Photo by Tom Mills

10 Summer Ideas for Your Family

Enjoy a break from the hectic pace of life

Mary May Larmoyeux

Countless activities compete for our time and attention today. Who couldn’t enjoy a break from the hectic pace of life?

Jesus understands our need for rest. We are told in Mark 6:31, “And He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.’ (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)”

Could you use a little refreshment today? Have you thought about going on a picnic—just you and your spouse? Or, add the whole family for a special time of making memories. Here are 10 ideas for creative summertime picnics to rejuvenate not only your body, but also your soul.

  1. Kidnap your spouse for a special picnic date! Pack a picnic basket, folding chairs, and a CD player in the trunk of the car. When your spouse comes home from work, ask him/her to put on casual clothes. Then drive together to a local park for dinner “on the grounds.”
  2. Mom, help your kids plan a secret picnic for Dad. Let them choose the location, prepare the menu, and select special picnic games. Write directions to the surprise destination and put them in a sealed envelope. Give the envelope to Dad as he heads out the door with the kids and a basket filled with picnic treats.
  3. Have a picnic on the beach. If you don’t live by an actual beach, have a picnic by a sandbox/plastic tub filled with sand. Encourage everyone to wear some beach attire—sandals, beach hats, swim suits, etc. After enjoying your meal, bounce a beach ball with the kids, play a game of volleyball, and squirt each other with water from a hose.
  4. Organize a neighborhood block picnic at a nearby park or in a cul-de-sac. Set up a few grills for hot dogs and hamburgers and ask individual families to bring their own picnic blankets, drinks, and chips.
  5. Brighten up a rainy day with an indoor picnic. Cap it off with an indoor scavenger hunt that leads to the kitchen and homemade ice cream.
  6. Help your kids and their friends plan a special family Fourth of July picnic. Include sack races, horseshoes, and Pin the Tail on the Donkey. End your outing with a watermelon seed-spitting contest to make this a picnic to remember.
  7. After dinner, announce to the family that you have a surprise: a dessert picnic. Go to a nearby park and let the kids have fun on the playground equipment. Depending on the age of the children, you may be able to watch them play from a park bench while sipping on a cup of coffee. Have plenty of dessert in a picnic basket for everyone to enjoy before going home.
  8. If your children are young, ask each one to bring a favorite teddy bear to a special picnic. Have a cake for dessert in the shape of a teddy bear. Play teddy bear games after the picnic: have an adult hide a teddy bear and see who can find it, let the children swing their teddy bears, and have a scavenger hunt that leads to a special gift with a teddy bear theme—a necklace, stuffed bear, book, etc. (You can find many ideas on the internet about Teddy Bear Picnics.)
  9. Tell your spouse that you are going to pick him/her up for lunch. But instead of going to a restaurant, go to a park for a picnic. Before returning to work, stop somewhere for an ice cream cone.
  10. Purchase or order identical T-shirts for the entire family with some sort of picnic theme—watermelon, picnic table, etc. Individually wrap the T-shirts and present them to family members at dinnertime. Then ask everyone to put on their T-shirts and go for a spontaneous picnic. Pick up a bucket of chicken and go to a local park for an evening of family fun.

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