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10 family-friendly activities for summer fun

Venetian Shores in Lindenhurst features a sprinkler park

Venetian Shores in Lindenhurst features a sprinkler park and playground for Town of Babylon residents. Credit: Handout

Kids looking for something to do this summer? Why not make a daily plan to do something fun with family and friends — whether it's in your backyard or at a nearby destination?

According to a new Busch Gardens survey, 49 percent of kids agree and actually ask for more opportunities to engage in more unstructured outdoor play — with or without friends. And more than two-thirds of moms feel that family fun time often takes a backseat to running errands, making meals, carpooling and parental work obligations.

    To help keep kids entertained this summer, Stacy DeBroff, chief executive of, provided 10 family-friendly ideas for summer fun. We'll provide suggestions on five more topics throughout the summer, so be sure to check back next week. Here are her tips:

    1. For each weekend or vacation day, make sure you’ve included a favorite activity for each family member whether it's swimming, rock climbing or other fun activity.

    2. Choose venues that feature a host of activities in one area — including opportunities for sports, nature, and pool fun — so everyone can spend time with a favorite activity without endless travel.

    3. Arrange a day of completely new family adventures — if you typically hike on vacation, try water skiing; if you love spending time at the beach, try taking up family tennis lessons.

    4. Really involve kids in day-trip activity planning — everything from picking the destination to choosing restaurants and selecting nearby activities.

    5. Don’t forget about nighttime activities — take a flashlight into nearby woods and search for fireflies or bring a telescope into the backyard and look for constellations.

    6. Spend a day focusing on animals. Seek out butterflies and go on a bird-watching adventure. Click here to find the best places on Long Island to see animals.

    7. Buy a family compass and set out on an orienteering trek.

    8. Experience water fun and try out a new pool, beach or lake. Click here to find the best beaches for kids on LI and splash parks in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

    9. Explore an array of neighborhoods. Discover new parks, landmarks and lunch spots.

    10. "Celebrate family memories by seeking out favorite venues — from fishing at grandpa’s boyhood pond to visiting grandmother’s riding stables," said DeBroff.

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