Eek! Somehow it’s almost the middle of August. Before you know it, you’ll be preparing to fall back into the school routine and those dreaded early morning tantrums. But before the lazy days of summer become just a distant memory, drop everything, get outside and pack in as much summer as you possibly can. Here are 45 fun ideas to make your family’s last days of summer as memorable as the first.

photo: Kristina Moy

1. Go on a weekend road trip to Suncadia Resort, Lake ChelanSeabrook or Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort.

2. We’re psyched about bikes: ride the trails at Duthie Hill Bike Park or saddle up for Bicycle Sunday.

3. Pet the pigs, sheep and goats at a nearby petting farm or zoo.

photo: James Emery via Flickr

4. Head to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to see the Washed Ashore exhibit before it’s gone.

5. Take one last splash in a SeattleEastside or South Sound wading pool or spray park before they close after Labor Day.

6. Hike, swim and picnic around Rattlesnake Lake.

photo: Kristina Moy

7. Take the fam to theCan Can Kitchen and Cabaret’s all-ages matinée show, Ice Cream Sundae (and Saturdays Too!)It’s a hoot!

8. Rent a cabin at one of these picturesque state parks or try yurt camping.

9. Take your pint-sized posse to the Smith Tower to experience the building’s new first-floor amenities (think old fashioned soda fountain and interactive history tour) and ride a historic Otis elevator to the 35th floor’s re-branded, 360-degree view observation deck. Psst… enjoy Prohibition-era inspired craft cocktails and shareable plates with your kid crew at the top.

photo: Kristina Moy

10. Explore the Center for Wooden Boats, Ballard Locks and Lake Union Park without spending a dime.

11. Head to Agua Verde for lunch or dinner and reserve kayaks for a before or after meal paddle around the lake.

12. Take your crew to Crystal Mountain Resort to ride the Mount Rainier Gondola, hike the trails, picnic under the snow-capped mountain peaks, play a round of disc golf and enjoy a tasty treat or meal on the Summit House Restaurant’s outdoor patio.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

13. Pack a picnic lunch and find your zen at one of these botanical gardens.

14. Catch the last of the Sounds of Summer Concert series at University Village. Psst! Arrive early to enjoy delish bites from U Village restaurants and kids’ activities.

15. There’s plenty do along the Seattle waterfront—Seattle Aquarium, Ye Old Curiosity Shop, Miners Landing, The Seattle Great Wheel and Wings Over Washington—along with fountains to explore and games to play along the way.

photo: Kristina Moy

16. Take your little monkeys to We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym—Bellevue’s newest gym designed for kids of all ability levels to play and grow together through “safe sensory experiences.

17. Grab a pint with your pint-sized crew at one of our favorite brewhouses in the South Sound.

18. Ride the kiddie amusement park rides at Remlinger Farms.

Remlinger Farms

photo: Remlinger Farms

19. Introduce your kid crew to a VR arcade where you can travel to space, risk your life walking the plank high above a busy city, get lost in a snow storm and finish off a few zombies in an old mine shaft.

21. Grin and bear it, because the kids will LOVE it: Wild Waves Theme & Water Park!

photo: Kristina Moy

22. Go on a late summer road trip and pack in as much family time as you possibly can.

23. Two words: ice cream! Grab a scoop (or two!) at one of our favorite shops.

24. Throw in the towels and head to Jetty Island, just a 30-minute drive north of Seattle.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

25. Dig out your hiking poles and strap your sidekick into the carrier, the Naches Loop Trail is the everything bagel of family hikes. (Clocking in around three miles means even mini hikers can make this trek.)

26. Satisfy your sweet tooth at 85°C Bakery Cafe. Psst.. the wait is so worth it!

27. Hop a ferry and spend a night or two at the beautiful Alderbrook Resort & Spa. Paddle around Hood Canal, take a historic cruise aboard the Lady Alderbrook, swim in the huge indoor pool or rejuvenate at the spa. It’s the perfect place to celebrate the end the summer!

photo: Alderbrook Resort & Spa

28. Grab your comfy chairs, blankets and movie snacks and settle in for a free or super cheap outdoor movie under the Seattle starry skies.

29. Channel your inner pirate aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge—Seattle’s only full-time pirate ship cruise.

30. Head to the Henry Moses Aquatic Center before it closes for the season.

photo: Kristina Moy

31. Need a break from the sun? Chill out at an indoor theater. The Regal Summer Movie Express is only $1 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the end of August.

32. Show your crew the silly side of Seattle at these spots not necessarily found in the tourist guidebooks.

33. End summer with a trip to the Washington State Fair. Psst! Be sure to get a bag of Fisher Scones for the car ride home.

WA State Fair 2013

photo: Patrick Hagerty

34. Take your crew to Bumbershoot to experience great tunes from all music genres, urban craft vendors and interactive programming and activities in the Youngershoot Kids’ Zone.

35. Forge new trails with your half-pint hiking partner on these spectacular waterfall hikes.

36. Experience a Rainiers game with your little baseball fanatics.

photo: Kristina Moy

37. Make the most of mealtime by heading to one of our favorite spots to dine alfresco.

38. Round up your little daredevils and hit these aerial obstacle courses that boast rope ladders, Indiana Jones-style bridges, cargo nets and speedy zip lines.

39. Grab your clubs and hit the links with your pint-sized posse.

40. Venture to your local farmers market or the new Pike Place MarketFront for fresh fruits and veggies, live entertainment and kids’ activities that last well into the evening hours.

41. Enjoy a free summer concert almost every day of the week.

42. Got a house full of out-of-towners? Take them to one of our favorite restaurants where you can introduce them to the Emerald City’s food scene.

43. Check out the newly remodeled Bellevue Downtown Park. Psst.. pack the kids’ suits and let them splash around in the new water features.

photo: Jennifer B. Davis

44. Festivals and summertime go hand in hand. Make plans to hit one of these late summer fests.

45. Cast your lines with your pint-sized anglers at one of our favorite fishing holes.

Ready, set, go! Did we miss anything? What’s on your end of summer bucket list? Tell us in the comments below!


— Kristina Moy