Top 10 Summer Fun Ideas 

It’s hard to believe that the end of the school year is just around the corner – and summer is official upon us here in the Valley of the Sun. Although my daughter is grown and out of the house now, I can still remember on many occasions hearing those dreaded words, “Dad I’m bored.”

Here are the top 10 summer fun ideas you can have with your kids – with little or no cost involved. Make it a great summer, filled with memories that will last a lifetime!

Check out the Public Library – getting your kids to read over the summer can be more than just fun, it can help them stay sharp and better prepared for the next school year. Library cards are free for Maricopa County residents and there are plenty of public libraries filled with great books!

Water Balloon Contest – in the scorching Arizona summer heat, finding ways to cool off is a must. Why not head to the dollar store, pick up a bag of balloons and have a water balloon contest!

Take a trip to IKEA – a trip to IKEA can be an all-day affair. Cool air conditioning, plenty to see for everyone in the family and great food. IKEA is located off Baseline Road on the I10 Freeway.

Board Games – some of my favorite memories are playing board games as kid. Today, there are a plethora of options, ranging from simple to complex. You can pick up a brand new board game at any Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart for around $20.00 or you can check out your local thrift store too.

Build a Fort in the Living Room – let the kids turn your sofas and chairs into an indoor fort with the cushions, pillows and some sheets. Join them with a flashlight and an old ghost story – they’ll love it!

Have a Scavenger Hunt – scavenger hunts require a little planning and organizing but they don’t require a lot of money. You can plan one with ordinary household items and right in your own neighborhood. Google it, for more details on how to plan a scavenger hunt.

Head to the Lake – we are pretty lucky to have a beautiful lake recreation area in Peoria, which is relatively close to anyone living in the northwest or northeast valley. Lake Pleasant is a great place to spend the day, even if you don’t have a boat. You can walk around the marina or find a spot on the shore and set up camp. There is a cost to enter the recreation area - learn more at

Bake Cookies – who doesn’t love a fresh batch of warm cookies right out of the oven? Spend some quality time with your kids in the kitchen with your favorite cookie recipe.

Go for a Random Drive – one of my favorite things to do, even as an adult. Jump in the car and head out for the day. You can go for a random drive, see where you end up or pick a place you’ve never been before and go exploring.

Volunteer – there are plenty of places we can volunteer – such as local businesses, retirement homes, the Phoenix Children’s Hospital or maybe even someone you know who might need a helping hand. Teach your children the value of giving back while they are young.