School’s Out for Summer . . . Now what?

Yeah!!! Yeah!!! This is the sound of students, parents, and teachers on the last day of school. Anticipating the fun ahead: travels, plans for sleeping in, vacations, get togethers with friends, sleepovers, baseball games, outdoor fun, swimming, camping, . . . and the list goes on!

baseball fun
Heading to a baseball game!

In all this excitement, parents enjoy the upcoming lazy schedule: no homework, no morning and/or bed routines, no shuffling kids around to before/after school activities . . . just a relaxing time enjoying life and each other! Yes, parents enjoy summer, too!

road trip, summer fun
Who doesn’t love a great family road trip! Check out the beautiful scenery as we travel down the Seward Highway!

I don’t know about you, but about four maybe five weeks into summer, I would start hearing from my kiddos, “I’m bored!” or “There’s nothing to do!”

Who can relate?

Yes, you know what I’m talking about. You check the calendar and see we are halfway through summer vacation.

What am I going to do?

Summer is the perfect time to get your kiddos involved in a variety of activities that continue to promote learning. As a classroom teacher, I wish I was able to take my students on field trips each month to experience first hand so many learning opportunities that just can’t be done in the classroom.  Unfortunately, monthly field trips isn’t possible; therefore, summer is the perfect opportunity for family field trips that build student knowledge and can be tapped into during the school year.

Don’t worry about figuring out what to do for the next five to six weeks.  I’ve included a list of fun, learning opportunities that will keep your kiddo engaged and enjoying summer vacation, while not costing an arm and leg!

My TOP 10 Activities for FUN in Alaska or Wherever YOU May Be!

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1. Take a hike along a local trail, to the neighborhood park, in the mountains or along the beach.  Make certain to bring some water in my favorite bottle, a trail mix snack, and wear comfortable shoes. Find a place along the way to stop and enjoy Mother Nature!

hiking dog, summer fun
Enjoying a hike with Buckeye!


eagle, summer hike
Gotta love some surveillance from the trees! This eagle was low . . . not sure where his prey is at.


moose, summer fun
Check out this moose we saw along the way. Remember to stay away from moose. Otherwise, they will charge you!

2. Visit the local museum!  This is a great time to learn about history, science, and actually participate in the learning.  This is called experiential learning!! 

science, summer fun, local museum
Check out these starfish!!! This local museum has a variety of hands on science and historical learning opportunities about Alaska.


Mat Su Valley, summer fun
This is the small town museum. Here we learn about the Mat-Su Pioneers’ life in the early 1900s.

3.  Check out the local sports scene!  Heading to a local park, ballpark, soccer field . . . you’ll see some great athletes play their heart out and enjoy a new sport!

baseball park, summer fun
Patrick and I are enjoying a baseball game at the local ball field. Watching kids play from the lower 48, but we do have 2 local players on the team.

4.  Enjoy a sunset, if you live in the lower 48.  In Alaska, the sun doesn’t set!  We enjoy 19 1/2 hours of daylight where I live.  The remaining time is a twilight.  We celebrated the Summer Solstice on June 21 with a BBQ, gardening, and a baseball game.

midnight sun
A midnight view on the Summer Solstice!

5.  Grab that tech device and relax under a tree engaged in reading some new titles, reviewing some math skills, researching a passion. It is important to keep those new academic skills growing to avoid the “summer slump”.  Don’t forget to get KindleUnlimited for all  your reading and listening requirements.  Check the side bar for a direct link.  

6.  Plant a garden!  Kids love playing in dirt, and what better way than to teach about sustainability food source, providing beauty in our environment!

gardening, flowers
I always enjoy gardening in the flower beds.

7.  Here’s another sustainability food source – fishing!  Each summer my family and I head down to the Kenai River to do some dip netting.  We love fresh Pacific Salmon and freeze it for our winter feast.

fishing, summer fun
Patrick and I are getting ready to go fishing!


Alaska beach, summer fun!
This beach may look a little different than the east or west coast. This beach is along the Kenai River where we fish from July 10 – 31.


Kenai River Beach, summer fun
The view is absolutely AMAZING!! Do you see Redoubt Volcano??

8.  How about a backyard tent escape or a trip to the campground?  Spending time outdoors is such a relaxing way to relax and enjoy time away from the busy day to day activities!

gardening, flowers
Patrick and I are always ready for camping!


camping, summer fun
Camping can be fun with a tent or camper; however, my bones do appreciate a comfy mattress at the end of the day.

9.  Enjoy some time with the kiddos getting messy with art materials!!  Paint is always a fun medium to create with.  Here my children and I participate in local Paint Nights.  I don’t consider myself an “artist”, but these paintings turned out great!!

Painting an Alaska summer scene with my daughters!


paint night, summer fun
My daughter and I paint a summer sunset!


cards, art, summer fun, IditaCard Design
I always enjoy making these cards for others. My students and I make thank you cards throughout the year. This is such a great way for kids to show others they care with a handmade card. Check out my online store (coming soon), IditaCard Design, for more handmade cards. 

10.  When you are ready to take a break, whether after a day of fun in the woods, or your backyard, a great bonfire is a sure fire way to end a hard, exploring day!

campfire, Alaska
After a day of fun, enjoying a great bonfire is perfect!

What are your summer plans?  Get the kids outside, engage in art, visit the museum, play games . . . and you’ll never hear, “I’m bored” again! 

Share your summer fun in the comments!



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Annette Durbin

Annette has been an educator for 29 years working in the PK-6 elementary classroom, English learner instructional specialist, district leadership, university professor, as well as a mentor for teachers nationwide. A National Board Certificated Teacher, Annette focuses her research on accelerating learning and advancing achievement, personalizing instruction, technology, and leadership in the education field.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kyndall Bennett

    Every now and then, my fiance and I like to find random flea/farmer markets! It’s amazing what treasures can be found there at super affordable prices!

    1. Annette Durbin

      What a fabulous summer idea!! It is always fun to see what can become a new treasure.

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