7 Ways To Keep Your Family Active This Summer

A family poses together showing their strong muscles.
© FatCamera from Getty Images Signature via Canva.com

Summer in Rochester is right around the corner. Kids are beyond excited for summer vacation. The warm weather, sunshine, and long days can bring joy, smiles, and laughter.  There is something special and magical about summertime and making memories together as a family. 

Don’t want your kids staring at a screen or sitting cooped up in the house? Avoid summer boredom, get ahead of the lazy summer days by planning some fun outdoor activities, to keep you and the entire family moving this summer.  

Here are 7 simple and inexpensive ways to keep your family active this summer in the great outdoors as a family and develop some healthy habits. 


Many local state parks, including Letchworth and Stoney Brook State Parks offer excellent trails, making for a perfect day trip with phenomenal views, nature, and a touch of historical details. State Parks often charge a small entrance fee per vehicle for the day. Letchworth State Park is home to the (A.N.T.) The Autism Nature Trail, which was specifically designed to be a safe and inclusive trail for individuals with Autism or related disabilities. Along the trail are eight different sensory stations for families to interact with nature.

Our local waterways also offer up many great serene trails for walking and hiking. Lastly, a local kid favorite is the Birdsong Fairy Trail in Mendon Ponds Park. Birdsong Trail offers a unique experience for younger children, with a collection of small artistic fairy homes for children to find and explore along the way. 


Many local schools offer really great track and fields that are open to the community when they are not in use for sporting events. If you are looking to change your senary, take a trip to your local track and field at your local middle or high school. Kids can get an opportunity to run and play on a real track. If your family enjoys some friendly competition, try playing Green Light – Red Light, Sharks and Minnows, Tag, or a Relay Race. Also, consider bringing some outdoor toys like hula hoops, jump ropes, and outdoor balls, etc. 

Several local organizations also offer local running groups for kids and 1 mile or less races and 5K races specifically designed for kids and some for families. Not only is this a fun way to burn off energy and keep active, many races are for a great cause and serve as an excellent way to teach children about helping others. 

Kayaking & Canoeing

In Upstate New York, we are fortunate to have access to many amazing water ways. Spending the day on water can be not only a great work out, but also a lot of fun and teamwork for your family! If you are looking for Kayak or Canoe rentals, try Irondequoit Bay, Sodus Bay, Canandaigua Lake, and launches along the Erie Canal in Pittsford. Consider packing a picnic or snacks for a short reprieve.  


Whether a bike ride around the neighborhood or a cycle through a scenic park, bicycling can be enjoyed as a family. Many of the mentioned hiking trails mentioned above also serve as great biking trails. Before taking a family bike ride, be sure to check helmets and review traffic safety with your family. Packing some snacks and water is always a great idea for longer rides.  


If you are feeling adventurous, Geo-Cashing is a fun activity that you can participate in all year long. If you are not familiar with Geo-Cashing, it is an outdoor recreation activity in which you use a GPS device (or your Smartphone with the Geo-Cashing app) to locate small hidden containers called Geocashes. In these boxes, participants hid small objects to be found by the next person, to visit the site. Geo-cashes are hidden everywhere, so it is likely that you have several in your town or surrounding areas. According to the Geocash website, Fairport, NY has 2,300 Geocash sites alone. Be sure to pick out a small item to leave behind. Some popular items people leave in the Geocashes are stickers, buttons, Legos, Hot Wheels cars, and animal figurines. Kids will love the excitement of finding a “prize” and leaving something for others to enjoy. Bonus, kids learn mapping and geographic skills in the process of finding Geocash locations. Download the Geo-Cashing app for more information and to get started.  

Obstacle Courses

Channel your inner PE teacher this summer with some creative outdoor obstacle courses or field day fun activities.  With a little planning, you can transform your yard into a fun zone.  By using some simple objects that you might have at home or visiting a discount retail store, you can easily plan some engaging amusement. Develop a fun challenge with your kids and their friends. Consider what objects you have on hand and make a list of items you might need. 

Some ideas of items you can pair together for a obstacle course are: sprinklers, corn hole (create a modified corn hole game or repurpose the bean bags), balancing left-over plastic Easter eggs on plastic spoons, hula hoops, cones, plastic cups, balloons, water table, play tunnel, swing set, pool noodles, ring toss, old cardboard boxes, balancing or steppingstones, frisbees, and sports equipment and outdoor balls.  

Design your obstacle course. Including kids in the planning process would be a fun idea too! Keep score or just allow the kids to have fun.  

Spray Parks

Beat the summer heat with a trip to a local spray park. The Rochester region has MANY spray parks in towns across Monroe country and beyond. Generally, these parks are free, however, a few may charge a small fee for non-residents. If you have little toddlers, consider going earlier in the day to beat the crowds of kids. It would be helpful to have kids dressed in their swim gear and water shoes, so they jump right into play. Don’t forget a towel, sunscreen, water, and it might be helpful to pack some snacks, and extra toys (think pails, buckets, and bath toys). Many spray parks are conveniently located near playgrounds, which can keep kids busy and entertained for hours.  

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Here’s to a fantastic summer, filled with fun, wonder, and staying active. Be sure to tag us in your fun outdoor adventures this summer! Enjoy!  

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Malena G.
Hello Rochester region moms! I am Malena Guadagnino, a local mom, who is excited to bring you articles and content that helps other moms. My family is constantly on the go! You can find me with my four-year-old son and husband, trying out new playgrounds, visiting the local library, or staying active and fit as a family. For as long as I can remember, I have been active in the dance community, growing up taking dance classes and eventually joining a dance company. In recent years, my husband and I owned and operated a local fitness studio. My passion largely centers on helping others stay active and healthy. Education also is near and dear to my heart, as I am a reading teacher at a local school district. I look forward to sharing my interests with you, Malena G.