Students (and often their parents) can't wait to hear the last bell ring before summer break. They say goodbye to early mornings and their rigid routine. But as a mother who is preparing for her 15th summer break, I can tell you that several weeks routine-free can be tough.

The solution is not to fill your days from sun up to sun down; it is called summer break for a reason. However, a summer routine mixed with equal parts of fun makes for a memorable summer.

Here are 25 days of summer fun planned out for you.

Mad Science Mondays

  1. Bring out your inner-astronomer and head to the planetarium. Check out large city venues or small college programs for a variety of shows and displays.

  2. A budget-friendly science day might include DIY science experiments. Check out Lifehack.org or Pinterest for some great tests that you can try with items you have at home.

  3. Head to the zoo to learn about the animals and their habitats, conservation and our environment. Many zoos offer family programs and classes allowing a close-up look.

  4. Check out your local recycling center for a tour. Google "free recycling tours near me" for more information in your area.

  5. Create your own sensory table out of an old coffee table. Repaint, cut a hole for a large bin and add water, sand or rice.

Adventure and Beyond Tuesday

  1. Try a new food. Gather foods that your kids have never tried before (including some of your favorites) for a fun taste test.

  2. Look online for a new bike or walking trail near your house or a short car ride away, and explore your new surroundings.

  3. Is there a new restaurant in town? Head out to support a local business and try their special of the day.

  4. Tired of playing the same sport? Time to try your athletic skills in another way. Check out your park district to sign up for a class to learn how to golf, pickleball or play ultimate Frisbee.

  5. Get out of your comfort zone. Have you always wanted to try zip-lining, rock climbing or indoor skydiving? Well, what are you waiting for?

Wacky Water Wednesday

  1. Rent a rowboat or canoe at a local forest preserve or state park. Most charge a reasonable amount by the hour and include life vests.

  2. Create your own neighborhood regatta using boats made with sponges. Cut a hole, insert a balloon through the sponge, blow up and release in a pond or pool.

  3. Have a pool party. Create a summer heat reprieve with a backyard pool party or rent an inflatable waterslide for hours of summer time fun.

  4. Learn to scuba dive. Try out scuba for beginners at a local swim school. Hour-long classes are usually available in indoor pools.

  5. Watch "Pirates of the Caribbean" or "Little Mermaid" for an indoor water day. Make a day of it by cooking homemade fish sticks or popcorn shrimp and dive into some fish-themed crafts.

Creative Thoughts Thursday

  1. Build with LEGOs. When the kids are done with the LEGO kits, head over to YouTube to find great how-to videos to create more designs.

  2. Head to the local children's museum for hours of discovery fun. Kids will build, climb, play-act and explore as kids should.

  3. Make art. Support local businesses that offer ceramics, painting on canvas or boards, glass blowing and so much more.

  4. Bake and decorate a cake. Learn pipe frosting and work with fondant at a JoAnn class or with online guidance from YouTube.

  5. Check out carpentry and woodworking classes for kids at Home Depot. Hobby stores and Amazon offer DIY woodcrafts like birdhouses or treasure chests with everything you need included.

Fun and Fitness Fridays

  1. Invite the neighbors over for a pickup game. Think basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball and any other summertime sport.

  2. Set up a fitness circuit course. Include bike riding, rollerblading, hula hoops, milk jug weights and jump ropes.

  3. Host an outdoor yoga class. Provide mats or blankets and let the kids practice guided yoga from a podcast instructor.

  4. Play some old-fashioned backyard games like Tag, Dodgeball, Kick the Can, Sharks and Minnows or any other game that keeps you running.

  5. Throw a dance party. This is a great way to end the week. Turn on the tunes, clear off a dance floor and teach the kids some fun group dances like the Harlem Shake, the Macarena and the Twist.


Pam Molnar is a summer lover and mother of three. She has learned that the free birds of summer do better with a little routine.