Summer days are winding down and routines are ramping back up. Back to school, all the fall, y’all, and the holiday rush are beginning to fill our minds and planners. Summer adventures are some of those (fleeting) opportunities we have to create amazing memories with our children. No matter what the end of summer looks like for your family, finding opportunities to add in adventure will be something you always look back on and hold onto as summertime magic.
Summer adventures can be anything we declare an adventure. Trying something new with our family, exploring locally, traveling, or just adding a little magic to a trip to the park. There is no insta-definition of what an adventure should be or look like.
Experiencing these moments with my kids makes all the work of being their summer adventure guide worth the effort. Summer is such a great time for our family to go places. It includes time off for my husband to explore, seeing extended family on break, and so much to do in and around Kansas City. Some of our adventures this summer were big and required saving and planning. Some were sporadic and didn’t cost a cent.
10 Ways to Create Summer Adventures
We turned an overgrown mulberry bush into a three-room fort. We used some old sheets, cheap throw rugs, and gathered old kitchen items. Sometimes we sit and enjoy poetry and teatime, sometimes we are ankle-deep in mud, digging up worms. Forts in the summer offer a shady hideaway and potential for imaginations to run wild.
Midwest weather is unpredictable and can be an adventure itself! We turned this wild season of tornadoes, thunderstorms, and flooding into a learning adventure. As the storms rolled through we watched the clouds change and measured the rain. Tornado warnings and watches are a lot less scary for kids when they understand what is happening around them. Learning to be weather-prepared sparks the adventure adrenaline.
A summer favorite. Exploring local sites, finding a new one off Airbnb or going out of state. We try to camp as much as possible before and after the heat or mosquitoes take over. Sneaking away to Colorado to camp is always a summer must.
A summer break rite of passage. Luckily, Kansas City sits centrally located on major highways making it is easy to get to many great destinations around the U.S. Pick a new destination and go!
Get creative with your water play this summer. We cut up a bunch of large foam pieces to use as never ending water balloons. The kids created a giant slip-and-slide with a big sheet of plastic and just took turns watering the garden. Water tables are also a really great addition for little ones. Our local lakes have some great swim beach access and we are in driving range of the coast. A beach adventure is always a yes for a summer adventure.
Growing a garden over the summer season is an engaging way to adventure in your own yard. Local wildflowers, herbs, and containers can be done easily. Let kids be a part of caring for, harvesting, and eating the fruits of their labor. You’ll also enjoy all of the fun insects that come to visit.
Taking an art project to the park is always a good time. One of our favorite activities is nature paint brushes. We walk a local park trail collecting ground materials to use as paint brushes. Then, we pass out paints at a picnic table and let the kids paint away. Nature art projects take a bit of prep work, but are always a great adventure to add to a park visit.
There has been something locally to do just about every day and night this summer. Follow your local parks and rec, downtown, market, and library pages to see all of the free summer events offered throughout the season. Make sure to check local guides to stay updated on all the local events. Offering festivals, celebrations, special events every weekend Kansas City is an amazing place to adventure!
Jr. Ranger Program
The National Park System offers a free program to make visiting parks and other historical sites engaging for kids. Check their locations for local spots, or map out along the routes of your summer travels. Visit one, work through a Jr. Ranger book (divided into age levels), take the pledge, and earn a Jr. Ranger Badge. This has been one of our favorite summer adventures.
Summer is a great time to support local businesses who offer summer programs and camps for kids. You can find something for any interest. A great way to add some adventure to your summer travels is to check your travel destinations for summer camps. This provides such a great adventure experience for kids and maybe some quiet time for you on vacation.
Remember there is no right or wrong way to summer adventure. It’s just about making lasting connections with your children, with a bit of summer magic on your side.