When the kids get out for summer vacation, it’s time to put your thinking cap on. They need to stay busy so the days don’t slip away in front of the TV. Keep the whole family entertained by reading about what you should do in California this summer. There are plenty of places to explore before school starts back up again.
- 1 1. Hike in Yosemite Valley
- 2 2. Swim at Laguna Beach
- 3 3. Visit Turtle Bay Exploration Park
- 4 4. Watch Fireworks at Fisherman’s Wharf
- 5 5. Tour a Retired Aircraft Carrier
- 6 6. Pan for Gold Together
- 7 7. Experiment at the California Science Center
- 8 8. Cool Down at Splash Pads
- 9 9. Explore the San Diego Zoo
- 10 10. Go to Disneyland
- 11 Have Fun in California This Summer
1. Hike in Yosemite Valley
Spending time in nature is an integral part of any person’s childhood. It’s how you learn about the world and find your place in it. This summer, your kids can start having those experiences by hiking in Yosemite Valley. Point out different types of birds and plants so every trip becomes a learning experience.
2. Swim at Laguna Beach
Who doesn’t enjoy an afternoon beach trip? Bring your family and a big umbrella to have the ultimate summer vacation experience. Before leaving home, pack a few lunches that fit in your cooler so you don’t have to leave the beach when everyone gets hungry. Sandwiches, salads and snacks will keep everyone full while splashing in the waves.
3. Visit Turtle Bay Exploration Park
Keep your child’s education going even when they’re not in school by visiting the Turtle Bay Exploration Park this summer. The park has over 64 animal species in mostly interactive exhibits designed to teach kids about the world. Your children will love the live animals and the various historical exhibits that change throughout the year.
4. Watch Fireworks at Fisherman’s Wharf
Every summer, many people head to Fisherman’s Wharf for Fourth of July fireworks. Make a day out of it by visiting the area before dinner. You can watch sea lions together before visiting a magic shop, playing 7D games or spending time at an arcade. Grab dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area and you’ll end a perfect day with an incredible fireworks display.
5. Tour a Retired Aircraft Carrier
The USS Midway Museum is a great place to go with kids of all ages. The four-acre ship has so much room to explore with guided tours. The museum also features a flight simulator for youngsters who daydream about becoming pilots. They’ll learn about the ship’s history in the navy and create new memories during your next free afternoon.
6. Pan for Gold Together
If your kids can’t get enough of Halloween, they’ll love California’s Calico ghost town. The area was a popular silver mining site until the 1890s when silver lost its value and the town’s residents moved away. It’s now a San Bernadino county attraction complete with rides, restaurants and gemstone panning opportunities. There’s even a campsite nearby, so your family can turn it into a weekend getaway if you’re up for some camping.
7. Experiment at the California Science Center
Your child’s education doesn’t have to stop just because they’re on summer vacation. Take them to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. There are always new exhibits that teach kids about different scientific properties, like how the space shuttle on display actually reached the stars or how ecosystems rely on plants and animals.
It’s the perfect place for curious kids to also see their classroom lessons in real life. They’ll love conducting experiments at the interactive exhibits in between watching educational 3D IMAX movies and jumping between discovery rooms.
8. Cool Down at Splash Pads
The Los Angeles area has plenty of splash pads for young toddlers and elementary school kids. Throw a few towels and bathing suits in the car to cool down without spending a dime. There are so many splash pads to choose from with pools, games and climbing features. Your kids will have fun for hours while you lounge on a shaded bench nearby.
Check the calendar before leaving home — you may even schedule a splash pad visit when food trucks are nearby. You’ll have fun food for your next lunch together without another trip to the grocery store.
9. Explore the San Diego Zoo
You could easily spend a few days walking around the San Diego zoo with your family. It’s the largest zoo in the world because it has so many animals and exhibits ready for families throughout the year. Your kids will love seeing pandas, cheetahs, polar bears and more. The animals will leap right off the page when they continue learning about them during their fall classes.
10. Go to Disneyland
A summer in California wouldn’t feel complete without a quick trip to Disneyland. The park is open every day of the week and features many fun seasonal activities throughout the summer. Take pictures with your child’s favorite characters in between rides and meals from around the globe.
Have Fun in California This Summer
Now that you know what you should do in California this summer, ask your kids how they’d like to spend their time. Whether they want to see a historical location, try a few science experiments or cool off in the water, you’ll find something for everyone to enjoy before school begins.