Summer is winding down, which means we'll be trading leisurely family time for busy school schedules and packed fall activities over the next few months. But summer isn't over quite yet, and since August is National Family Fun Month, take the opportunity to squeeze in a little more quality time. If you’re looking for some fun and inexpensive ways to enjoy some family fun time, consider these suggestions.Camp (or just set up a tent)
Maybe it’s the words “summer camp,” or maybe it’s the notion that summertime retains the appeal of getting outdoors and spending time in nature, but camping and summer still seem to go hand in hand. And since most parks allow tent camping for relatively low prices, taking the family on a weekend campout can be a great family fun activity.
But for those of you who wilt at the idea of sleeping in a canvas tent in hot weather, or if you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors, you can also try setting up a tent in your yard or bedroom and take full advantage of the air conditioning and any tree canopy shade. You can keep the s'mores ingredients in the kitchen too, right next to the running water.Engage in a water balloon fight
Yes, the prep time on this activity can go on forever, but there’s something wonderful about the look of surprise and horror on a loved one’s face when they realize they’re about to be hit with a water balloon. Best to keep this family activity outside, as cleanup can also take a while depending on where the balloons burst.Hit up the library
It’s a building filled with free books, so what’s not to like? Depending on your local library’s resources, you may also be able to rent movies, listen to music, access historical documents, and generally find excellent ways to entertain yourself and your family while spending a hot day indoors.Go find a museum
Don’t limit yourself to historical museums, either. A quick online search might reveal local museums dedicated to anything from art to LEGO creations. Museums can also include historical sites, art installations, clay jar designs, soda cans, and old advertisement campaigns. Best of all, the types of museums will always change depending on where you’re physically at, so it’s possible to be on vacation and make time for a family trip to a local museum.Have a picnic
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to fill a wicker basket with sandwiches and eat lunch under a tree in the park. The only general requirements for a picnic include food and someplace to eat outside, so you could be enjoying sushi in a city park and technically be having a picnic.
Sharing meals tend to be excellent opportunities for families to spend quality time with one another, so pack and/or pick up a meal and find someplace outside to enjoy your lunch.
(Quick note: eating at an outdoor table in a restaurant does not count, since you’re technically in the restaurant and not in the great outdoors. Sorry.)
No matter what you choose to do, remember to stay hydrated, wear some kind of sun protection, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have a good time. There’s a reason people use words like “lazy” to describe summer, so allow yourself some time to relax and breathe before the fall.
You need the break; the Christmas stuff will go on sale in late September, and it’s full steam ahead from there!