Summer isn’t over yet, but the novelty of long, free days may be wearing off at your house. Your kids are bored. And you’re tired of dreaming up new ways to keep them entertained. Fun stuff, that won’t break the bank.
Don’t forget about the typical holiday fun — the Calgary Zoo, WinSport, Lloyd’s Roller Rink, the outdoor pools, Calaway Park.
But if you’ve already exhausted those options, here are 10 fresh ideas to keep your kids busy until school begins again.

1. Write a book: Your kids wants to play on the computer all the time? Get them to write and illustrate their own book. Scribblitt ( was started by former Torontonian, Andrea Bergstein. The site features summer reading suggestions, interviews with authors, games and more. Kids can also write, illustrate and publish their own books, or their own note cards and notepads. A hardcover book starts at $24.99 US and takes about three weeks to deliver to Canada.

2. Go on a playground tour: Instead of always visiting the closest one, take your kids to a different neighbourhood playground, every day for a week. They’ll love it, and they’ll burn off some extra energy.

3. Hit the drive-in: Deerfoot City (a.k.a. Deerfoot Mall, in northeast Calgary) is offering drive-in movies, every Wednesday until Aug. 26. Attend, and you’ll also enjoy live music, a DJ and a photo book. On the schedule: Finding Nemo, Aug. 12; E.T., Aug. 19; and a surprise film on Aug. 26. The gates open at 5 p.m., but the movie won’t start until sundown, around 9-9:30 p.m. Parking is limited, and you can bring your lawn chairs to sit outside if you prefer. Admission is free, but Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids will be collecting donations at the gate. Go to for more information.

4. Family movie time: Saturday mornings, Cineplex Theatres offer Family Favourites, fun and affordable family movies on the big screen. Tickets are $2.99 per person and a portion of the proceeds goes toward Free the Children. The August lineup includes Stuart Little, Air Buddies, Maya the Bee and The Seventh Dwarf. Get the lowdown at

5. Go berry picking: Pick your own berries, and check out the fun activities at Kayben Farms’ Sunshine Adventure Park, near Okotoks. There’s a giant wheelbarrow climbing structure, a four-lane slide, climbing wall, pedal kart track, a corn maze (seasonally, weather permitting) and much more. You can buy a meal at Jojo’s Café, and Mom and Dad can shop for trees, too. Go to for more.

6. Visit a hatchery: Tour a fish hatchery, go fishing or stroll the trails in the interpretive wetland at the Bow Habitat Station in Inglewood. Discover the critters who make their home in the marsh. and on Fridays, you can help feed thousands of fish — all at once. Drop-in times are at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in August, and the cost is $2 per person. (Kids aged four and under are free.) The site is wheelchair-accessible and there’s free parking, too. Google “Bow Habitat Station” for details or call 403-297-6561.

7. Go camping: Pitch a tent in your own back yard. So much easier than trying to set up camp with preschoolers in tow. Plus, you don’t have to pay for a campsite, and you know where the nearest flush toilet is.

8. Invent a ‘new’ s’more: While you’re “camping,” turn your kids loose inventing their own camp fire treat. Think outside the box: maybe a banana instead of the marshmallow or jam instead of chocolate. Or homemade cookies instead of graham crackers.

9. Get to work: The fence needs painting, the house needs a deep cleaning and the flower beds are full of weeds. Hand out the paint brushes, dust rags and garden trowels and get at it together. Or, with a little setup from you, a pair of preteens could knock that fence off in a day or two while you catch up on some reading.

10. Don’t forget about the library: The Calgary Public Library offers all kinds of fun drop-in programs throughout the year, and August is no exception. Free family fun days, family magic shows and movies are just a few of the activities going on in August. Go to for more details.