4 Essential Places for Kid Friendly Summer Fun
School is out and it’s only a matter of time before “I’m bored” is heard in every home in America. It doesn’t have to be this way! With a little local research it is possible to find fun and engaging activities for your children (or your troop) that can help them learn and grow this summer. Here are four of our favorite places to start looking for summer fun!
1. Museums: many of our community partner museums, historical societies, and history centers have summer programming for children available. Here’s a few of our community partners that can help bring the museum alive through engaging activities this summer.
- Family Center at the Toledo Museum of Art– free, fun, and open to everyone! Drop in for themed activities that enliven the world of art for kids ages 1-10 (and even grown-ups!) during center hours on Tuesday, Thursday, Fridays, and Sundays (see site for specific hours and activities).
- Mazza Museum in Findlay- the largest museum of original artwork by children’s book illustrators in the world. The museum’s goal is to promote literacy and enrich the lives of all people through the art of children’s literature and admission for children and adults is always free.
- Super Saturday Family Day at Dayton Art Institute– on the second and fourth Saturday of every month (unless otherwise noted) for art-making fun drop in between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. to learn new art-making techniques and create artwork and memories that you’ll take home and cherish. Cost is $15 for a family of 4 and $2 each additional child.
- Families and Teens at the Cincinnati Art Museum– discover the visual arts in a whole new way through a full schedule of youth, family and teen programs. Explore the museum with your family through an array of special events. Celebrate art by engaging your children in hands-on art activities, exciting performances, story times, gallery visits and more! Check their calendar for a full schedule, cost, and other program details.
- Ohio History: Ohio has a large network of historical sites and museums including the Ohio History Center and Ohio Village in Columbus (which has a historic base ball team the Ohio Village Muffins with games that everyone is welcome to come and cheer on) that have educational and fun (sometimes free) summer programming for children. Find one near you and explore our state’s rich heritage!
2. Park Programs: all across Ohio, city and county parks departments are gearing up for summer programming. The options are as varied as the parks themselves so be sure to contact your local city and county park department offices for the full range and schedule of their offerings. Here are a few from our community partners to give you an idea of the activities available.
- Toledo Region: check out the Metro Parks of Toledo Area for great nature programs and events or check out the City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Programs for some fun ways to keep kids in shape like yoga, drop-in soccer, and hikes.
- Lima Region: city of Lima has several free programs (Tennis Program and Safety City Summer Academy) and check the event calendars at the Johnny Appleseed Metro Park Department in Allen county and Hancock Park District in Findlay for a variety of nature programs at their parks.
- Dayton Region: Five Rivers Metro Parks has activities for outdoor enthusiasts as well as special interests like gardening, a historical farm, and many other activities for kids to explore and enjoy this summer.
- Cincinnati Region: Great Parks of Hamilton County has fishing programs for youth, Friday night kayak floats and many more on their list of summer events.
3. Concerts/Film Series: many local amphitheaters have summer concert series, or downtown film festivals and many of these are even free. With a little research at your town’s visitors bureau or some googling you can find one near you to broaden your children’s musical horizons this summer. Here are a few we found through a google search.
- Toledo area: the Ottawa Park Amphitheater has a free Summer Concert Series as does Bowling Green, or head to the Toledo Zoo for one of their Music Under the Stars free concerts.
- Lima area: Head to Faurot Park in Lima for Sunday Concerts at the Park or scroll the city of Sidney’s Calendar of Events to see their Summer Film Festival or Civic Band performance schedules.
- Dayton area: check out Free @ Fraze on Wednesdays for a summer entertainment series that includes the Army Band or attend a Twilight Concert at the Dayton Art Institute (cost for non-members).
- Cincinnati area: attend one of the Great Parks Summer Concert Series on Thursdays and Saturdays this summer or go LIVE at the Levee in Newport on Thursdays. Here’s a long list of Outdoor Concerts in the area for your summer viewing pleasure.
4. Farm Markets: take a weekly trip to your local farm market and teach children about local fruit and vegetables. Don’t forget to try new fare and encourage girls to ask the vendors questions about their farms, how products are grown and harvested, and why certain fruits and vegetables are only available during certain times of the year. Check Ohio Proud to find a farm market near you.
Need more ideas? To help end the summer boredom epidemic Parenting.com made a list of 101 Fun Things to Do in the Summer and BuzzFeed has 33 Activities Under $10 That Will Keep Your Kids Busy All Summer. Check them out, we bet you can find quite a few that would be great activities that would add some fun to your summer schedule and won’t break the bank. We hope this list has inspired you to get out there and find the fun this summer with your family, your kids, and your troop!