There is nothing like summertime in the Pacific Northwest. August tends to be the best in the weather category. And if we’re not chased inside by a heatwave or smoke-filled sky, there is plenty to take in around the area — from sparkling waters to mountain peaks. These are some of our family’s favorite things to do in the month of August. I hope it inspires your family as well.
Zucchini, kale or romaine — pretty much any veg can be grilled and takes on an amazing flavor. Make a grilled salad alongside your favorite protein.
Pizza also is amazing on the grill and you can either use a stone or put your pie directly on the grill grates – just make sure that they are well-oiled first.
And don’t forget the fruit! Nectarines, peaches and even bananas caramelize with a touch of flame and are out-of-this-world alongside fresh whip cream or its colder cousin, ice cream.
If you have an overabundance of tomatoes – it’s the perfect opportunity to make a pizza/pasta sauce. Cook your tomatoes in olive oil with plenty of garlic and Italian seasonings and blitz it in the blender. Salt and pepper to taste. Use right away or freezer for later.
Slice up your favorite stone fruits (in season this time of year), place them in a casserole dish and sprinkle it with a mixture of sugar, butter and flour and bake them in the oven.
Perseid Meteor Showers & Stargazing
August is the perfect time to stargaze. Starting in late July, the Perseid Meteor Shower can be seen in the sky — peaking between the 9-14th of August with an average of 60 or more meteors per hour.
For even more night-sky awesomeness: Summer Stargazing for Families Around Puget Sound.
Visit a National Park
Pretty much every national park we have been to as a family has been an amazing experience. But by far, our favorite is Mount Rainier. On a sunny day, she appears almost smiling and we say “The Mountain is out.” Hike snow-covered trails filled with meadows of alpine wildflowers, waterfalls and the occasional grazing bear and deer. It’s the perfect opportunity to get outside and reconnect with nature.
When you visit any national park, remember to carry The 10 Essentials when hiking. It’s also a good time to review the important principles of Leave No Trace. If you are planning on staying at Mount Rainier National Park overnight, be sure to catch their astronomy program.
Visit the beach
Bring a picnic, a few sand toys and enjoy being by the water while the youngsters imaginations run wild creating sandcastles, throwing rocks and the limitless things a child can do with a stick.
If you’re looking for a confidence-boosting activity that will inspire your kids and help parents feel like kids again, check out Tree Time LLC. We saw them at local festival called CHOMP! a couple of years ago.
Another activity to try is rock climbing. Visit a local climbing gym.
Our family loves the outdoors so we try to get in at least two camping trips a year. Our favorite spots are by the water. A word of advice, be sure to reserve your spots early.
Get your ice cream fix
Depending on where you live, some scoop shops may be seasonal – so be sure to make it out a few times to indulge in your favorite flavor. Pack the baby wipes to help with the mess.
Ride the ferry (or a boat)
One of my favorite things about living in Washington state is the ferry system here. On most boats, you can drive or walk on. There is something very magical about cruising through sparkling waters (especially on a clear day), feeling the inertia of the boat starting and stopping, and spying boats and sea life on your journey across the water.
Stay cool at a water park
In recent years, spray parks have become the perfect way to spend a sweltering afternoon. The kids (and sometimes adults!) are entertained by the simple pleasure of getting soaked. Pack plenty of water to drink, snacks, your sunscreen and/or sun shirts plus a change of clothes for the car ride home.
Attend an outdoor concert
We’ve enjoyed an outdoor concert a few times. We packed a picnic blanket (and sometimes a picnic) and relaxed while the kids ran around in the grass.
Attend art camp
Young Rembrandts offers fun and educational art workshops and classes for kids. Sign up through your local parks department.
Harvest in the garden
If you have a garden (flower and/or vegetable), now’s the time to have the kids participate in the harvest. There’s nothing quite like foraging for blueberries, herbs or freshly picked tomato off the vine.
Visit a farm
If you’re fortunate enough to know someone who has chickens, go visit. Better yet, have the kids help care for them. Or look up farms in your area and arrange an educational field trip.
Check out local library summer programs
Sign up for the summer reading challenge at the local library. And be sure to check out their event calendar — most libraries offer free, educational workshops geared towards the whole family around different themes. In years past, we’ve attended puppet shows, built robots and learned about coding.