4 Brilliant Camp Alternatives

These crowd-pleasing kid activities require little to nothing from the parents end – because we get you.

As a parent, summer is a delicate balance between camp, vacation, and some much-needed downtime. Yet you somehow get the inevitable “I’m sooooo bored!” sooner than you think, so keep these brilliant ideas in your back pocket. They all require little to nothing from your end (because we get you).

Grandparents Camp

How It Works: This can be a “day camp” or “sleepaway camp”, depending on whether Grandma and/or Grandpa are local. If it’s the former, a week is the perfect amount of time (don’t get greedy or it won’t happen again next summer). If it’s the latter, spread it out over a few weeks’ time for 2-3 days per week.
What To Do: This one isn’t as much about the activities as it is the quality time together – think parks, museums, the library.
Tip: While they clearly raised kids themselves, we find it’s best to make some suggestions (aka guidelines), as grandparents can tend to forget they didn’t allow you to eat McDonald’s on the daily.

Pool Party

How It Works: If you have a pool, hire a CPR-certified lifeguard for the day (think high school and college kids who lifeguard at a local pool on their day off). Invite the kids in the neighborhood over, and voila – a day of fun.
What To Do: Games! Remember Marco Polo and Categories? So fun. Then really blow their minds and let them dive for candy (the best place to work off a sugar high is in the pool).
Tip: Sunnylife floats alone turn a pool into an instant party.

Lemonade Stand

How It Works: Set-up and clean-up are all part of the process with this one, so it’s a good chunk of time full of teachable moments.
What To Do: Supply them with poster board, markers, table, change, and lemonade to get started. Help them choose a charity to donate the proceeds to.
Tip: Post it on Facebook/Insta so they have plenty of customers.


How It Works: Every parent dreads their kids wanting to “camp” in the backyard. Which is why you hire a sitter for that night (a boy or girl scout sitter is a bonus).
What To Do: Camping starts in the afternoon (duh). There’s much to do – pitch the tent, gather sticks for a fire, cook wieners, catch fireflies, make s’mores, and tell ghost stories.
Tip: Douse everyone in Tick Tock Naturals to fend off ticks.