Make Your Summer Sizzle

Bear Creek Pool in Boulder Creek 

I know, kids, I know. Summer can be a bummer, right? Sure, you get to sleep in, and you don’t have any homework, but let’s face it: day after day with nothing FUN to do can get boring, right? So, what can you do to make the most of your time away from school?

While everyone has a different concept of fun, here’s a list of some off-the-cuff ideas to help your summer sizzle instead of fizzle. Make sure to check in with your parents or caregivers first!

* Plan a scavenger hunt with your friends. Whether you’re in elementary, middle or high school, a good time can be had by all if you put together a scavenger hunt in one of our local towns. Try this on for size:

* Find: a dog on a sign, a mailbox, an “open” sign, something made of hemp, something tie-dye, a food item on a menu that you’ve never tried, a red car with an out-of-state license plate, a place with crayons, a strange-looking fruit, a fire truck and a fire engine (yes, they’re two different things!) and a store or restaurant with a staircase. 

* Do: sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with a store employee, do the hokey-pokey with someone who works in a library, draw a hopscotch game on the sidewalk and invite a family to hop along, and find someone who can recite the alphabet backwards.

* Make sure you get your parents’ or caregiver’s permission before you embark on your hunt!

* Tuesday movies at Cinelux Scotts Valley are only $5 each! How can you earn the money to see your favorite film this summer? (Parents, this one’s up to you!)

* Wash your family car.

* Give your family pet a bath.

* Help wash and dry dishes (or help load and unload the dishwasher).

* Pitch in for laundry duty - folding clean sheets is fun!

* Water your garden and help to trim or pick items for your family.

* Start a babysitting club (appropriate for middle schoolers and up).

* Ask your parents or caregivers what else you can do to help chip in for a trip to the theater!

* Make a difference! There are plenty of things you can do to help your neighbors and your community.

* Offer to water your neighbor’s plants while they’re away.

* Pull up their trash cans.

* Read a book to a youngster that can’t read as well as YOU can.

* Bake a special treat, write a letter or draw a picture, and take it to your local fire department, police department or sheriff’s office to share your appreciation for all they do. 

* Think of other things you can do to help your neighbors and make your community a better place.

* Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. We’re lucky to have paid pools and free swimming holes nearby. Just find the place that fits your budget and your idea of adventure:


* SLV Swimming Pool (SLV High School)

* SLV Swim Center (Ben Lomond)

* Siltanen Swimming Pool (Scotts Valley)


* Junction Park (Boulder Creek)

* Highland Park (Ben Lomond)

* The Fern River Resort (Felton) 

* The Garden of Eden (Felton)

Local libraries are a GREAT resource for things to do to keep cool! Check your library’s branch events to learn the latest on events and workshops coming to your local branch - and remember, they’re free!

And always check the Datebook section of the Press Banner for upcoming events that are family-friendly. There’s always something to do in our lovely communities.

Christina Wise is a writer, reporter, and community advocate who resides in Felton. She writes for the Press Banner on housing, education, arts and culture. Contact her at

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.