5 End-of-Summer Adventures for the Whole Family

Staff Writer
Outdoor activities (and snacks to pack) for everyone to enjoy before school starts
Camping in the backyard

Camping in the backyard

With the end of summer in sight, there is no time like now for the whole family to take full advantage of the outdoors. While some might head out to see the latest blockbuster, others might choose to stay in, pull out the Monopoly board, and order Chinese takeout. Taking a family of five to the movies or dinner quickly adds up. Before the kids head back to school, make plans for a day of adventure with family and friends. It doesn’t have to cost a lot!

A family adventure doesn't require days of planning and a wad of cash. Instead of renting a movie to enjoy after dinner, pitch a tent in the backyard and enjoy mac ‘n cheese and s’mores under the stars. If kicking around the soccer ball on Saturday afternoon is getting a little dull, there is no need to pay for access to the rock wall or golf course. Instead, mix up the activity by packing a snack and going for a hike instead. If weekend afternoons are quality naptime, gather your early risers before the sun comes up for sunrise yoga followed by a make-your-own yogurt parfait bar.


Backyard Camping Night:

Nothing is quite as memorable as hosting a fun campout night at home with friends and their kids. Pull out the sleeping bags, make a fire pit, and grab the flashlights — the tent is optional (just be sure to choose a clear night, and turn off the sprinklers). Kids can get a feel for camping outdoors in the comfort of their familiar backyard, while parents can reminisce back to their own days at summer camp.

When planning a camping night menu, be inspired by campout classics like this kid-friendly mac and cheese that can be made over the fire. And a campout isn’t complete without everyone’s favorite treat: s’mores. Pick up marshmallows and sharpen some sticks for roasting the traditional favorite. For something more unusual, try one of these recipes — or s’more bars that can be made a day in advance. 


Sunrise Hiking Trip

There is no better way to start the day off right than with a fun-filled hike at sunrise with friends, complete with a delicious breakfast at the top. Choose a trail that is navigable in the early morning light and plan to summit just as the sun is coming up. Trails.com has hundreds of routes to choose from. 

No one likes to get up early, especially on a summer weekend morning. Yet, the temperature will be cooler for the hike up — and pack a healthy and hearty breakfast packed to enjoy at the top. Fill up a thermos with hot coffee, and pack a loaf or two of nutty banana walnut bread, with some cream cheese for spreading. And pack each hiker their own bag of trail mix for snacking on the way back down.