Our readers share their family's special summer traditions.

Illustration by Jessie Ford

Volunteering Locally

Each summer, my kids choose an ongoing service project, from playing games with elderly friends at a retirement center to mowing the lawn for a single mom. The kids have really enjoyed helping others and, through these experiences, have become more aware of those who could use some help or attention.

Carda Morrison

Hillsboro, OR

Noteworthy Nature Walks

We love to go hiking or walking on the beach to look for the letters of the alphabet in nature. When we spot one, in a tree branch, say, or a tangle of seaweed, we take a picture of it. The coolest part? No one complains during the hours we spend hunting.

Mary Talalay

Lutherville, MD

Pool Party

Tossing glow sticks in our pool at night and having a glowing pool party!

Katrina Hastings

North Bennington, VT

Outdoor Games Night

We like to lay out our Slip'N Slide in the backyard at night and line both sides with lights. We spend a few hours sliding to fun music. Then we project a movie onto the side of our house to watch.

Pamela Lazos

Tucker, GA

Muggle Movie Marathon

We watch all eight Harry Potter movies as a family. It takes us the entire summer to get through them!

Sara Madigan

Lehi, UT

Surprise Vacations

Our family spreads a huge map of our state on the table. The four of us close our eyes and put a finger on the map. Then we make it our goal to go to those four places over the summer.

Andrea Vanderpol

Folsom, CA

Family Fun Run

We train for and run a 5K together. It gets us into an exercise routine, and as a bonus, we're supporting various good causes, such as breast cancer research.

Suzy Martyn

Cypress, CA

Originally published in the June/July 2015 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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