full force! Summer wouldn't be the same without a mess of kids frolicking in the backyard sprinklers!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Backyard camping 17 of 25
    Backyard camping
    What easier way for kids to experience the great outdoors than from the comfort of their own backyard?! Set up a tent, barbecue dinner, and get ready for a night of sharing ghost stories, roasting marshmallows, and stargazing! If the night gets too spooky or someone needs a bathroom break, no worries — home is just a few steps away.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Skateboard 18 of 25
    How about trying a new sport this summer? Head to your local sports or thrift store and pick up a skateboard for your kids to try their hand ... er, feet? ... at. They're sure to have a blast trying out new skating tricks with their pals.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Build a sandcastle 19 of 25
    Build a sandcastle
    Water, sand, buckets, and shovels are all it takes to keep kids busy and happy for hours. Plan a beach day and have the whole family get in on the creative fun!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Visit an aquarium 20 of 25
    Visit an aquarium
    Kids just love the beauty and mystique of aquatic life. Get up close and personal with the wonders of the ocean, and maybe even get to touch a few, with a visit to your local aquarium.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Make s’mores 21 of 25
    Make s'mores
    Oh yes, s'more s'mores please! Like ooey gooey summer on a plate, you can't have just one.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Swimming 22 of 25
    Summer wouldn't be summer without getting cool in a pool! Add a few water noodles, beach balls, and rafts for an oasis of summer fun. Check with your local town government to see if the recreation department offers swim lessons for little ones.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Put on a talent show 23 of 25
    Put on a talent show
    Round up the neighborhood gang and put on your very own talent show, complete with handmade flyers, funky costumes, and lemonade refreshments for after the show!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stargaze 24 of 25
    Lie down on blankets in your backyard and spend the evening gazing at stars in the summer night sky. Who knows, maybe you'll even get the chance to wish upon a falling star.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Hide-and-seek 25 of 25
    Ready or not, here I come! Hide-and-seek is great outdoor fun for kids of all ages. Round up the neighborhood rugrats (and parents!) and spend the day hiding in trees, bushes, tool sheds ... the possibilities are endless!
    Image credit: Shutterstock

What else should kids experience this summer?

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