The last bit of summer is always bittersweet. On one hand, between BBQs, bike rides, and time with family, maybe it feels like summer flew by. On the other hand, maybe you’ve checked off all the boxes in your summer fun list, and now your kiddos are getting a little antsy.

We’ve all been in the “what now?” dilemma with our kids in the last stretch of summer — our minds blank while they stare at us eagerly, and we find ourselves pulling out the kiddie pool and a hose for the millionth time.

While a little down time is a great opportunity to teach your children mindfulness, it’s important to encourage exploration. Next time you hit a dead end on activity planning, give one of these end of summer adventures a shot. There are more memories to be made before school starts up again!

Great Sand Dunes National Park: Mosca, Colorado

At 700ft, Great Sand Dunes are the tallest dunes in the U.S. Surrounded by mountains, grasslands, lakes, forests, and tundras, arriving there makes you feel like you’ve landed on a beautiful new planet. Not to mention a great opportunity for some family photos!

The fun doesn’t stop at the scenery. Stop by a nearby rental location to pick up sand boards or sand sleds and you’re ready for a day of action packed sand sliding fun!

Once your family gets enough of an adrenaline rush and is ready to relax a bit more, enjoy a full beach experience at the beautiful creek at the base of the dunes. You can even skim board. Stick around into the evening to enjoy some stunning stargazing.

Whitewater Raft on the Colorado River

If you’ve assumed whitewater rafting is a bit too extreme for kiddos, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. There are plenty of family-friendly rafting trips that last through the summer.

When choosing a company to book your whitewater rafting trip through, stick to anywhere on the Upper Colorado River. The Upper Colorado is a Class 2, meaning it makes for a scenic, relaxing trip with the excitement of a few small rapids. Just enough adventure to have fun without needing to worry about safety.

Try the Dinosaur Discovery Tour in Vail for some added fun. This educational tour puts you in a raft with a world-class rafting guide as well as a dinosaur expert.

Your scenic and exciting river journey begins in the Upper Colorado River, where you’ll learn about all the dinosaur species who once roamed the land around you. Once you’re finished rafting, you’ll enjoy lunch with your tour group followed by dig at the Fossil Bone quarry.

Horseback Riding at Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is known for its spectacular views consisting of mountains, lakes, wildflowers, and wildlife. What can be better than exploring all this? Exploring it on horseback.

SK Horses has special National Park Gateway stables with guided tours. They even have ponies for the little ones.

The path you take is determined by how long the tour you choose is.

  • A 2-hour ride will take you into Little Horseshoe park, an open space surrounded by forest and mountain views.
  • A 4-hour or Half Day Ride guides you across some babbling creeks and the Fall River. This trip has an added educational element, as you’ll learn about what the after effects of a flood looks like.
  • A 6-hour trip means you’ll reach an elevation of 10,000 feet, overlooking the Continental Divide and Estes Park.

NinjaZone at Mountain Kids Louisville

NinjaZone is a series of challenging obstacles that put your child’s ninja skills to the test. The sport of Ninja combines all your kid’s favorite movement activities including break dancing, martial arts, and gymnastics.

NinjaZone starts just in time to ease the end-of-summer boredom for your kids. Kicking off August 20th, our NinjaZone classes allow your kids to fulfill their superhero dreams while learning important life skills like confidence, impulse control, and being part of a group.

Classes are available for age groups of 3-4, 4-5, 5-7 and 8+. Just register for the classes that work for your schedule, order their ninja uniform (a t-shirt and headband complete with top secret tips from Ninja Nic to get them ready for their training), and rest assured knowing they’ll be safe, entertained, and building character for the school year.

Time to get planning and gather your adventure gear — between rafting, riding horses, and finding fun new classes to join, you’re in for an exciting end to the summer!

But your mind isn’t completely at ease yet. Once the summer fun has come to an end and the older kids are off to school, what are you going to do with your toddler? We’ve got you covered on that, too thanks to these 5 activities to entertain your toddler during the day »