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10 Simple Summer Traditions Your Family Will Treasure

summer traditions

With how busy life can get, it’s easy to forget about traditions or to find excuses to let them go. And while money, time, or other circumstances may make it difficult to check off every item on your “Summer Bucket List,” I believe it’s important to prioritize summertime traditions. Not only do they create lasting memories, but they’re great for family bonding and reminding us of what’s truly important.

Now that we’re nearly empty nesters, maintaining our summer traditions has become even more important to me. Plus, initiating some of the more recent additions to our family into those traditions has made them feel even more special to all of us.

While the word “tradition” may bring to mind family vacations, road trips, and grand outdoor adventures, smaller-scale traditions are just as important. Here are some suggestions for simple summertime traditions that don’t require a lot of money or effort to adopt!

10 Simple Summertime Traditions That Are Perfect For Families

summer traditions

1. Sit Outside In The Evenings

Move the conversation outside during the evenings and enjoy the warm evening air. If you have a porch, summer is the best time to make the most of it!

summer traditions

2. Set Up A Fire Pit

If local fire ordinances allow, set up a small fire pit in your backyard. We spend many of our summer nights as a family sitting around our fire ring, chatting and roasting marshmallows. It’s definitely one of our favorite summer pastimes!

summer traditions

3. Make Meals Together

Choose a straight-forward, low-stress recipe that everyone can help prepare. You’ll enjoy a tasty meal, get excited about cooking, and maybe even learn a few new skills.

summer traditions

4. Have A Weekly Game Night

If your family likes to laugh at each other’s expense as much as mine does, consider arranging a game night and playing some of these 13 hilarious party games, or these “Minute To Win It” games. We make a lot of lasting memories playing games together during the summer.

summer traditions

5. Enjoy A Picnic

Pack up a lunch, grab a blanket or tablecloth, and head out to the most scenic spot in your area. Enjoy a meal and some good company outdoors!

summer traditions

6. Play Lawn Games

We love playing lawn games during the summer. One summer, my son brought home a badminton set that we had a lot of fun with, and another summer we played a lot of cornhole. There are plenty of great lawn games you can play as a family, like horseshoes, ladder ball, bocce, and even lawn Twister!

summer traditions

7. Host A Talent Show

Spend a day practicing dance routines, magic shows, juggling acts, or whatever special talents you have to show off. Perform your talent show in the evening, and give out prizes for crowd favorites!

summer traditions

8. Camp Out At Home

Camp out either in your backyard or right in your living room. Break out the tent and sleeping bags, and make s’mores with a simple tabletop s’mores maker.

summer traditions

9. Enjoy The Great Outdoors

Check out the local lakes, rivers, and hiking trails in your area. Here’s your chance to share your outdoor skills or learn new ones!

summer traditions

10. Establish Tech-Free Time

Summer should be about enjoying the outdoors and each other, so why not establish some no-devices-allowed time with your family? Whether it’s during a vacation or just while everyone’s over for Sunday dinner, everyone can do with the occasional break from technology.

summer traditions

11. Do A Summer Reading Challenge

Many libraries offer summer reading programs or challenges to encourage kids to read over the school break, but some libraries offer these programs for teens and adults too! If your library doesn’t have a summer reading challenge, create your own and offer prizes for family members who reach their reading goal.

What are your favorite summertime traditions?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • I’ve never planned a staycation before like you suggest, but I definitely think that it is a tradition that my family should start doing. I think that it would be awesome to set up a fort in the living room and have a sleepover with my kids or sleep out on the trampoline with them. Maybe as part of this staycation, my family and I could cook together or do a movie marathon as well.

  • Very good ideas Jillee! There are so many fun things a family can do and not spend a lot of money and they all will love it. I’d love to have a fire pit……so relaxing

  • We’ve started a game night. So far, we’ve played a domino game, Chickenfoot. We have board games, too.

    We also have a go out to eat night. We eat a lot of easy to fix meals in the summer. Mostly fresh veggies and such as that.

    Love, love, love your posts. Keep up the awesome work.

  • Berry picking. We live in an area with abundant u-picks: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cherries. Often places have picnic tables and places to swim.

  • My neighbours more or less live in their garden from as soon as the weather is anything like good enough till its cold enough for coats. I think it’s great and all their family call by for meals and fun. However, they keep putting they’re phone on speaker and we over hear things we really shouldn’t.

  • What great ideas. I agree that traditions can sometimes be forgotten or we just don’t hold them with the same importance we once did. Were about to have a staycation and try out our local hotels. We did it before and had such a good experience.

    Amy | http://www.yankified.com

  • What nice ideas. I especially love the thought of just sitting on the porch with family and/or friends laughing, talking, relaxing, and just having fun. Thanks for reminding us that we can have a great time in many ways, and not having to spend a fortune doing so.

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