16 Things to Do on a Weekend With Kids
Strong family relationships improve kids’ well-being throughout their lifetimes. Social support from parental and sibling relationships reduces stress, increases self-esteem and promotes better mental health. Attending family-friendly events with kids is a great way to grow, learn and have fun together. It’s also an excellent way to make memories that will last for a lifetime.
Many families find that their weekends are the best opportunity to spend quality time together. If you’re looking for some classic and new weekend activities with kids, this list is the place to start. Read on to discover the best ideas and tips for having a memorable weekend with your kids!
The Best Weekend Activities With Kids
Whether you want to plan a memorable trip or you’re looking for low-cost activities to do at home, there are many ways to have family fun. Remember that some of the best family activities require nothing more than your undivided attention — and sometimes a bit of creativity!
Check out these 16 weekend family activities you can do with your kids:
1. Go Camping Outdoors
Take a weekend camping trip and show your kids the wonders of nature. There’s always something new to discover at a campsite. Prepare for your trip by packing these items:
- Camping gear: A tent is a must for an overnight camping trip. Bring enough sleeping bags, cozy blankets and pillows for everyone. Other essential equipment includes roasting sticks, lanterns and cooking utensils.
- Food: Camping provides all sorts of unique cooking opportunities. There are the classic s’mores, hot dogs and hamburgers, though you can also experiment with other campfire recipes.
- Games: Bring bicycles, roller skates, board games, basketballs, sidewalk chalk and other activities to keep the fun rolling all weekend long.
Look for a family-friendly campground with amenities like laundry facilities to handle the inevitable spill and a playground so your kids can play right near the campsite.
2. Take a Hike
Playing outside offers numerous benefits to kids of all ages, from improved health to increased communication. Take your kids to a local park or hiking trail for exercise and exploration. Encourage your kids to engage with the world around them by:
- Asking questions: Test your kids’ nature knowledge by asking questions about nature. Do they know why the sky is blue or why squirrels bury their nuts? Help your kids discover new things.
- Searching for specific items: Your kids might enjoy searching for particular items as they walk as part of a scavenger hunt. Make a list of the flowers, insects, animals and natural elements local to your area, and have your kids cross them off a list for a fun activity.
3. Go to a History Museum
Visiting a history museum can be a fun and educational way to teach your kids what life was like in other times. Check out these tips before visiting:
- Plan ahead: Many history museums rotate live reenactments or interactive exhibits that your kids might find especially interesting. Search online or call ahead about special events to find the best time to take your family.
- Be strategic: Some museums are free, while others have free days during certain times. You can also find rates for younger kids.
- Start conversations: Brush up on the exhibits ahead of time so you can answer any questions they may have. Museum tour guides are another helpful resource. Having conversations with other people about history can help your kids retain and appreciate the information better.
4. Check Out an Arboretum
Arboretums are calming places to take an afternoon stroll through the blooming flowers and towering trees. Arboretums also offer tons of educational experiences and events for families. A few examples include:
- Learning events: Arboretums host learning events to attract families and educate kids about the natural world. Look for guided bird walks, nature presentations and developmental programs for your littlest explorers.
- Self-guided materials: Many arboretums offer self-guided family activities like word searches, bingo, scavenger hunts, etc.
- Contests: Some locations also offer contests kids can participate in, like art, poetry and music competitions. If your kids are creative, working on a project through the local arboretum can inspire them.
5. Visit the Zoo
Going to the zoo is one of those classic family activities with kids that constantly provides new learning opportunities. Teach your kids fun facts about their favorite zoo animal, then swing by the petting zoo to mingle with the farm animals. Many zoos also have planned events like presentations and lectures.
Be sure to bring the following gear on your visit:
- Sunscreen: Sunny summer days are perfect for the zoo. However, it’s also essential to protect your kids’ skin. Apply sunscreen and bring sunhats to defend against the sun’s rays.
- Snacks: Many zoos allow families to bring in snacks and packed lunches. If your local zoo prohibits outside food, but you still want to avoid buying lunch inside, you can go to the zoo in the morning and eat lunch out of the cooler in the car.
- Sturdy shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking at the zoo, so make sure you and your kids have comfortable footwear.
- Hand sanitizer or wipes: If your zoo allows kids to feed the petting zoo animals, you’ll want to have hand sanitizer on hand to ward off germs.
6. Go to a Live Sporting Event
Kids will enjoy rooting on their favorite team, eating snacks and spending time at a live sports event. Find local or professional games near you or explore other options like a monster truck rally or rodeo.
Maximize your time at a sporting event with these helpful tips:
- Be flexible: Be open to seeing a minor league game or a less popular team. These tickets are often more affordable and just as fun, especially with younger kids.
- Arrive early: The traffic and lines for live sporting events can be long, so plan to leave the house with plenty of time to spare. Some parks also have pre-game entertainment kids would enjoy.
- Make connections: Reminisce about your memories of the sport. Then make new memories together as a family.
7. Take a Trip to the Lake
When the summer heat gets too unbearable, pack up some essentials like floaties and sand toys and head to the lake for a relaxing afternoon on the water. Try out some of these lakeside activities with your kids:
- Renting watercraft: Many lakes rent boats, paddleboats, water skis and more to visitors. You may also need to rent life jackets for your little ones.
- Going fishing: Find a secluded spot and take your kids fishing. Check local fishing regulations and catch and release policies before you go.
- Swimming: Whether your kids are strong swimmers or just learning how to float, a day at the lake is an excellent opportunity to teach them this helpful skill. Look for a lake with shallower areas where your kids can practice.
8. Go on a Picnic
Pack up the car and take everyone on a picnic for a relaxing afternoon. Taking a family picnic is one of the most affordable weekend activities with kids. Bring these items with you:
- Food: Sandwiches, fruits and veggies are a classic picnic lunch. Bring plenty of water to keep your kids hydrated.
- Picnic blanket: Your local park likely has picnic tables available. You can also take your picnic on the grass, as long as you’re willing to share your lunch with a few insects.
- Wipes: Before you eat your picnic lunch and head home for the day, make sure your kids wash up from playing outside. If bathrooms aren’t available, you can use hand sanitizer wipes.
- Games: Bring games and activities to provide variety, like flying discs, a soccer ball, a kite, jump ropes and whatever else your kids enjoy.
9. Visit a Science Museum
A kids’ science museum trip is the perfect outing for your budding scientist or any kid curious about how the world works. Science museums have a wide variety of exhibits, from the solar system to soil and everything in between. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your visit:
- Plan plenty of time for exploring: Science museums have interactive exhibits kids might like to play in for a while. It’ll be worth it to give yourself plenty of time so you don’t have to rush through.
- Be prepared for questions: Your kids will experience lots of new things at a science museum, which could prompt an onslaught of questions. When your kids ask why something happens, be prepared with some answers.
- Look for special events: Science museums often have events like IMAX theater showings, lectures and interactive presentations. Do some research ahead of time to see what activities you can do together during your visit.
- Be patient: Science museums can also be overwhelming places. If your kids seem unusually subdued, they might need time to get used to the sensory stimulation at the exhibits. Stay relaxed to help them get accustomed to the environment.
10. Attend a Concert
Many cities host kid-friendly concerts and other shows for all ages. The next time your kids’ favorite band or performer is in town, taking them to a show is a great treat. Here are a few concert ideas your kids might enjoy:
- Classical music in the park: Many cities have free summer concerts in the park. Classical music is a popular concert attraction. Exposing your kids to new music is an excellent way to expand their tastes and boost creativity. Bring your picnic blankets, snacks and a few quiet toys or coloring books so kids can occupy their hands while they listen.
- Kid-oriented shows: Many companies now have live shows at a theater or stadium that feature kids’ favorite television shows or movie characters. Look for old classics or new programs your kids might enjoy.
- Local school concerts and plays: High school and middle school shows are a fun way to enjoy some family-friendly events with kids and support your community. Grab your tickets to the local play or concert and spend a night out in your town.
11. Check Out a Local Fair
Local fairs are fun community events that provide learning opportunities and excitement for kids of all ages. Whether it’s your state fair or a smaller local event, these occasions give the whole family a chance to stretch their legs, see new sights and have fun together. Check out these types of fairs for some ideas to spark your next weekend outing:
- Craft fair: Support local artists and craftspeople at a craft fair. Take your kids to explore arts and crafts like handmade baskets, artwork, toys, jewelry, etc. Who knows — your kids might discover a new favorite hobby!
- Farmer’s market: Your local farmer’s market is the definition of homegrown fun. Saturday mornings are perfect for strolling through the market for fresh fruits and veggies, flower bouquets and much more. Larger farmer’s markets also have restaurants and even craft shops. Grab a bite to eat and explore the wealth of your community.
- County fair: County and state fairs have tons of new experiences for kids. All you need is a ticket and some money for carnival snacks like cotton candy and popcorn. Take your kids on the rides, get their faces painted and see any livestock exhibits.
- Multi-cultural food fair: Larger cities might also have food fairs celebrating the different cultural heritages in your community. Visit with your kids and encourage them to try new foods, then find similar recipes so you can make the dishes together.
12. See a Movie
A family movie night is another way to connect with your kids around their favorite stories and characters. Catching a movie is the perfect solution to a rainy weekend. Everyone can enjoy G-rated movies, even adults. Consider these three ways to watch a family movie together:
- The cinema: Take your kids to a new movie’s release night if you feel comfortable braving the crowds. The movie theater experience — complete with popcorn and movie candy — is unbeatable.
- The drive-in: If you have a drive-in theater near you, give your kids the experience of seeing a movie from the car. Be sure to bring blankets and pillows if you’ll be watching out of your trunk.
- Movie night in: You can also have a relaxed night streaming or watching a rented movie at home. Make homemade pizza and kick back on the couch together.
13. Have a Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are a fun way to explore your hometown or neighborhood with your kids on the weekend. Consider these tips for making your scavenger hunt an exciting event for the whole family:
- Pick a good location: Excellent places for a scavenger hunt include the local park, hiking trails and even your neighborhood, as long as there’s not a lot of traffic. However, if your kids are older, it may be time to go somewhere new. Does your town have lots of establishments within walking distance? Get creative and pick a farmer’s market or other public building for your setting.
- Do your research: As you write your scavenger hunt items, find out about the history of your hometown and look for unique spots connected to it. Does your town have any historical buildings or markers? Was the city started by a railroad? Include these locations on your list to help your kids learn about their home’s history.
- Make it fun: Make up some riddles or create actions for your kids to do when you all find an item. You could have your kids do a cartwheel in front of an object shaped like an X or take a silly faces photo with a local mural. Explore together and have some laughs in the process.
14. Enjoy a Game Night
Game nights are fun family activities with kids any night of the week. However, the weekend gives you extra flexibility for a creative evening. These family game night ideas will provide you with a few options for an enjoyable evening.
- Board games and card games: Dust off some of your board games and gather everyone around the dinner table for some friendly competition. To add some extra fun, you can create new rules, like singing “I’m a Little Teapot” each time you play a specific card. The options are unlimited and can get quite silly!
- Family game show: Pick one of your family’s favorite game shows and create your own version in the living room. You could use everyday objects around the house to develop challenges you have to complete in 60 seconds or create questions for everyone to answer. The team that wins gets a prize!
- Puppet show: You can work together to create a story and design a set and costumes for your puppets — stuffed animals or toys work just as well too! Then invite friends and family over to see your performance.
15. Set up a Field Day
When the weather gets warm, head to the backyard for a family field day. It can take a lot of work to plan a field day, even for a small group like your family. However, the right preparation can make this weekend activity one to remember. Pick a few yard games that fit your kids’ ages, including in each of these categories:
- Team games: Depending on how many people in your family participate, you can divide into teams for a few of your events. Have a bucket and sponge relay where each team tries to fill their bucket up first using only a wet sponge, or see which team is first to pop all their balloons by sitting on them.
- Partner games: Divide everyone into partners and do a water balloon toss or a three-legged race. Partner games are sure to get everyone giggling.
- Individual games: If you don’t have enough people for team or partner games, have your kids do individual activities. Race to see who can hula hoop the longest or throw the most beanbags in the target.
When planning your family field day, have plenty of water and snacks on hand, and remember to create a prize!
16. Visit a Playground
Playing on the playground is one of those kid-approved weekend family activities that are nearly always guaranteed to be a hit. From soaring high on the swing set to playing pretend on the climbers, your kids are sure to find some equipment they’ll love. Playgrounds also provide a host of developmental benefits for your kids, including:
- Physical development: Kids of all ages can challenge themselves with different play equipment that helps them expand their motor skills, sense of balance, flexibility and muscle strength. Playgrounds also help kids get their 60 minutes of recommended daily activity, improving their overall health.
- Social development: Playing on a playground is also an inherently social activity. Taking your kids to the playground helps them learn social skills like sharing, communication, cooperation, patience and conflict management. Playgrounds designed with inclusivity in mind also teach kids to be inclusive and kind to all.
- Emotional development: Taking on new equipment challenges a kid’s confidence. It can be a big self-esteem boost when they finally tackle it successfully. Playgrounds also help kids learn independence and emotional regulation.
Going to the playground brings your kids lots of developmental benefits and hours of fun. Before you take your kids to the playground, there are a few things you should remember:
- Bring the snacks: Pack some snacks and plenty of water to refuel and rehydrate.
- Supervise: Keep an eye on your kids to ensure they use the playground equipment correctly.
- Pack a first aid kit: Accidents sometimes happen, and if they do, it’s always best to be prepared. Having bandages and disinfectant wipes on hand is a must.
- Wear the right clothes: Choose closed-toe footwear and play clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. It can also be a good idea to avoid clothing and accessories with drawstrings or other long parts that could become caught in playground equipment.
With these considerations in mind, you can plan a fun and exciting weekend trip to the playground with your kids.
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Taking your kids to the playground on the weekend is a great way to make lasting memories and boost your kids’ development. To create the most thrilling playground experience, look to Miracle Recreation for the designs and equipment that can make your playground memorable. At Miracle Recreation, we’re an innovator in the playground equipment industry, designing our equipment with thrill and excitement in mind. Our playgrounds challenge kids and offer perceived risk, all while prioritizing safety.
If your community is planning a new or renovated playground, request a quote today to start the process!