Imagine this; it’s a crisp summer night–your kids are home, you just had a lovely dinner, and the sun is starting to set. You can either recline in front of the television, or spend an active and relaxing night with your family outdoors.
With longer days and no need to get up early for school, summer nights are a great opportunity to get some quality time with your family and to help your kids unwind before bedtime.
In fact, the best night-time activities are those that even the parents can enjoy.
Keep reading below to learn how to make the most of these beautiful summer nights with your children.
10 Night-Time Activities for Playing Under the Stars With Kids:
- Spend the evening catching fireflies
This simple summer night activity is a classic. Plus, it requires almost no planning–all you have to do is walk outside! If you want to turn it into a more complex activity, or even a craft, though, there are many ways to do this.
How to delight kids by catching fireflies:
- The best time to catch fireflies is, obviously, in the dark. Turn off your outdoor lights and put your cellphones away. Not only are fireflies harder to see when there’s light around, but having too many sources of light can confuse fireflies and will result in less them of to catch.
- Get a group together for a flashlight scavenger hunt
Daytime scavenger hunts are fun, but when you add flashlights to the mix, your kids will experience another level of adventure. Get the neighbourhood group together or make it a parent-kid team, and start scavenging.
How to conduct a flashlight scavenger hunt:
- Create a map of wherever you want to conduct your scavenger hunt–some people do this indoors, some do it outdoors. Make sure to pick out a fun prize, so everyone is excited and stays engaged with the activity. Create your clues, and you’re ready to go!
- Go to a drive-in movie
Drive-in movies are a great, low-key way to bring back the ‘good old days’, enjoy the outdoors, and indulge your kids’ love of screens.
How to have a great time at the drive-ins:
- This one isn’t too hard! Just find your local drive-in, let your kids pick out their next must-see movie, and find a nice night to head out as a family. Also, bring some blankets and pillows in case you want to stretch out on the lawn.
- Go camping or sleep in the starlight in your own backyard
It’s well-known that camping is an ideal summer activity. It’s one of the best ways for families to spend quality time together, enjoy the outdoors, and relish in adventure. If you’re not up for traveling out to a campsite–and all of the complications that come with roughing it out in nature–there’s another, easier option: camp out in your backyard.
How to camp-out easily with your family:
- The key to great camping is to be prepared–if you choose to go to a campsite, get to know the site beforehand, find out what fun activities are around, pack some snacks for the kids, and bring games to play at night.
- If going to a campsite is too much, all you have to do is buy a tent, pick a beautiful day, and sleep under the stars!
- Teach the kids about the night sky or witness a natural nighttime event
Not only are summer nights beautiful, they can also make for a great science lesson. Use a clear summer night to talk to your kids about the stars and all of the excitement of space. Or, even better, if there’s a natural phenomenon such as an eclipse or a meteor shower, bring the kids out to see mother nature at work.
How to have an enjoyable night learning about the universe:
- Download one of the many free apps that allow you to scan the night sky and provide information on the different constellations, stars, and planets that are in the sky that night.
Start Enjoying Your Summer Nights
These are only a few items on the long list of ways you can enjoy the long summer nights with your children and stargazing in the UK and other parts of the world. So, get your flashlights and your s’mores, and get your family outside. If you have a favorite summer night activity that we missed, let us know. Enjoy, and comment below to tell us the activity you enjoyed most!
Jack Bennett is the founder and editor of stargazing.me.uk. He lives in London and has started his blog about stargazing and amateur astronomy for beginners to keep track of his attempts to explore the Universe. He loves stargazing in the UK and enjoys anything space related.