Summertime with friends and family includes pool parties, grilling out and playground fun

By Angie Norris

Summertime is almost here and most of us are ready to get outside and enjoy some time with family and friends. People are opening their pools again at home, having cookouts and bonfires and heading back to the playground to play with friends after spending the last few months inside and away from loved ones. Here are a few summertime activities that are always a hit with kids, family and friends.

Family pool party

Many people at home are opening their pools for the summer. Kick off the season right with a small pool party with your close loved ones. You could play water polo, pool volleyball or basketball. You could have someone throw things to the bottom of the pool and see who can bring the most items to the surface the fastest. Or you could have relay races back and forth to see who’s fastest. Have diving contests or see who can jump in the silliest and make the biggest splash.

The Norris kids cool off in the pool. (Photos by Angie Norris)

Grill time cookout and bonfire

As the weather gets warm, nothing beats throwing some BBQ on the grill for a dinner time cookout with your friends and family. Steaks, chicken, ribs, burgers or dogs are perfect grilled over charcoal. Sides like baked beans, potato salad, corn on the cob and watermelon make a delicious summertime meal everyone would enjoy. Don’t forget dessert; try a refreshing strawberry shortcake or ice cream cones. When it gets dark, make a bonfire and roast some marshmallows for s’mores.

Playground fun

Kids are getting back outside and to the parks and enjoying slides and swings with their friends again. Take a family trip to the park or playground near your home and make a day of it. Enjoy swinging together and chasing each other around the playground. Make an obstacle course out of the playground equipment and see who can get through it the fastest. Take water guns with you and have a friendly water gun fight when the kids start to get hot to cool them down. Or, if there’s a creek nearby, take a stroll through it. You could even take a picnic lunch and sit under an open shelter, or shaded tree to have lunch.

Nate Norris Jr. plays on the jungle gym.

Your family and friends will be sure to enjoy these summertime activities. Family time outside in the sun with good food and fun things to do make the summer memorable.