We’re halfway through summer, and if you’re like a lot of parents, you’re asking, “Are we there yet?” Nope! We still have five weeks of long, lazy days and steamy, hot weather left before the kids go back to school—and that means, there’s still PLENTY of time for summer fun! So, grab yourself a tall glass of cold iced tea, kick back, and read on, as we tackle 25 more things to do this summer. Enjoy!
June 28th to July 4th
What better way to celebrate America’s Independence Day than with cookouts, picnics, and of course, fireworks?! After the sun sets, head to one of dozens of outdoor venues to view incredible fireworks displays. While Centennial Park and Stone Mountain Park offer impressive lightshows, Lenox Mall in Atlanta boats the largest fireworks display in the Southeast.
July 5th to July 11th
• Take the whole family out to a ball game. The Atlanta Braves play at home at Turner Field on July 5th.
• Atlanta Motor Speedway. If you like drag racing, the Atlanta Motor Speedway has just the thing for you, every Friday night. The Friday Night Drags Series is a street-style drag racing event on the Speedway’s eighth-mile pit road that draws thousands of local racing enthusiasts each week.
• Let’s bowl! Select bowling centers and schools around the country are offering the Kids Bowl Free program, where children under 15 can bowl 2 free games a day, every day this summer. Find out if a bowling alley near you is participating by clicking here
• Clayton County International Park. This park hosted the volleyball games during the 1996 Summer Olympics and is open every day to the public. Come here to enjoy volleyball, tennis and miles of peaceful walking trails. And when it’s time to cool off, head to the man-made beach for a swim.
• Wrap up the week with a good old fashioned game of dodgeball or kickball in your own backyard. Keep the little ones busy for hours with a game of tag or hide ‘n seek, and surprise the one who’s “it” with a good soaking from a water gun or water balloon.
July 12th to July 18th
If all that sports activity has you craving the A/C and something cold to drink, head inside to cool off and indulge your inner movie critic.
• Cheap movies at the big screen! NCG in Sharpsburg/Peachtree City has some awesome Summer deals, every matinee is always $6 and on Tuesdays all movies are $6. Also Check out their Dinner & Movie deal, which includes two movie passes and a $25 gift certificate, all just for $39!
• Almost-free movies! For 9 weeks during the summer, Regal Cinemas is offering its Regal Summer Movie Express. For a limited time only, select Regal Cinemas and United Artists Theatres will offer selected G or PG rated movies for only a dollar on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00am. Check the Regal Cinemas website to find a participating theater near you.
• Movies in the Park at Atlantic Station. Anybody up for a road trip? If so, head to Atlantic Station every Thursday through the end of September. Movies are free and begin at dusk on the lawn in Central Park.
• Make it a Netflix night. For a creative spin, pitch a tent, hook up a projector and make your own drive-in. Load up on the candy, popcorn, and other refreshments, and settle in for a fun movie night at home.
• Create your own home movie. Flip phones, camera phones, webcams…with so much technology at our disposal, there’s no reason not to. Let your kids play director, producer, writer, and actor and watch their imaginations soar. As a bonus, you’ll have a keepsake to treasure for years to come.
• Introduce your kids to old, black and white classic movies, like To Kill a Mockingbird or Twelve Angry Men. They’ll learn about the great movie stars and see what movies were like before Pixar ruled the big screen!
July 19th to July 25th
Pay it Forward Week
Summer is a great time to volunteer. Forget vacations and toys and fancy trips—for many people, a warm smile or helping hand will make a ho-hum summer spectacular.
• Pet shelters are always looking for volunteers. Bring the whole family in to clean crates, stock food, and take their furry pals out for some much-needed playtime.
• Local non-profits such as the Real Life Center, Promise Place, Christian City, A Better Way, and Clothes Less Traveled not only need good volunteers, but often have difficulty functioning without them. Volunteering not only gives back to your community, but creates a difference in the lives of the people you are volunteering with and the people you are volunteering for.
• Assisted living/senior centers. Bring the kids by to read a book or play a game of Scrabble with someone who may not get many visitors.
• Food pantries always need help with donations and organization.
•Set an example in your own backyard. Grab some plastic gloves and a trash bag and head out to clean up a public park. Or, help a neighbor in need by offering to pull weeds or take out the trash.
July 26th to August 1st
Grab the bug spray and sunscreen, and let’s get in touch with the great outdoors!
• Stone Mountain Park has everything you could want in a day-long getaway: lodging, camping, golf, hiking, a sky hike, scenic railroad…the list of things to do is endless.
• Take a hike. Visit one of Georgia’s many beautiful (and free) state parks, local trails, and nature preserves. Flat Creek Nature Preserve, Piedmont Park, Sweetwater Park, and Reynolds Nature Preserve are just a few that come to mind.
• Plant a summer garden. Now is the perfect time to plant several vegetables, including carrots, peas, kale, spinach, potatoes, and squash.
• Scour a local farmer’s market for fresh, seasonal produce and flowers. Have the kids try one fruit or vegetable they’ve never tasted.
• Have your children pick one animal, insect, or plant in nature and write a one-page report on some way in which that organism is similar to people. That’ll get them thinking!
August 2nd to August 8th
Home improvement week
The new school year is just around the corner. What better time to get organized?
• Introduce the kids to DIY. Home Depot and Lowe’s offer do it yourself clinics on Saturdays for kids ages 5-12. Parents must accompany children during these clinics.
• Clean up and organize rooms for the upcoming school year. Donate clothes and toys you no longer need to make room for all those new school clothes and supplies.
• Add a chore. Children are moving up one grade, so why should their chores stay the same? Introduce one new chore they’ll have to do beginning with the new school year, such as loading the dishwasher or vacuuming their rooms.
• Let your children decorate or rearrange their rooms. Make it some kind of contest and offer an icy treat for the winner and runners-up.
• Have the kids help you sort and prepare decorations for the fall. You’ll be glad you got a head start when the time comes to put the summer stuff away.
Woo-hoo! We made it! Another summer is over and it’s back to the classroom we go! We’ll see you next month, when the temperatures have gotten (slightly) cooler and kids are back in school.