From the newsroom: Some family-friendly ideas to close out your summer

Sisters play on the swings at McLaughlin Park in Mission Hill. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Sisters play on the swings at McLaughlin Park in Mission Hill. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's Saturday morning newsletter, The Weekender. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here

Nothing signals the change of the season quite like a “back to school” advertisement. Spotting a sale on backpacks can feel like summer is practically over. Here come the early nights, long commutes, tight schedules, winter…

Well, I’m here to stop your doom spiral. Summer isn’t over yet! In fact, there are many ways to make sweet summer memories in the city before the kids in your life march back on to the school bus. And they don’t need to involve camps, which, while super fun, get expensive quickly. “You can easily spend $1,000-$1,500 per week per kid, which is not cheap,” says Endless Thread host Ben Brock Johnson, a father to twins.

Here are a few tips on how to enjoy these final weeks of summer and activity ideas from the fellow parents in our newsroom, all curated by The Common. Be sure to give the full episode a listen, and read below for the TL;DR version.

Take a day trip: There are acres of land to explore here in Massachusetts, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation makes it easy to choose which parks to visit with its lists of scenic viewing areas. The best part is, they’re mostly free (though you might have to pay for parking).

On Point host Meghna Chakrabarti and her family made the most of their summer by paddling through Central Oregon’s Deschutes River. (You can hear her interview, live from the river, here.)

There’s no denying it’s been a wet summer. But poor weather doesn’t have to cut into your family time. Try taking an art class in the city or zip up those raincoats and head out to a museum near you. The MFA’s new exhibit on miniatures is sure to excite kids of all ages.

For getting in quality time with older kids, Radio Boston host Tiziana Dearing says finding vacation spots closer to home is key. “We’ve pitched two places to go on vacation this summer that are easy for [our kids] to drive to from their summer jobs so that they’ll come be with us,” says Dearing. “Because after this summer we may not get to have them together again as a whole family.”

P.S. — Looking to get some al fresco dining in before autumn? Revisit our newsroom’s favorite rooftop bars and patios for outdoor dining in Boston.

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Hanna Ali Associate Producer
Hanna Ali is an associate producer for newsletters at WBUR.



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