A little flair for summer’s farewell

family laughing in park

It’s nearly the time of year to swap play-packed summer days for the daily school run. But there’s still a few weeks to send off summer in style. And August – family fun month – is the perfect opportunity to squeeze the last drops of joy from long days and deliciously warm evenings together.

Choose from your regular family favorites or read on for ideas to create new traditions.

Load and go

The ocean is calling

Catch some waves and dig your toes in the sand on a family beach trip. Coast too far? A lake makes a wonderful substitution. Just pack like a pro and work in a few clever lifehacks for an easy and breezy break by the water:

  • Bring plenty of water, some frozen.
  • A massive beach blanket and a windbreak (umbrella or shade) will keep everyone comfy and sunburn-free (along with sunscreen, of course).
  • Plenty of towels for drying and seats.
  • Bite-sized snacks that don’t melt are essential.
  • Include wipes and hand gel.
  • Check the forecast and always wear and reapply sunscreen.
  • Chain up and hide your keys and wallet.
  • Baby powder soaks up moisture and makes sand removal a snap.
  • Leave electronics and favorite toys at home — it’s time to unplug.
father walking on beach with toddler

Go stargazing

Get the kids to roll up their favorite blankets and snacks and head out to see the Milky Way:

  • Get up high. The farther you can get from the light pollution of town, the more clearly you’ll see the night sky. Follow these tips from StarDate.com.
  • Invest in a red flashlight (or make your own with some red tail light repair tape) and bring notebooks to record your observations.
  • No need to purchase a telescope. Start with binoculars to see the moon and planets.
  • Download one or two good apps to use as star charts. Try Stellarium, Starwalk or Google Sky Map.
  • Look for the International Space Station (ISS). Use this NASA website to track when the station might be over your area.
  • Google your local astronomy club and get in on their latest star party.
group of people sitting on car star gazing

Drive in

Really! Hit up the local drive-in movie theater with a car full of homemade snacks. Nothing nearby? Create your own!

  • Hang a white bed sheet or tarp on the garage door, grab the same projector you use inside and fire up your favorite Disney characters.
  • Set up camp chairs, blankets and pillows to create a cozy seating space.
  • Pop some corn, grab some malt balls and make memories the kids will talk about well into the school year.
  • Want to project for the neighborhood or campground? Check out this rather involved DIY from Popular Mechanics.
movie theatre popcorn

Pick some berries

  • Ask around about the best public location to pick fresh raspberries or blackberries. Or find a local U-pick farm and load up.
  • Remember to wear long sleeves and long pants.
  • Bring buckets and baskets.
  • Wash all produce well before eating.
  • Celebrate the return of the school year with a delicious berry shortcake party.

Fun and games

  • Have a water fight. Head to the dollar store for a few packs of small balloons and some squirt guns. Get busy with the hose or a bucket of water and invite all the neighborhood kids. Establish some ground rules, pick up the fallout and launch into the fun.
  • Punch some holes in an old coffee can and tape some glow sticks inside. Rally the family for a good, old-fashioned game of kick the can. Want to keep the good times going? Put some glow sticks on a net and birdies and have a midnight badminton tournament! Or try this fun glow-in-the-dark back yard bowling DIY.
  • Check your city’s local park schedule for free family concerts.
  • Your state park is an affordable spot for a summer blow-out barbecue. Or make and decorate your own kites and let them fly.
  • Enjoy August, the last month of Scentsy’s Spring/Summer catalog and save 10%!  Keep the fun and fragrance going with Black Raspberry Vanilla Scentsy fragrance.
happy boy running through sprinklers

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