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Enjoy the freedom of summer with Family Fun Month

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August may induce a little anxiety for the kids who live for summer vacation, but that can be eased by taking advantage of what has been designated Family Fun Month. There are still lots of fun summer activities to take advantage of until the school buses show up again.

Hiking is always a good option, whether you’re planning on hiking up a mountain or across a park. This activity doesn’t involve a lot of planning unless you know you’re attempting something more vigorous. Just make sure you’re wearing a pair of good, sturdy shoes, spray on some bug repellent and bring your water bottles. An app like AllTrails can lay out options for you, but just in case service is spotty, check online or find a paper map to bring with you.

Swimming is designed for the hottest days of summer, whether that’s done in a municipal pool in the village, a pond on your property or a swimming hole created by damming up the local creek. The same rules apply now as they do the rest of the year, though: Never swim somewhere it is not allowed; make sure everyone is comfortable in the water they’re swimming in (it’s not too deep, the current’s not too strong, etc.); and play it safe, by always being aware of who is swimming where.

Bill W., Kenza and your editor, always up for a challenge, had fun in early August at the Farmer Olympics at Empire Farm Days.

Biking, walking, running, kayaking – all these outdoor activities are great family-friendly options too!

But if you’re looking for something a little less sweaty, consider trying some of the shorter events offered by 4-H, Cooperative Extension or other local farms. For example, Vermont Open Farm Week kicks off on Aug. 7 and runs through Aug. 14 and features over 100 events throughout the Green Mountain State. As a family, you can pick blueberries, see how wool is made, view some antique tractors, feed pigs or even try some yoga on the farm.

In New York, you can scroll through Cornell Cooperative Extension by county to see what kinds of classes and events are happening in your area. In other states, just search the name of your state followed by “extension events” to find out what kinds of fun your family can have.

There are myriad ways to have fun as a family in August. Just remember to keep applying your sunscreen and hydrating!

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