Summer is a time for families to really connect and make memories! Today, I’m sharing 6 Memorable Summer Family Traditions!

Summer is truly one of the most memorable seasons of the year. When we look back at our childhood some of those best memories are from experiences in the summer. Some of those experiences include special family vacations and other memories are just wistfully remembering those lazy days of summer.

While summer might seem to be winding down, there is still plenty of time to make time for a few special summer memories! Schedule in some time for some of these traditions and you will have a lifetime of summer memories!

Easy and inexpensive summer traditions #family #kids #staycation #bucketlist

Backyard Campout

For as long as I can remember, we have been having once-a-summer backyard campouts! These are the perfect way to get a taste of camping all from the comforts of your home. If you aren’t the camping type, this set up is great for getting a small taste of the outdoors! However, even if you are the camping type, the backyard set up is still really fun!

6 Summer Traditions for Kids #summermemories #screenfree #inexpensive #summer

It doesn’t cost any money to camp in your own yard. Plus, if the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can always head inside!

Some ideas for making a backyard campout super fun:

  • Catch Fireflies
  • Watch a movie outdoors! We usually bring a laptop in the tent and watch on the small screen. But, if you have a movie projector, you could hang up a sheet and watch the movie on a big screen.
  • Make breakfast on the grill or a fire pit.
  • Tell ghost stories
  • Take a nighttime walk around your neighborhood before you head to bed. The younger kids will think it is so special to be out in the dark!

Evening S’Mores

Speaking of backyard fun, you can not forget to indulge in some s’mores during the summer! Making s’mores is also part of our backyard camping tradition, but we do have s’mores A LOT throughout the summer. I keep a basket handy with all of my s’mores ingredients so we can make this yummy dessert in no time.

We have these ROASTING STICKS and I highly recommend them. They are color coded, so everyone can pick their own and the sticks are long enough that the kids can stay back from the fire. I got these for my husband for Father’s Day and he loved them because he always gets so worried about kids around the campfire.

Over the years, we have gotten really creative with our s’mores combination. Think outside of the graham cracker and chocolate bar combo! We like to swap Reese’s Cups for plain chocolate. Or even mini waffles for the graham cracker!


Weekly Ice Cream Date

Is it officially summer if we aren’t eating ice cream every other day?! I don’t know about your kids, but mine are asking for a cold treat just about every day in the summer! To curb our ice cream cravings just a little bit, we have made Wednesday the official ice cream day of the week.

Each week we pick a new ice cream shop to visit. It has been so fun trying out new places and new treats!

Summertime traditions: Weekly ice cream treat at a different ice cream shop #family #summerfun #bucketlist

We might have a hard time giving up this tradition once summer is over! It really has been something we look forward to all week long. My daughter enjoys doing the research to find a new place for us to visit.

Family Walk or Bike Ride

For many years, a daily walk was a part of my husband and my routine. We would load the kids in the double stroller (and a baby carrier when our third baby came along) and take a long walk. Unfortunately, as the kids have gotten older, our routine has gotten off track. A family bike ride is more realistic for our big kids.

Different times in life call for different routines! 

Now, we make it a priority to do something active with the kids each day. Sometimes we split up and some kids take a bike ride with a parent and the other one(s) stays home and plays catch. Or we enjoy a family badminton game (my $2 garage sale score!).

This tradition is great because it does not cost any money! You can adapt to your family as your schedule dictates. The point is to enjoy some healthy, quality time with the family!

Movie Marathon

One tradition that we just started this summer is a trip to the Drive-In Movie Theater! We’ve always been hesitant to go to the drive-in because of how late the movies start. This year, we felt like the kids were ready–and they were! (Guess who might have fallen asleep…ahem…me!)

Summer family traditions that your kids will remember #summerbucketlist #family #kidfriendly

There is something SO nostalgic about a drive-in movie! I remember my few experiences going to the drive-in, so I know my kids will remember these experiences as well.

If you don’t have a drive-in movie theater near you, consider making your own movie memories. 

Maybe you have a movie marathon on a rainy summer day. Or perhaps you take advantage of Dollar Days at your local movie theater and see a double feature! Movies make for great family entertainment! Build excitement by talking about and planning your movie session in advance.

Let everyone have a say in what movie to watch and don’t forget to have some yummy snacks on hand!

Family Water Balloon Fight

This tradition is especially for the competitive families at heart:) My kids love water balloons and certainly use up a bunch with their friends all summer long. But once a summer, we make sure to have a family water balloon fight! Things can get a little competitive! The kids really love to soak my husband and I.

These rapid filling water balloons ARE A MUST! You can fill hundreds of balloons with water in a matter of minutes.

We always end the summer with a family water balloon fight! Your kids will be thrilled if you surprise them with this fun activity.


A great thing about these summer family traditions is that they can be adaptable as the kids get older. Even big kids will still appreciate these summer activities. What teenager doesn’t love ice cream and s’mores?! Establish some summer traditions while the kids are little and it is a guarantee that they will be requesting to do them every year!

There are a million ideas for summer activities with your kids. But you don’t have to conquer every fun thing there is to do. Pick a few KEY traditions and make them work for your family.

What summer traditions do you have with your family?

For more summer family traditions, check out my SUMMER ACTIVITIES PINTEREST BOARD:

Looking for other FAMILY TRADITIONS? Check out these posts:

5 Family Traditions to Start Today

Back-to-School Traditions

How to Build Strong Bonds with Your Big Kids and Tweens

What to do with your kids this summer #summerfunlist #traditions #inexpensive



  1. Holly Breton @ Pink Lady on July 25, 2019 at 6:23 am

    So many of these things are on our summer list as well- cheers! Here’s to making memories!

  2. Dara on July 25, 2019 at 8:24 am

    These are all such fun ideas. I have wanted to go to the drive in for so long but they do start the movies so late! And then I saw that it would cost more there to see the movie than at the regular theater, so we didn’t go again!

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