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10 Retro Summer Activities to Make You Feel Nostalgic

10 Retro Summer Activities to Make You Feel Nostalgic

When you are a kid, summer is one of the most magical times of the year. Many people feel nostalgic in the summertime because of the fond memories they hold from years prior. These days, while kids are out of school, they spend more time staring at a screen than being active and adventurous. But the new generation of children deserves to experience what makes summer a special season. We have a list of old-fashioned activities that are fun for the whole family now that summer is in full swing. Here are 10 retro summer activities to do with your family that make you feel nostalgic:

  • Roller skating
  • Movie night
  • Family game night 
  • Picnic
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Lemonade stand
  • Water balloon fight
  • Camping
  • Stargaze
  • Road trip

Roller skating

Roller skating was a popular retro summer activity during the age of disco in the 70s and early 80s. It rose to popularity again thanks to social media crazes during the early pandemic. Skating is a fun way to get kids active and improve their balance and coordination. Even if you don’t get the hang of it right away, all you can do is get up and try again!

Movie night

Movie nights are a classic way to spend quality time with your family. If you opt to stay at home, all you need is the perfect movie, comfy clothes, and plenty of popcorn. To bring your movie night to the next level, see if your area has a drive-in movie theater. Drive-in theaters were loved by families of the 1950s and today. 

Family game night

Just like movie nights, game nights are a simple way to bring families together. Some classic board games to play include Apples to Apples, Monopoly, and Uno. Another option is to play a console video game like Just Dance or Mario Party for a modern twist. Or if you are feeling creative, you can create your own game with a deck of cards or household items. 


One of our favorite retro summer activities is to throw a picnic. Pack some snacks or a cold meal, outdoor games, and some supplies to decorate and protect your space. Picnics are a great way to spend more time in nature or at your favorite public park. Always make sure to wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and leave the environment cleaner than you arrived. 

Scavenger hunt

If you want to give your kids a playful summer experience on a budget, then a personalized scavenger hunt is the way to go! To start, try to come up with a scavenger hunt theme and location. You can either incorporate items around your house or make it a city-wide adventure. Your scavenger hunt can comprise of taking photos or collecting what your kids are tasked to find. In the end, have an affordable prize for all of the participants to treasure. 

Lemonade stand

Another retro summer activity that is loved by all generations is making your own lemonade stand. This portable lemonade stand tutorial involves painting and stacking wooden crates with an adorable DIY sign. All it takes to create a delicious homemade lemonade are lemons, sugar, and water. Set up your stand in your yard or a neighborhood park and let your kids sell their lemonade to your neighbors. 

Water balloon fight

Nothing says summer like water fun in your backyard! A competitive way for your kids to be active and stay cool in the heat is to assemble a water balloon fight. These days, you can buy products like quick-filling or reusable balloons to make set-up and clean-up a breeze. Place your water balloons, water guns, and any other devices in containers across your yard and watch as the madness ensues. 


Nature-loving families can make life-long memories by going on a camping trip. Camping beginners can prepare for an overnight trip by packing the right gear and having an emergency plan. Even if camping doesn’t sound like your kid’s cup of tea, there are plenty of ways to make camping fun for the whole family. Make sure to pack for some classic camp activities like cooking s’mores or fishing. 


The best retro summer activities will get kids to be fascinated by the world around them. And nothing is better for that than stargazing in nature. You don’t have to be an expert astronomer with fancy gear to discover something new. There are free apps and resources to take advantage of and track the stars and planets. Anyone can stargaze from their backyard or drive out into the countryside to better see outer space. 

Road trip

Last but not least, spend your summer on an exciting family road trip. Plan out your route with novelty attractions along the way like Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. And the food is just as important as the activities and destinations. Pack your favorite snacks and research some local restaurants you can’t get anywhere else. Encourage your kids to put down the screen and teach them some road trip games with prizes for the winners. 

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