50 Old Fashioned (1970s/80s) Summer Vacation Ideas

Organized sports, camps, scheduled vacations, and parent-organized playdates are great summer activities, but don't we all miss the slower, free-range summers of our childhoods?

The “lazy” days of summer provide the perfect opportunity for kids to assert their independence and engage in free play. Parents benefit from being able to take a break from planning and entertaining, and kids learn decision making skills, negotiating skills, how to build relationships, and how to use their imaginations and foster their creativity. An old-fashioned summer can be good for everyone’s physical and mental well-being.

Here are 50 “old school” 70s/80s summer ideas:
  1. no schedule
  2. neighbourhood freedom
  3. no electronics
  4. play outside
  5. spend time with cousins
  6. swim
  7. bike
  8. play hide and seek until dusk
  9. play flashlight tag
  10. build forts
  11. fish
  12. dance in the rain in bathing suits
  13. splash in puddles and plastic pools
  14. blow bubbles
  15. make mud pies
  16. read books outside
  17. cloud watch
  18. star gaze
  19. hang out in someone’s shed / clubhouse
  20. trade stickers
  21. tent in the yard
  22. catch fireflies
  23. slip and slide in the backyard
  24. roller skate
  25. catch frogs
  26. play old school lawn darts
  27. play hop scotch
  28. enjoy family meals
  29. drink from the hose
  30. have watermelon seed spitting contests
  31. eat boiled hot dogs
  32. eat bologna or PB&J sandwiches
  33. make homemade ice cream and popsicles in plastic molds
  34. make frozen chocolate covered bananas
  35. drink kool aid and tang
  36. drink lemonade in Styrofoam cups
  37. eat half cooked cakes made in easy bake ovens
  38. walk to the store and buy candy
  39. eat rocket popsicles
  40. wash your hair with shampoo in the lake (which totally counts as a bath)
  41. have a bon fire 
  42. pick berries
  43. learn jump rope rhymes
  44. play with neighbourhood kids
  45. buy ice cream from a guy on a bike
  46. play Red Rover
  47. play Simon Says
  48. listen to the radio on the back deck
  49. play clapping games like “Miss Mary Mac”
  50. parents holler when it's time to come home... when the street lights come on

Do any of these things remind you of your childhood? What would you add to my list?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

You may also be interested in these FIFTY ideas for summer fun!

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