In Southern California our summer days have not hit with full force. We had two 90 degree days and now we’re back to June Gloom, which I LOVE. I feel like June Gloom is California’s gift to me, a little consolation prize for October and November’s blazing heat and I know that heat is coming So, for those days when the absolute last place you want to be is outside in the sun, here’s a list of things to keep you and the kids from going stir crazy.
You know we’re in Orange County and if you are too, we love this massive list of things to do with kids in Orange County from Sandy Toes and Popsicles. If you’re not local, don’t fret, we’ve got tons of activities listed below and lots of them are free and all are very inexpensive.
If you’ve got a favorite thing to do or place to go in the summer, leave it in the comments below!
Things to do with Kids This Summer
Orange County locals check out the free summer playdates happening on Wednesdays this summer at Main Place Mall.
Go to the movies! Regal has their Summer Movie Express which offers two movies, two days per week for $1! Use someone else’s air conditioning for a few hours.
Go bowling! Everyone I know signs up for Kids Bowl Free which gives your kids two free games of bowling EVERY SINGLE DAY in the summer. Many bowling alleys also offer a shoe pass so you’re not forking over $4 for shoes every single time you go.
Go to the beach, the pool, the lake, a splash pad. I know this kind of goes against the staying inside theme, but if you can cool off in some water, DO SO.
Take an art class. Michael’s stores are offering Camp Creativity for $5 per class during the summer, with weekly themes like Under the Sea and Life on Pluto.
Get techie. The details aren’t out yet, but the free Apple Camps offered at Apple stores were a hot ticket last summer. Sign up up to be notified.
Create something. Home Depot offers monthly activities for kids. Check the website to make sure your local store is participating.
Did someone say LEGO? If you have a Lego Store near you, check for their calendar of events which includes activities like minifigure trading and building days.
M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E! Disney stores have in-store activities every single day all summer long. Participation will earn kids a Tsum Tsum bracelet. Check with your local store for a schedule.
Read a book! Odds are your local library has a summer reading program and odds are that they offer prizes for kids who fill out their reading log.
Barnes and Noble also has a summer reading program that rewards kids with a free book for completing the Summer Reading Triathlon.
PetSmart Camp Critters – Visit a participating PetSmart location on June 9th, July 21 or August 18th for free summer activities.
Things to do with kids around the house
Make a Summer Bucket List. Have the kids come up with a list of things they want to do during the summer both big and small. Refer to the list when you’re bored!
Have a movie day. Close all the curtains to keep out the sun (and the heat.) Pop some popcorn and relax with a movie. Maybe this list of the best kids movies on Netflix will help you find something you haven’t seen a million times.
Make Elephant Toothpaste.
Take a bath. Wait! I’m serious! My daughter would spend a full hour in the bath every night if we had time. Who says she can’t take a bath in the middle of the day. Pull out all the stops and let them use these Color Bath Drops, too.
Organize a kids room or toy cabinet. Make a pile of toys to donate. This has the added benefit of making old toys suddenly very attractive to kids and keeping them busy for a long time.
Make emoji masks.
Invite some friends over. Everything is more fun with a friend.
Make a firework painting.
Have a readathon. Let the kids stay in their pajamas and make comfortable reading spots around the house. Maybe plan a trip to the library the day before so everyone is stocked up on new books to read.
Make stained glass art.
Research where kids eat free in your city to avoid cooking dinner.
Make Rock Candy (but be prepared to wait a week to enjoy it.)
What are your favorite things to do when the sun is relentless? Leave us a comment below!