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6 ways to have fun with the family at home this summer

Make your yard, deck or patio the place to be when the dog days bark loud.

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Dad cooking with son

The content on this page is sponsored by HelloFresh

If you’re lazing at home as the weather heats up, it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a bummer summer. With a little ingenuity, your own abode can be the hot spot— even according to your kids. Make the most of being home with our six tips for summer fun both indoors and out.

1. Teach your kids to cook.

Mouthwatering recipes like crispy Parmesan chicken or salsa verde enchiladas from meal-kit service HelloFresh can help beckon hungry kids to help in the kitchen. HelloFresh offers quick, child-friendly recipes along with picks for vegetarian or low-carb diets. It provides 20 recipe choices each week and sends all the fresh ingredients and instructions you need to get cooking. Let your kids pick a recipe to include in your weekly order. Just follow safe kitchen practices, and keep little hands away from the grill or sharp knives.

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2. Bring the water park to your backyard.

Slip and slides and inflatable pools are a low-cost and low-effort way to enjoy the waterworks without facing crowds and long lines. All you need for a splish-splashing good time is a garden hose and a level space in your yard or on your deck or patio. And this one’s not just for the kids — find options that comfortably fit adults too. Target and Walmart offer fun-in-the-sun pool and slide options to cool off.

3. Challenge the family to a game of cornhole.

Lawn games like ring toss, croquet and cornhole can provide hours of play in your backyard. You can even invite the neighbors over for a socially distanced game. Find game sets like horseshoe, bocce, outdoor board games and more from retailers like Wayfair and Overstock.

4. Pamper yourselves.

A spa day at home can be a nice pick-me-up. Apply a homemade or store-bought face and hair mask, and shape and polish your nails. Go with press-on nails if you’re missing your acrylic or gel nails from the salon.

Want to DIY? Here’s a brightening, moisturizing face mask recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey

Combine and apply to clean, damp skin. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse with cool water. Apply moisturizer or serum as usual.

5. Venture beyond your neighborhood.

Head out on the open road, park or trail to find biking and hiking spots or natural wonders like lakes and waterfalls. Take the opportunity to hike unspoiled gems close to home or teach your children how to fish. At the very least, everyone will enjoy a chance to stretch their legs.

6. Point out the Big Dipper.

Wind down a scorcher of a day with some stargazing and a classic campfire dessert: s’mores. Dust off the lawn chairs from the garage and heat up s’mores in your oven or microwave if you don’t have a fire pit or actual campfire. We can’t think of a better toast to seeing the Milky Way than sinking into melty chocolate and graham crackers topped with a caramelized marshmallow.

Bottom line

Your summer road trip may be just a few steps out your door, but with some creativity, your family might not miss packed theme parks and hours spent parked in traffic. Investing in a few backyard games, involving the kids in mealtime prep and simple fun in the sun can cheer up your lockdown.

Ready to get cooking? Try HelloFresh

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