Family Activities in July

When school is out and the kids start whining “Mommy we’re bored,” it’s time for a fun-filled family activity. The midsummer month of July is the perfect time to take a vacation, stay home and try out a few day trips of a “staycation” or stick to the comfort of your air conditioned home for an afternoon of family arts and crafts.

Camping Vacations

Whether your kids are water-lovers, hikers or bikers, a camping vacation is an easy way to get back in touch with nature. The National Park Service serves more than 11.7 million visitors each year. Take the family to one of the more than 400 national parks for a camping trip that includes wilderness and adventure activities such as rafting, swimming or hiking through the woods. If you can’t make it to a national park, try one of your state’s parks or a private campground.

July 4th Activities

While December has Christmas and February has Valentine’s Day, July has Independence Day. Turn the Fourth of July into a family tradition by creating your own activities that meet the entire gang’s interests. Check out a community parade, have a family barbecue and watch the sparkling fire works. If a full-on barbecue is more prep and work than you can handle, opt for a simple July 4th picnic. Assign each family member something easy to make. For example, your preschooler — with your help — can spread jelly on bread to make sandwiches while your teen makes a fresh fruit salad.


Grilled Ratatouille Boats

Prep Time 15 minutesCook Time 25 minutes

Makes 4 servings


  • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Scoop balls of flesh from the center of the zucchini to create boats (see tip for help); reserve the flesh balls. Preheat a grill to medium-high.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp. EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. EVOO, the eggplant and zucchini balls; cover and cook for 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Fill the zucchini shells with the ratatouille, sprinkle with the cheese and grill, covered, over medium-high until the cheese is melted and the shells are slightly softened.