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10 Fun Summer Activities With Family and Friends

When the kids in your life complain 'there’s nothing to do,' check this list for a good-times project that will bring you closer together

Make a Movie

En español | 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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'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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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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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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FUN ROAD TRIP SIGHTINGS: Any road trip can be more fun if you can find those hidden roadside gems along the way. Ontheway helps you track them down.

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