Enjoy Spring and Summer With Grandkids

Spring and summer are special times for grandparents and grandchildren. The weather usually allows for outdoor fun. School breaks and vacations make it so that grandparents don't have to work around school hours and extra-curricular activities to get​ some grandchild time.

Here are some suggestions for places to visit and things to do that will help any grandparent to make the most of spring and summer with their grandkids.


Give Grandma Camp a Try

Grandparent helping grandkids on tire swings

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When grandparents host grandchildren for a few days, with special outings and activities, some people call that Grandma Camp. Of course, Grandpa is most likely involved as well. Some grandparents prefer to use the name Cousin Camp, as a major purpose of these events is to bring cousins closer together.

Grandma Camps are organized in different ways, according to the capabilities and interests of the grandparents.

If you've never done one before, you'll want to start with the basics of Grandma Camp. Then you can move on to deciding on activities for your Grandma Camp. There are also several fine books about Grandma Camp.


Super Spring and Summer Destinations

Disney PhotoPass. Kids at Disney
Courtesy of Disney PhotoPass

Spring and summer are not the only times to travel with grandchildren, but they are great times. But where to go?

Theme parks are probably the most popular choice. Disney World in Orlando may be the top pick for most grandparents, but don't overlook the calmer charms of the original Disneyland in California.

The Harry Potter parks are other popular destinations—both the original Wizarding World at Universal Orlando and the one at Universal Studios Hollywood in California.

If you have teen grandchildren, you may be thinking of more urban destinations, like New York, which is fun for everyone except very small grandchildren. 

Here are some other destinations that you may not have considered:

  • Branson, Missouri
  • Yosemite National Park

Grandparent Camps, held in numerous locations, are great, low-stress ways to enjoy time with grandchildren​. The camp organizers take care of almost all of the planning.

The same is true of companies that specialize in multigenerational travel. While resorts also do most of the planning for you, too, they can be expensive. 


Terrific Travel Hints

Vacationing family

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Once you've decided on a destination, you may still need some advice. Make getting there half the fun, and plan for some awesome activities once you've arrived.

It can be fun to travel with grandchildren alone, but traveling with grandchildren and their parents has its charms, too.

If you are taking off with grandchildren and leaving the parents behind, you may need travel documents or a letter of permission.

If you'll be road-tripping with grandchildren, you have to play road trip games. If you will travel by air, you will need air travel tips, including how to ensure that you'll be seated with your grandchildren. 

Kid-friendly lodging is important for a successful trip, although some intrepid grandparents opt for camping with grandchildren. "Gramping" can include enjoying the outdoors in a traditional way or opting for more luxury with a stay in a hotel or resort.


Get the Grandkids Out-of-Doors

grandchildren enjoy backyard camping and watermelon at grandma camp

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Fresh air, sunshine, cool water – these are the ingredients for outdoor fun with grandchildren. Share some of these old-fashioned activities with them, and they'll forget all about video games for a while.

Start with old-fashioned outdoor games like kickball and Swing the Statue. Then organize an outdoor treasure hunt. The clues are already made for you! 

Many children also enjoy organized sports in the summer, and grandparents make great sports boosters.

On a more informal note, grandparents and grandchildren alike will enjoy these outdoor games for all generations. Bocce, anyone? This list of old-fashioned fun and games is mostly geared toward the outdoors, but a few are suitable for rainy days, too. 

Don't forget, however, that grandchildren also need time for free play. 


Water Fun and Water Safety

Family in a lake

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Although summer brings special fun, it brings special hazards, too. Most are connected with the water. Here's what you need to know to keep the grandkids safe and healthy while letting them get wet. 

Splash parks, also known as splash pads or spray grounds, are fun places for grandchildren that are generally safer than other water venues. 

When nothing but an actual body of water will do, grandparents need to be well versed in water safety.


When the Rain Won't Go Away

Hispanic family playing cards together

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Even in the summertime, baby, the rain must fall. On those days when you're stuck inside, here are some fun things to do with the grandkids. 

  • When you're stuck inside, try board games or an indoor treasure hunt.
  • If you have a simple deck of cards, you can play card games.
  • Reading is always a hit, especially if you have books about grandparents and grandchildren having adventures together.
  • Rainy days are great for cooking together. Bake up a classic cookie recipe or invent one of your own.
  • Feeling crafty? A newer craft that many grandparents and grandchildren enjoy is painting rocks to hide.
  • If you are feeling verbally creative, help the grandchildren write their own poems or try another fun summer writing activity.

Spring and Summer Celebrations

Grandmother and grandson at buffet table on patio

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Family celebrations like birthdays come year-round, but spring and summer holidays are the perfect time for multigenerational celebrations. There are lots of ways you can plan something special to bring the whole family together.

It may not be as popular as Halloween or Christmas, but Easter celebrations are a great opportunity to get family together. Fill Easter basket with tiny toys, paint and hide eggs, and try other Easter games.

May is graduation time. Get ideas for gifts for grandchildren graduating from high school and also for grandchildren graduating from college. 

Summer is the most popular time for family reunions. Your gathering is bound to be a hit with these tips for a great reunion. 

4 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Day MW. Camp Grandma: Next-Generation Grandparenting-Beyond Babysitting. She Writes Press. 2019.

  2. U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Before Your Trip. Know Before You Go. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 2019.

  3. Gray P. The decline of play and the rise of psychopathology in children and adolescents. American Journal of Play. 2011;3(4):443-63.

  4. American Academy of Pediatrics. Swim Safety Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics. AAP.org. 2018.

By Susan Adcox
Susan Adcox is a writer covering grandparenting and author of Stories From My Grandparent: An Heirloom Journal for Your Grandchild.