Our A – Z Guide to Surviving the Summer Holidays


June 18, 2023

A to Z Surviving Summer Holidays

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If you are looking for ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer, don’t despair…. we have put together 26 fun ideas.

Read on for the Mykidstime A-Z guide to surviving the School Summer Holidays!

Guide to Surviving the Summer Holidays with Kids

The first week you are happy to not be doing the usual school routine. The second week, it pours with rain and the kids keep saying “I’m bored”. By week 3 you are starting to wonder when do the schools go back again…

From Dining Outdoors to Outings, we’ve got a fun list of 26 things to do this summer, in our A-Z guide to surviving the summer holidays!

Adventures in Art

Check out art-themed summer events and activities taking place in your locality. Local art centres often run camps and classes for kids, or there might be a local art school doing drawing or painting camps.

Head to your nearest art gallery or art museum with the children, many offer art trails for children to follow or run family art-themed events.


Summer wouldn’t be summer without at least one trip to the beach. Even if the weather is not perfect, time at the beach can be very absorbing for children.

Pack a picnic, take some towels, remember the suncream and head off for some fun time at the beach. Check out our fun and interesting things to do at the beach with kids.

In Ireland we are blessed with some amazing beaches on our coastline, many are blue flag beaches and offer great amenities for families.

Cinema Time

rainy day going to the movies

I still remember movies that my parents took me to when I was a child. Even though we live in the age of streaming, nothing beats seeing a movie on the big screen. And enjoying treats like popcorn and sweets when you go to the cinema is part of the fun.

Check your nearest cinema to see if they have any family ticket offers or early bird screenings that are cheaper to go with kids to.

Dining Al Fresco

Food always tastes nicer outdoors! Pack a picnic for days out or even in the garden. We have some delicious picnic recipe inspiration here. You probably have a favourite picnic place that you’ve been to before, but try somewhere new for a change.

Also you can’t beat a BBQ on a summer’s evening. Keep an eye out in local supermarkets for special offers on BBQ essentials. Has anyone else noticed how kids tend to clear their plates when they eat outside?

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Events and Festivals

The great thing about summer time is that is the most popular time for events and festivals to take place. From annual holidays to food festivals, there’s usually something on every week.

Your local council or library is a good place to follow on social media, libraries offer summer reading programmes, while local councils often help support events that appeal to families.

If you’re in Ireland, keep an eye on our events page for what’s happening around the country.

Friend Time

Organise playdates so the kids can keep in touch with their school friends. If you’re entertaining your own kids what’s another one or two! Chances are they will entertain themselves and you can arrange for your kids to visit their friends house in return for a change of scenery.

Summer time is also a good time for a sleepover, put up the tent in your garden, pile out the sleeping bags, duvets and pillows, feed and water the kids and then leave them to have fun.

Games Day

outdoor games for kids

Plan a games day. Arrange with family and friends and visit a local park or green and have a sports day. Play Five-a-Side Football, Rounders, Egg and Spoon Races, or whatever you prefer!

Pick up some cheap prizes or trophies in a discount shop and have a “prize giving” and picnic afterwards. Here are some ideas for fun games to play outdoors.

Head off for a Hike

Pack up a backpack with picnic, drinks, and a blanket, and head off for a hike. You could go up a nearby hill, explore a forest or woods, head to the beach or do a walking trail.

Stop half way, spread out the blanket and enjoy some eats before you head back again. You might want these games to play while walking up your sleeve if little people start to flag on the way back. Or try a nature scavenger hunt to make the walk even more fun.


Play pretend with the kids and get them to use their imagination!

  • Camp out the back garden and pretend you’re in the desert or jungle
  • Visit a castle and pretend you’re royalty or a knight from the olden days
  • Set up pots and pans in the garden and pretend you’re a top chef cooking
  • Build a fort and pretend it’s a pirate ship

The possibilities are endless…

Jumping, Hopping and Skipping

You’ll have the kids jumping with excitement if you show them some of the things we did as children. My kids just love when I draw and play hopscotch with them, a very cheap and easy way to keep them entertained, if you haven’t done it yet, try it.

Or you can get a long skipping rope and teach them how to skip with more than one person…. oh I remember the days!!

Kitchen Time

ways to save money this summer

Let the kids into the kitchen and enjoy cooking together. We have loads of tasty family recipes, why not let the kids try a few (with supervision, of course!).

It’s a great way to get children to try new foods if they have helped prepare it and also helping prepare a three course meal can entertain children for a whole afternoon.

List for the Summer

Every summer at the start of the holidays my daughters and I would make our summer bucket list. It had to have a mix of free and paid for activities, and some had to be local while some could be days out that we would plan to go on.

Decide which places you would like to visit and things you would like to do with the kids this summer and make a list! Hang it on the fridge to remember and aim to tick the list off regularly.


Our free Summer Fun Checklist has suggestions for things to do, places to go, ideas for fun activities that will help pass the time!

summer activities for kids checklist

Memory Book

Keep mementos from your trips this summer, take plenty of photos, collect shells and stones, pick flowers. Let the kids pick their favourites and make a  scrapbook or memory book.

This will keep the kids busy for hours throughout the summer and is great for winding down time after a day out or on a rainy day afternoon.

Nature Activities

Get your kids outdoors and exploring some nature, even if it’s a bug hunt in the backyard or looking at nature in their own garden.

If you have a nature centre or national park near you, they often run nature-themed activities and events for kids to enjoy.

Here are more fun ideas for nature activities for kids and cool books for curious kids to learn about nature.


Fun family days out with Irish Heritage Trust

Outings are a great way to break up the long summer holidays. Of course there are lots of attractions and venues where you have to pay for your outing there, but there are lots of other outings you can do for very little cost or free:

  • A visit to the library to pick up new books
  • Write a letter and go to the Post Office to buy stamps to post it to Grandma and Grandpa
  • Climb a hill with a kite on a windy day
  • Pick a new playground you have never been to and visit with the kids
  • Ride a new bus or train route to somewhere you’ve never been before
  • Head to the beach for some sand and sea time


The perfect summer day activity! Get some picnic food inspiration here, make up some homemade lemonade to take with, gather all the bits and pieces you need to make a picnic outing and head off to the beach, river, lake, forest or park.

And if the weather threatens rain, you could always set up a home picnic – teddy bears are invited of course!


Enjoy a family quiz together. Here are some fun facts for kids to help you design your quiz:

Here’s how to create a family trivia game, but Amazon also has plenty of quiz games for families if you can’t be bothered to make your own.

Or you may enjoy playing The Categories Game otherwise known as Stop the Bus or a simple game of Animal, Mineral, Vegetable too.

Rainy Day Activities

Fingers crossed they will be few and far between, however, there is bound to be a few (especially in Ireland). We have plenty of ideas for rainy day activities for you to do, both out and about and at home, but here are some of our favourite things to do when the weather is wet:

  • set up a home cinema and watch a movie
  • bake cookies together
  • arts and crafts, draw or paint or collage, then have an art exhibition
  • make a family magazine or newspaper
  • put on a playlist and dance around the kitchen


kids swimming

In the pool or in the sea, one of the nice times of year to go swimming is in the summertime. Many local swimming pools extend and increase their family swim times during the holidays, and have splash times for families too.


If you’re heading out for the day this summer, why not try to leave the car at home and go with public transport? It’s much more exciting than the car for the little people and it saves the hassle of finding parking. Older kids could get involved with planning your itinerary and checking transport times.

Useful Information

You will find everything you need to keep the kids entertained here at MyKidsTime, the only other information you need is an accurate weather forecast!


Why not be a tourist in your own town or city and visit the places you never think of going to? Most of us never do the things that tourists do and summertime is a great time to join them and find out more about your city or town. So make a list of attractions or places that visitors go and head off for a day of sightseeing.

Many towns and cities offer visit passes that offer discounts for entry so it’s worth checking what you could avail of.

Water Fun

Summertime is the perfect time for watery fun, eg water balloons, set up a slip n slide, let the kids run through the hose or sprinkler, fill the paddling pool or get them to wash the car!

As always, be vigilant with kids around water.


outdoor activities for kids

Encourage your child to be an eXplorer this summer, whether that’s exploring for bugs in the garden, doing a summer reading challenge to explore new books, going geocaching, or simply exploring your neighbourhood together.

YoYos and Hula Hoops

Get your child to try some fun off-screen activities, the kind you used to play with and do when you were a child:

  • Yoyo
  • Slinky
  • Hula hoop
  • Skipping rope
  • Marbles
  • Hopscotch
  • Make a fortune teller


Summer is a time to relax and recharge, with all these suggestions to entertain the kids, fingers crossed they will sleep a little better and a little longer giving mums and dads a bit more rest too..

Enjoy the rest of your Summer!

Our A - Z Guide to Surviving the Summer Holidays - MyKidsTime

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