31 Days of Summer Fun

Celebrate with 31 Days of Summer Fun!

Have a block party. This could be as elaborate as a potluck BBQ, carnival games and friendly family competitions or as simple as an ice cream sundae party. Either way, get your friends and neighbors together for some good old-fashioned camaraderie.

Go to South Bay Drive-In to catch one of their family-friendly movies this summer. You've been talking about going to a drive-in for years. Now do it!

Create a summer scrapbook, complete with PRINTED photos {gasp} and journal entries. This is a great way to keep the kids writing while they're out of school. Start now and do a little each week so you don't get behind!

Explore the tidepools at Birch Aquarium or Cabrillo National Monument. Enjoy hours of educational entertainment as you experience up-close encounters with marine life.

Do something for someone else. Write a letter to a relative you haven't talked to in a while, make cookies for a neighbor, host a lemonade stand and donate the proceeds to a local charity or participate in a beach clean up. Consider doing one act of service on a weekly or monthly basis. Check our website for more volunteer opportunities.

Establish an incentive for your kids to keep reading this summer. Offer a prize or special day out with mom or dad for reading a specified number of books or pages. Need more motivation? See what local summer reading programs are doing.

Visit a local farmer's market. Let the kids choose some fresh fruits or vegetables; then try a new recipe using your fresh produce.

Take the Ferry to Coronado. Rent bikes or a surrey once you're there for added fun!

Eat frozen yogurt for dinner. Yep, we said it. If you must, go crazy and have a turkey sandwich for dessert.

Build something with the kids: a bird feeder? A fort? Maybe a playhouse or homemade sprinkler with PVC pipe? Get some ideas from our Cool DIY Projects board on Pinterest.

Pitch a tent in the backyard. S'mores, flashlights, the great outdoors...such a fun way to spend an evening! Even if your kids don't want to sleep in the tent, they'll love hanging out in it all day!

Register for Kids Bowl Free. If your kids love bowling, there is no reason NOT to do this...it's one of the best deals in town!

Have a watermelon seed spitting contest with your family. Add other friendly competitions (pie eating, frisbee throwing, hula hoop, etc.) for more fun.

Attend KidsFest at the Park with the San Diego Padres. Every Sunday game (starting July 14) will include bounce houses, face painters, balloon artists and more.

Pack a picnic and attend one of San Diego's many free summer concerts.

Enjoy the great outdoors as you hike one of San Diego's beautiful hiking trails, picked by our readers.

Make a fairy garden. Visit our Fairy Garden board on Pinterest for inspiration.

Treat your family to at least one of San Diego's awesome theme parks!

Build a sandcastle with the kids at one of our amazing beaches!

Watch a movie under the stars at Santee Lakes. Bring a picnic dinner and watch the kids participate in games and activities before the movie.


Discover a Hidden Gem. We recommend the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista or Sunny Jim's Cave in La Jolla.

Funny Photo Shoot. Grab props like big glasses, fake mustaches and crazy hats or make some props of your own! Take a bunch of photos, then send them to out-of-town relatives as a unique way to keep in touch. Bonus: Make personalized t-shirts the day before and wear them for the shoot.


Play tourist for a day. Take the Old Town Trolley Tour and learn some new things about your home turf. The tour features on & off privileges so you can explore points of interest along the way. Want to ride for free? Register for San Diego's Hometown Pass!

Engage in some water fun! Play baseball with water balloons, run through the sprinklers or have a water gun fight.

Climb aboard the USS Midway museum. Leave plenty of time to explore!

Plan a late night date with your kids. We highly recommend going out for pancakes in your PJs at 10 pm. Not for any particular reason except that you probably don't do it during the school year...and it just sounds super fun.

Go fishing. Check out Lake Murray, Santee Lakes or Lake Jennings.

Attend a food truck festival.


Rent a kayak, paddle board or jet ski and spend the day on the San Diego Bay.

Go to the Torrey Pines Glider Port to watch the hang gliders and enjoy a spectacular ocean view. Maybe even grab lunch at their cafe.


Spend a day at Balboa Park. Whether you ride the carousel by our world-famous Zoo, visit a museum or have lunch by the big fountain, you'll find tons to do at this beautiful park.

Check out our digital edition of Out & About, with over 400+ fun, family adventures!

Need more than 31 ideas? Choose from 500+ local destinations in our annual publication, Out & About, and take your family on a new adventure! 

Lisa Gipson, Editor at San Diego Family, planned a surprise outing for her 6th grade Girl Scout troop (see #26).

Updated: April 2014

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