Summer Vacation Weekly Themes

I’ve had some interest in my “themed” summer so I thought I would take the time to type it out as it’s currently in scribble form on my notepad at home as a compilation of ideas and outlines that I continue to add to.

Depending on where you live you may have more or less weeks than us but here in Bend, Oregon we have 11 weeks. So, I’ve created a different theme for each of the 11 weeks. The idea is to have a go-to for ideas and inspiration when/if we find ourselves in a summer rut. Keep in mind that I am also fully in support of boredom because after all, boredom breeds creativity. I just don’t want boredom 😉

What I tried last summer was to have a different plan for each day of the week…e..g. Mondays involved water, Tuesdays involved a park, Wednesdays involved a hike, Thursdays involved a service project, and Fridays were usually an activity. However, I found that without an actual plan I didn’t follow through. So, I’m still going to incorporate each of those things but add a weekly theme as well. So here go…

Summer Vacation Weekly Themes

1. Art Week: (we are doing this the week of July 7)

Tie die shirts, build a lemonade stand, make a canvas for their bedroom, go to the pottery store and decorate a piece, make self-portraits, decorate your driveway with chalk

Art Week Service Project Ideas: sell lemonade, cookies, and art and donate to charity, mail the pottery you created to someone you haven’t seen in awhile that could use a smile, or mail a letter/artwork you create

Bend, Oregon Specific: Art in the Park (Tuesdays 7/8-8/5)


2. Animal Week : (we are doing this the week of June 30)


Go to a fish hatchery, visit a farm, attend a horse or dog show, go to the Pet Store, go to the Humane Society, go to the zoo, attend a rodeo, find as many different animals/birds/insects/etc on a hike that you can, go horse back riding

Animal Week Service Project Ideas: Volunteer at the Horse Rescue, Volunteer at the Animal Shelter, and/or walk a neighbors dog, hand dog biscuits out to the homeless that have pets

Bend, Oregon Specific: Fourth of July Pet ParadeHigh Desert Classic Horse Show, High Desert Museum, Sister’s Rodeo, make a weekend trip and go to the Oregon Zoo in Portland 


3. Theater/Music Week: (We are doing this the week of August 4)

Write/illustrate a story, create a puppet show (and make your own puppets), make a movie, act out a play and preform for family/friends at a end of week BBQ, go to a movie at the theater, attend a concert or music festival

Theater/Music Week Service Ideas: Put on a play for a retirement home

Bend, Oregon Specific: Munchin Music, Summer Sundays,McMenamins movie theater, Regal Cinemas has $1 movies on T/W


4. Outdoor Adventure and/or Exploring Week: (We are doing this the week of June 16)

Explore a Cave, try out at least 3 different hikes, do a scavenger hunt on each hike and create a collage at the end of the week, stargaze, see how many parks you can visit and choose your favorite, go to a neighboring city and explore

Outdoor Adventure Week Service Project Ideas: Pick up garbage in your neighborhood, plant a tree

Bend, Oregon Specific: Lava River Cave…dress warm and bring flashlights or rent there for $5, go to Pioneer days in Shaniko, OR (June 21-22) or just go explore Shaniko Ghost Town.


5. Circus Week: (We are doing this the week of July 28)

Summer Themes

Attend a local fair and/or festival, get friends together for relay races, face painting, attend an open gym at a gymnastics place

Circus Week Service Ideas:

Bend, Oregon Specific: Deschutes County Fair & Rodeo (July 28-Aug 1), Bend Summer Festival (July 11-13), Northwest Crossing Hullabaloo (June 27)


6. Sports Explorer Week: IMG_2238(We are doing this the week of July 14)

Go for a bike ride, go rock climbing, hike, create an outdoor obstacle course, attend a local sport’s game, go swimming at a lake

Sports Explorer Week Service Ideas: Participate in a run or bike ride for a cause, or ask family/friends to “sponsor” you depending on how many laps you run around the track or how many steps you take during the week (get a pedometer) and donate it to a charity of your choosing.

Bend, Oregon Specific: Bend Elks Baseball any of their Tuesday games are $2, trails in Sunriver, Phil’s Trail, Shevlin Park, Smith Rock, Cascade Cycling Classic


7. Water Week: Summer Themes4(We are doing this the week of July 21)

Attend a local water park, make a PVC Kid Wash in your yard, rent paddleboards or kayaks, float the river, have a water balloon fight, go fishing

Water Week Service Project Ideas: Hand out water bottles to the homeless, or collect cans/bottles and donate to charity

Specific to Bend, Oregon: SHARC in Sunriver, water feature at Centennial Park in Redmond, Kahneeta Resort, Juniper Swim and Fitness Center Pool. 


8. Camping Week: (We are doing this the week of August 18)Summer Theme

Practice setting up a tent or make a tent in your backyard, prepare meals for camping trip, have a campfire and s’mores and tell stories or sing, end the week with an actual camping trip or camp out in your backyard, on your hike hunt for the perfect hiking stick and s’more stick (make sure to take them camping too)

Camping Week Service Project Ideas: plant a tree, clean up garbage in a local park or camping area

Bend, Oregon Specific: Tumalo State Park, most any of the lakes


9. Dinosaur Week: (We are doing this the week of June 23)

Excavate dinosaur eggs, Hike to a waterfall, go to a local museum, watch the Dinosaur movie

Dinosaur Week Service Ideas: Collect gently used movies to bring to the children’s ward of the local hospital

Bend, Oregon Specific: Peterson Rock Garden, High Desert Museum


10. Food Week: (We are doing this the week of August 11)

Host a potluck, picnic at the park—try a new park each day, have a tea party, bake cookies, find different foods animals might eat on a hike, try a new food, have a watermelon seed spitting contest, have a pie eating contest, have a backwards meal day or just eat dessert before dinner, go out to eat, have a neighborhood block party, tour a food factory (like Krispy Creme)

Food Week Service Ideas: make cookies for a neighbor or the Ronald McDonald House, collect food for the local food bank, volunteer at a soup kitchen

Bend, Oregon Specific: Bite of Bend, Goody’s Tour, get a slice of fresh bread from Great Harvest


11. Lego and Princess Week: (We are doing this the week of August 25)

Have a tea party, create a Lego castle, build a Lego pinball game, play Lego inspired Minute to Win it, do a timed Lego build, host a game night, create your own board game (incorporate either Lego/Princess), watch the Lego Movie or a Princess Movie

Lego and Princess Week Service Ideas: Bring some board games to a local retirement home

Bend, Oregon Specific:


Like I said, I’m adding to these daily. Basically, I want to incorporate a hike, some sort of water adventure, an activity, service project, and fun in to each week. I know I’ll start out strong and fizzle by the end of summer so I’ll be choosing the weekly themes accordingly. As some of the activities require prep or materials you’ll want to review the theme and activities the weekend before to see what you need.


Don’t forget to take a Summer Survival Bag with you! If you keep this in the back of your car and just replace snacks/water each evening you will be prepared for just about everything. And don’t forget your park and trail passes!

Summer Survival Bag:

Bottled Water (replace each evening)
Snacks (replace each evening)
Soccer Ball, Frisbee, etc.
Picnic Blanket
1st Aid Kit
Socks & Tennis Shoes
Bug Spray
Sweatshirt (just in case)


Summer Theme Activities

1 Comments on “Summer Vacation Weekly Themes”

  1. Pingback: 8 Ways to Keep a Routine When You Don’t Have One - Ponytail and T-Rex

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