Summer break is rapidly approaching. Over the next two to three weeks, almost every school in the nation will be on summer break. Children need this break as much as parents and teachers do. This year, especially, has been challenging. If your child attended school in person this year, it was probably limited in the number of days, peers in the classroom, and required masks or gloves for certain activities. Learning and COVID have not been a match made in heaven. You probably want to celebrate the end of the year this year more than others. 

Ice Cream

One of the best ways to beat the heat in the summer is to eat some ice cream. Kids love the cool treat, and who doesn’t love sprinkles? Try the cool treats at Cool Moon Frozen Delights. These treats include sorbet, so if you have a loved one who can’t enjoy the dairy-based treat, you can still cool off and celebrate the end of school. 

Catch Some Waves

Of course, you can spend the day at the beach, but it can be much less fun to clean up the sand and mess. A day at a water park means that lifeguards are close by, and there’s no sand to vacuum from the back seat. A great choice is Wings and Waves Water Park which has indoor fun for cloudy or overcast days. Take the kids for some fun, even if there’s no sun! 


If the school will allow, get together with other parents and throw a tailgate party. Each parent can bring some snacks and have a great time hanging out and celebrating the end of a tough year. This idea is even better if you have a child moving up to middle school or high school and friends are going to different schools. This gives them one last celebration at the school. 

Town Scavenger Hunt

Spend the afternoon on a scavenger hunt. You can plant clues at the school, local park, candy shop, and fast-food joints that your kids like. The final destination can be a fun place like Funland Entertainment Center Seaside. This arcade is a favorite of Oregon kids of all ages. The hunt can be as fun as the final destination. 

Skate Into Summer

Take the kids to the local roller rink to skate their way into summer. The Oaks Park Rink has more than just skating. It can be a final destination for the scavenger hunt or go to the skating rink on a mystery destination trip. Skating isn’t as popular as it used to be, but you can start a new tradition using an old favorite. 

Take a Short Trip

If finances permit, take a short trip out of town to decompress. This has been a stressful year. You do not have to do anything exotic or extravagant. A weekend camping trip to LL Stub State Park is lovely and open with COVID restrictions. Contact the park to check on their current restrictions and to make reservations. 

Mani Pedis

Both girls and boys enjoy being pampered from time to time, but if your boys are not interested, mani-pedis are a great way to bond and relax for mom and daughter. Summer is sandal weather, and it feels great to have a good manicure and pedicure to show off your nails. Places like Skylar Nail have great reviews and will provide the best pampering in town. 


No, we don’t condone vandalism of anyone’s property. We do want to encourage creativity, though. Let the kids decorate the car for the last day of school. Special markers can be purchased safely for your car’s paint and windows. Let them express themselves with their excitement for the summer. 

Summer Fun List

Some people call it a bucket list, and others call it an activity list, but whatever you call it, start a summer fun list. Before the last day of school, have your children make a list of ten things that they each want to do over summer break. On the last day of school, kick off the list by doing one thing for each child. Bonus points if they have the same item on each list. 

Plant a Summer Garden

Have the kids plant some fun things for the summer that might bloom or mature before school starts. Flowers and foods are all fair game. See whose seeds produce the most or grow the tallest. Kids can learn a little about soil and environmental science without feeling stuck in the classroom. 

Camping and a Movie

If you already have camping supplies but can’t get away for the weekend or want to refrain from out-of-town travel, consider pitching the tent in the backyard and watching an outdoor movie. You can project it onto the side of the house or on a sheet hung outside. Be sure that you don’t charge neighborhood kids to join in since you don’t want to break any copyright laws. 

Final Thoughts

Get creative. This year has been challenging and stressful. We all need time to decompress and relax. Whatever your kids enjoy can be turned into a celebration. Go to a baseball game, have a home dance party, or have a neighborhood parade to celebrate the last day of school. The best celebration is always time with your children. They won’t always remember what you buy them, but they will remember all the fun things you do. This year is prime for making new memories! 

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