Ah, summer break! It’s what every kid looks forward to during the school year—no more listening to teachers babble or studying for big tests. It’s time to relax, sleep in, and have few responsibilities. However, summer break can quickly become a boring, repetitive cycle of sleeping, eating, and playing on your phone. In this article, we’ll provide you with 35 things to do on summer break to escape the boredom.
35 Things to Do on Summer Break
Overcoming the allure of screen time can be a challenging feat, especially when you find yourself with plenty of idle time. However, with some creative thinking, you can discover enjoyable and engaging activities to keep you entertained without relying on your phone. From learning a new hobby to exploring the great outdoors, there are countless ways to disconnect and make the most of your free time.
1. Go on a scavenger hunt.
If you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to explore cities, look no further than our Let’s Roam app! We offer unique and entertaining scavenger hunts that take you on an adventure through the most interesting and iconic locations in cities all over the world. With our app, you’ll have access to urban art walks, ghost tours, and attraction hunts loaded with fun challenges and interesting trivia that will keep you entertained and engaged throughout your journey. Whether you’re exploring on your own, with friends, or with family, our scavenger hunts are the perfect way to discover new sights and create lasting memories.
2. Have a museum day.
The United States boasts some of the finest museums in the world, catering to a diverse range of interests and budgets. If you’re a history buff, you’ve got plenty of options, from small, community-based museums that showcase local history to the renowned National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. (I enjoyed this museum so much that I went to it twice). In fact, some museums even offer overnight stays, providing a truly unique “night at the museum” experience! If you can’t get to a museum, there are scores of virtual museum tours you can do from your computer, like touring the Louvre in Paris.
3. Go to the park.
If you’re looking for a place to spend a relaxing afternoon with your friends or family, local parks are a perfect choice. Many parks have playgrounds for kids, walking paths, basketball courts, skate parks, and tennis courts. Some even have water features, like fountains or splash pads, for hot summer days. For teens, parks also offer fitness equipment, allowing you to get in a workout while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
4. Go on a road trip.
Embarking on a road trip is a great way to get out of the house and experience something new, whether it’s a solo trip or an adventure with friends. The open road holds endless possibilities, from breathtaking scenery to unique roadside attractions, and each mile traveled brings something new and unexpected.
All you need to do is pick a spot on the map, get in your car, and let the journey begin. Whether it’s exploring new towns, trying new foods, hiking through national parks, or taking a dip in a hidden swimming hole, the options are endless. Make a plan or completely wing it for some spontaneity!
If you want to see the national parks, go check out our blog on the ultimate national park road trip.
5. Go to the beach.
Summertime is the perfect time to head to your favorite beach with your whole family or just your friends to enjoy the warm weather, water, and sunshine. Why not use your creativity to make the most of it? Building a sand castle can be a challenging task, especially if you’re aiming for an elaborate design. Challenge your buddies to build the biggest and best! Go swimming, throw a frisbee, play beach volleyball, or just lounge in the sun (wear your sunscreen, folks). When you eventually need to cool off, grab a popsicle or ice cream.
6. Volunteer in your community.
Volunteering is a fulfilling way to give back to your community, and there are countless opportunities available. Whether you’re interested in helping people in need or supporting animal welfare, there’s something for everyone. If you enjoy working with animals, consider volunteering at your local animal shelter for the day and bathe pooches. If you want to help those in need, volunteer at a soup kitchen or help stock a food bank. Check with your church, local homeless shelter, or your city’s website for opportunities.
Remember, you don’t need an organization to work through. You can just as easily take a few friends and clean up litter in the park, rake leaves for an elderly neighbor, or arrange a gaming day at the old folks’ home!
7. Go on a service/mission trip.
Going on a mission trip is an incredible experience that will definitely change the way you view the world and different cultures. Mission trips with local churches or community organizations are a popular way for teens to get this experience, so check there first. If there is nothing available or you aren’t interested in that style of trip, look into a teen travel service.
These travel agencies work specifically with young people, designing service trips that are part volunteer, part tourism. For instance, you could work with injured primates in the jungles of Costa Rica, teach English in a school in the Philippines, or work to dig wells in an African village. The agencies take care of the itinerary, paperwork, and security, ensuring that the parents are comfortable and that all you have to do is focus on serving and enjoying.
For more information, check out “The Top 12 Service Trips for Teens.”
8. Attend a sporting event.
For sports enthusiasts, attending a live sporting event is an unforgettable experience. From the thrill of the game to the roar of the crowd, there’s nothing quite like the energy and excitement of being there in person. Summer is a great time to catch a baseball game, a soccer match, or a tennis tournament. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just looking for a fun evening, a live sporting event is a great way to enjoy some quality time with friends and family.
9. Have a sleepover.
Invite your friends over for an unforgettable time. Staying up all night, eating all your favorite snacks, watching movies, or playing board games is the perfect way to stay in touch with your friends over break. For a fun sleepover activity, head to your local craft store and get a kit to make your own tie-dye shirts or create a scrapbook to remember your night. If you need some ideas for activities, Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition has you covered!
10. Go camping.
When you’re craving an escape from the city, camping is an ideal way to immerse yourself in nature. From hiking and fishing to kayaking and canoeing, outdoor activities are a refreshing break from video games. If you’re in the mood for a more laid-back experience, you can simply kick back in your hammock and read a good book while soaking up the natural beauty that surrounds you. And when the sun sets, stargazing is a must, especially while snacking on some delicious s’mores by the campfire.
11. Learn a new language.
Why waste your free time when you can do something both productive and enjoyable? One great idea is to challenge yourself by learning a new language. Not only will it impress your friends, but it can also come in handy for future travels or job opportunities. Download Babble and learn from the app, learn in situ by taking an international trip, or sign up for a class at a local language center.
12. Try new foods.
If you’re feeling adventurous, trying new foods like crawfish, oysters, or sushi is a fun way to expand your palate and maybe even discover a new favorite dish. You can also try your hand at cooking something new to impress your friends and family. Masterclass and Cozymeals offer several amazing cooking classes that are easy to follow along with.
13. Tour your own territory.
Another way to make the most of your summer break is by exploring new places. This doesn’t necessarily mean traveling to far-off destinations—it could be as simple as checking out a new gallery in your city or taking a day trip to a nearby town that you’ve never visited.
14. Learn a new skill.
If you’re looking to pick up a new skill, there are plenty of options to consider. Knitting, archery, skateboarding, and woodworking are just a few examples of activities you can try. Get creative and build a DIY treehouse with your friends to have a special retreat spot to call your own.
15. Attend a concert.
Attending outdoor concerts in the United States is a popular pastime. From intimate shows to large-scale festivals, there are plenty of options available for music lovers of all genres. Head to Chicago for Lollapalooza, check out Coachella, or attend one of the shows at your local fairgrounds.
16. Go for a bike ride.
When you’re feeling cooped up and need some fresh air and exercise, going for a bike ride is an excellent way to explore your city and spend time with friends. You can start by mapping out a new route that takes you to a part of town you haven’t seen before or even try out a nearby bike trail. Plus, it’s a fun way to discover hidden gems and local hotspots that you might not have known existed.
17. Find a drive-in movie theater.
Going to a drive-in movie is a fun thing to do on summer break, and there has been a resurgence in these vintage theaters in recent years. Unlike traditional movie theaters, drive-ins offer a retro atmosphere that can be a fun experience for families and friends alike. You can also bring chairs, blankets, and snacks to enjoy outside of your car, creating a cozy movie-watching experience.
18. Have a car wash.
Hosting a carwash is a popular way to raise money for a variety of causes, such as school events, charity organizations, and sports teams. Not only is it a fun activity, but it’s also a great opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause. All you need is a parking lot, a few buckets, and lots of soap!
19. Go geocaching.
Geocaching is a modern treasure hunt that takes place all over the world. People use GPS devices to search for hidden treasures. They’re hidden in plain sight using latitude and longitude coordinates, with online clues provided to aid seekers in their quest. It’s a game of hide-and-seek that promotes outdoor exploration and environmental stewardship.
20. Go whitewater rafting.
Barrelling down the rapids in a raft is an exhilarating experience! Don’t worry, professional guides will teach you what to do and how to stay safe as they guide you down the river, avoiding all the big rocks. Whitewater rafting involves an element of teamwork, so it’s the perfect summer activity for sports teams or work crews.
21. Go on a hot air balloon ride.
Going on a hot air balloon ride is a breathtaking experience. As you lift off the ground, you feel weightless and free, soaring above the earth with a sense of awe and wonder. The views are spectacular, with panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape, cities, and countryside. A hot air balloon ride is an unforgettable adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
22. Learn to scuba dive.
Use your summer break to learn how to scuba dive. You start by mastering the basic skills in a pool and then progress to open water dives, where you explore a whole new world beneath the waves. The weightlessness of diving makes it feel like you’re flying, and the vibrant colors of the marine life are mesmerizing. Learning to scuba dive opens up a whole new world of adventure and exploration that will stay with you forever.
23. Become a lifeguard.
Who doesn’t want a job sitting in the sun by a pool? Becoming a lifeguard is a challenging experience that requires a high level of physical fitness, training, and responsibility. To become a lifeguard, one must complete extensive training in CPR, first aid, and water rescue techniques. Although the job can be demanding, it provides an opportunity to help others and make a real difference in people’s lives, all while enjoying the sun and water.
24. Throw some axes.
Ax throwing has gained popularity in recent years. It requires skill, accuracy, and a steady hand. Participants take turns throwing an ax at a wooden target, aiming to hit the bullseye. It’s a great way to relieve stress, improve hand-eye coordination, and bond with friends or colleagues. Ax throwing venues often have a fun and festive atmosphere, with music and refreshments available.
25. Attempt a ropes course.
Taking on a ropes course is a fun thing to do on summer break that tests both physical and mental limits. It involves navigating a series of obstacles, such as swinging bridges, tightropes, and zip lines, high above the ground. They provide a sense of accomplishment and boost confidence as participants overcome their fears and complete each challenge.
26. Play disc golf.
Golf can be a very frustrating and expensive game to play, so try a little-less-expensive version. Disc golf rules are the same as golf, but instead of a ball and a club, you have a specialized frisbee and a basket. Discs are a fairly cheap purchase from any sporting goods store.
27. Create a DIY American Ninja Warrior course.
Manufacturing a DIY obstacle course is a unique way to put your creativity to use. It involves constructing a series of challenges that mimic those found on the popular TV show American Ninja Warrior. Some examples include a warped wall, salmon ladder, and monkey bars. Building the course requires creativity, ingenuity, and some basic construction skills. If this is too big of a challenge, use the monkey bars, slides, and seesaws at your local park and challenge your friends to a race.
28. Take an online class.
Taking online classes can offer teens the flexibility to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule, which can be particularly helpful for those with busy extracurricular activities or part-time jobs. They also allow teens to access a wider range of courses and teachers than what is available at their local school, opening up new academic opportunities and interests.
29. Join a mentor program.
Joining a mentor program not only provides you with an opportunity to help a younger person achieve great things, but it is also a learning experience for you. Programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America afford you the opportunity to pair up with a young person for fun activities and projects. Whether you are a “big” or a “little,” these mentoring programs are an awesome way to add meaning to your summer vacation!
30. Start a book club.
Starting a book club can be a fun and rewarding way to connect with others who want to explore new books and ideas. Book clubs can provide a platform for engaging discussions, allowing members to share their thoughts, opinions, and perspectives on a variety of topics and themes. Reese Witherspoon and Oprah both have book clubs you can follow along with, or you can just choose your own. Make some snacks, gather the crew, and enjoy!
31. Host a water balloon fight.
Nothing screams summer quite like an epic water balloon fight. Have a free-for-all, organize a team battle, or combine your balloon war with a game of Capture The Flag. It’s the perfect way to cool off and enjoy some lighthearted fun in the sun.
32. Have a bonfire.
One of my fondest memories is of a perfect summer night spent with friends, listening to music and standing by the bonfire. The warm air was filled with the sounds of our favorite songs and the smell of hot dogs roasting. We laughed and danced under the stars, enjoying each other’s company and the magic of the moment. In the rural South, this is one of the most popular summer activities.
33. Build a slip-n-slide.
The joys of a slip-n-slide are hard to match. There’s nothing quite like running and launching yourself onto the slick surface, feeling the cool water spray up around you as you glide along. Invite your buddies over and make a day of it.
34. Have a fishing derby.
Why not turn your love of fishing into a friendly competition with friends or family? Competing to see who can catch the biggest or most fish can add an extra layer of excitement to the experience. Plus, it’s a great way to bond and create memories while enjoying the great outdoors.
35. Have a henna tattoo party.
Hosting a henna tattoo party is a unique way to express your artistic talent. Amazon sells a variety of kits with all the necessary materials. Make sure to provide plenty of design inspiration and snacks and encourage guests to experiment with different patterns and styles. Don’t worry, it’s not permanent.
Have an Epic Summer!
Summer is a time to relax and unwind, but that doesn’t mean it should be boring. With this list of 35 things to do on summer break, you have everything you need to mix it up this year. From outdoor activities and creative pursuits to new experiences and learning opportunities, there’s something for everyone.
For more summer ideas, check out Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition! It’s stocked with 50+ scratch-off adventures ranging from in-home crafts to exciting road trips!