March 3, 2020

Summer Bucket List

Explore how to include fun activities for the whole family this summer

If you’re a parent finding it difficult to balance the long weeks of summer break between work, childcare and family vacations, you’re not alone. Parents everywhere face the same dilemma each summer – how to fill the time with plenty of family fun while also maintaining a normal work schedule and preventing their children from becoming victim to the summer slide. As the school off-season approaches, check out our Summer Bucket List for fun learning activities the entire family will enjoy.


Boosting your child’s academic potential can be simple with a few household activities.

No matter who is watching the children this summer, let them take over the kitchen to teach your child about the science behind baking. With the promise of their favorite dessert on the way, they might be more interested in chemistry than ever before! Explain the processes and watch connections from lessons in school take shape. Those family recipes can even teach your child a little math. By measuring ingredients together, you’ll have the opportunity to bond over family history and teach the child about conversion and fractions. For teens, kick it up a notch and host a bake-off with different culinary challenges to make it even more exciting.


Your child spends hundreds of hours inside a school building every year. This summer, release them into the wild to explore nature’s beauty and experience what the outdoor world has to offer.

Put on your hiking boots and set forth on nearby trails. Bring binoculars to have the family search for local birds to pass the time or make it a game and compete to see who spots the northern cardinal first. Try to find native plants amidst conversations about photosynthesis. While immersed in the trees, put your amateur photography skills to the test and preserve special memories of the day with photos that show off nature’s best backdrops.

If mountains and forests aren’t your thing, speed up your heart rate with bike riding. The CDC suggests on average 60 minutes of physical activity every day so get the kids – and you – moving. What better way to tour the City of Charlotte than by taking the family through the Little Sugar Creek Greenway? If you prefer an urban setting, bike along the Charlotte Rail Trail, which features easy access to some of the city’s best restaurants and places for potty breaks.

With older kids, try geocaching, a popular outdoor recreational activity. They’ll have to use a GPS or maps to find hidden items located all over the city. It’s easily the most satisfying scavenger hunt.


North Carolina weather is unpredictable but, in the summer, we know it’ll be hot. Stay indoors and stay cool with fun games and crafts. It’s time to get creative!
Encourage the fort builders of the family to let their imaginations build grand palaces and mansions with the couch cushions. Make it a lesson about engineering by seeing which creations are more structurally sound. Or break out the Popsicle sticks to recreate the world’s greatest architectural designs.

Act out scenes from the family’s favorite books to encourage your child to read this summer. Over time, this activity will help improve your child’s reading comprehension skills so they’ll be prepared in the fall for book reports and other assignments.

The joys of summer camp

Discovery Place takes the pressure off parents to make the plans for the best summer ever by offering camps featuring the best of science, nature and play. Available for all age groups, it’s easy to find the experience you want your child to have this summer.

For more about Summer Camps at Discovery Place, click here.