Fun Things to Do on the Last Day of Summer Vacation

Published April 8, 2019
father and daughter eating ice cream

Make the most of your last day of summer vacation by doing even more fun things with the kids before everyone gets busy. Whether you stay home and relax or head out for one more epic adventure, you're sure to create a new family tradition.

Active Last Day of Summer Ideas

If you've got little kids who are always loaded with energy or want to capture some time with your teen before they head off to college, consider getting active on your final day of summer vacay.

Have a Yes to Each Other Day

The idea is to say "yes" to every little thing family members request of each other in celebration of the freedom that comes with summer for kids. As soon as school starts, everyone will be back on tight schedules and their best behavior so this is one last chance to be totally unencumbered.

Re-do Your Favorite Summer Day

Ask everyone to describe which day was their favorite and why. As you plan your last day of summer break, try to incorporate one element from each person's favorite summer day. If everyone agrees on one day as the best, simply re-do the day exactly how you did before.

Hide Painted Rock Memories

Capture your favorite summer moments in paintings on small, smooth rocks. This is a fun, modern way to document your summer, share it with others, and keep it alive forever.

  • Younger kids or those who aren't artistically inclined can decoupage clip art images on the rocks.
  • Add one word that best describes the memory and printed directions for finders.
  • Ask that anyone who finds the rock use a specific hashtag and share on social media so you can see.
  • Take a walk around your town and hide the rocks for others to find.
holding painted rocks in hands

Sightsee in Your Hometown

Instead of loathing the end of summer, celebrate being home. Play tourists for a day in your own hometown. Visit places you've never seen before or plan stops to all your favorite restaurants and sights. This can help you all get grounded before heading back to school and work.

Host a Block Party

If you live in an area with big weather changes throughout the seasons, you know neighbors become scarce once it gets cold. Host an end of summer block party with a pot-luck barbecue and yard games to spend time with neighbors before you all become buttoned up inside your homes for fall and winter.

Get Wet as a Group

For many kids, summer is all about swimming and water. Look for ways to get in the water as a group.

  • Rent a canoe and head out on a local lake together.
  • Grab your pool floats, tie them together, and float on a river or pond as a family.
  • Buy or borrow one of those giant inflatable island rafts and spend the day snacking, talking, or playing games on your own mini island.

Binge on a Summer Foods Buffet

Summer engages all your senses and there's nothing quite like summer foods. Think about what produce is in season in your area during the last days of summer and plan menus around it. Make a list as a family of all your favorite summer foods then make sure you eat each one on this last day.

Relaxing Last Day of Summer Ideas

For some families, the last day of summer is a time to rest up and catch up after an action-packed couple of months.

Have a No Day

Similar to the Yes Day, a No Day is where you say no to everything you don't want to do. Give everyone in the family the chance to enjoy their own lazy day by giving them the power to say "no" to anything that's not completely necessary. Each parent and child will be able to spend the day in their own way.

Make a Jar of All the Things You Didn't Do

Summer can feel so short you might not get to everything you wanted to do.

  • Grab some craft sticks and write one thing you didn't get a chance to do this summer on each one.
  • Put them all in a large glass jar with a lid.
  • Throughout the year pull out a craft stick and do what's written on it.

Plan a Family Night in Staycation

For this last day of summer, plan some frugal family fun with a family staycation that requires everyone to stay home under the same roof. The only other rule for the day is that everyone has to do everything together, except use the bathroom and other private things of course!

  • Prep and eat all meals together.
  • Do activities and games together.
  • Camp out in the living room or other large area together.
family camping out in living room

Make a Story of Your Summer

Turn your summer memories into a tangible book you can read whenever you want.

  • Ask each family member to write one, two, or more chapters about their summer memories.
  • Compile the chapters, add titles to show whose perspective each is from, choose summer phrases and quotes to include, then use a family photo as the cover image.
  • You can use an online service to make them into real paperback novels or simply add printed versions to a 3-ring binder.

Make a Summer Photo Collage

Have each family member pick out their favorite photos from summer. Make a physical or online collage of these images to frame and hang in a central area. Every time you look at the collage, you'll be taken back to that time.

family doing photo crafts

Host a Summer Film Festival

This is a great summer activity for teens because they'll probably have some of their own videos to share.

  • Gather up all the videos taken by every family member.
  • Add the files to a slideshow or simply hook devices up to your television and play them all.
  • Serve up movie snacks and take turns rating each video for added fun.

Make a Next Summer Countdown

Use the last day of this summer break to start preparing for next summer. Make a countdown chain as an activity for preschoolers or a calendar with older kids to keep track of how many days there are until next summer begins. You won't have to be sad about the end of summer because you'll always be thinking about next summer.

Keep That Summer Spirit

Summer is all about fun and freedom. Whether you're looking for things to do with your tween this summer or cheap summer activities for the whole family, keep that summer spirit and beat the end of vacation blues by making the last day as memorable as any other.

Fun Things to Do on the Last Day of Summer Vacation