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10 Fun Summer Activities With Family and Friends

  • Corbis

    Get Wet and Wild

    Secretly fill a trash can with water balloons. Call the kids outside and let the battle begin.

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  • Alamy

    Build a Tree House

    A few boards and a sturdy tree will give the children in your life a leafy retreat. Add a slide for a speedy exit. Get all the kids to write their names and ages in weatherproof paint on the side of the structure. For inspiration, check out Treehouses.com or TheTreehouseGuide.com.

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  • Alamy

    Stargaze

    Wake the grandkids at midnight — or have the teenagers wake you — to watch the annual Perseid meteor shower. In the early morning hours of Aug. 11, 12 and 13, hundreds of shooting stars will flash across the sky.

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    Make a Movie

    Point your family's future Spielberg toward free moviemaking lessons online or at Apple retail stores. Then rally the all-ages cast. "Kids love being on camera," says Patrick R. Casey, owner of minimoviemakers.com. 

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  • Corbis

    Explore With a Schoolchild

    Map all the playgrounds in a 10-mile radius. Next, make up a booklet with room for notes on each park on your map. See how many you can visit together.

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  • Alamy

    'Paint' With a Preschooler

    Little ones love making designs and seeing them evaporate. So fill a dish with water and let them "paint" the sidewalk. 

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  • Alamy

    Walk for a Cause

    Gather a crowd and start training now for one of the many fundraising walks that take place in the fall.

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  • Corbis

    Host a Film Fest

    Borrow or rent a digital projector, rig up a screen from a white sheet and then invite the neighbors over for an outdoor movie night.

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  • Alamy

    Seek Out an Old Pal

    Recall a great memory you shared together and send a photo, CD or other memento of the occasion, suggests Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean, who has written about falling out with friends. "Tell them, 'We could have that good time again.'"                

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  • Alamy

    Hunt for Treasure

    Grab your smartphone or GPS unit and go geocaching. First, go online to find the GPS coordinates of a treasure box that a volunteer has hidden. Then, you and your partner track it down and open it up to find trinkets or similar booty. Visit geocaching.com or opencaching.com.  

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