The end of the school year is almost here and even as an adult who isn’t in school, I love the feeling of school getting out and the whole summer wide open in front of us!
I really like to celebrate the end of the school year in a fun way – even if the summer itself is pretty low-key (which ours usually are!), it feels nice to start with a fun acknowledgment of the completion of another school year and the beginning of a new season.
For years, we’d go get soft-serve cones on the last day of school.
In the last few years, we’ve started a new end of school year celebration where my sister and I both take our kids to Las Vegas and spend the weekend at my parents’ house and let the cousins swim and play together all weekend long while my sister and I sit by the pool and talk for hours. It’s such a fun tradition for our families!
I asked on Instagram a few weeks ago for other end of school celebration ideas and there were so many fun ones! Here are some of my favorites – I hope they’ll help you find a fun and doable way to say goodbye to the school year and welcome in summer!
Fun Ways to Celebrate the End of the School Year
- Host a neighborhood popsicle party. I love how cheap popsicles are and this is so simple and celebratory!
- Have a bonfire to burn all the school paperwork. This was a popular suggestion – you get rid of all the extra paper AND have a fun time all at once. And naturally you’ll want to do s’mores over that fire!
- Have a water balloon fight. Water fights were a VERY popular answer – fill up a bunch of water balloons before your kids get home or pull out the hose and blast them!
- Invite friends over for a “Welcome to Summer” BBQ. You bet I’d be thrilled to be invited to this (plus if you make it a potluck, it’s not too time consuming or expensive for anyone!).
- Get a special treat after the last day of school. This was one of the most common responses for end of school year celebration ideas – lots of families go to Sonic for slushes or 7-Eleven for Slurpees or get frozen yogurt with unlimited toppings or go to a local snow cone stand or visit a donut shop.
- Go on a weekend camping trip. Nothing screams summer like getting outside and a weekend camping trip (even in your backyard!) is a great way to kick off the summer and the season of adventures!
- Pass out root beer floats for every kid who walks home from school past your house on the last day. This is such a fun idea and great way to share the celebratory feelings with the neighborhood! You know that once you do this one year, everyone will be hoping it’s an annual tradition!
- Have an outdoor movie night. The beginning of summer is a GREAT time for outdoor movies because it’s getting warmer in the evenings but still gets dark earlier than it will later in the summer. (Details about our outdoor movie setup here!).
- Let each kid pick out a box of sugary cereal for the start of summer. This is a fun and super simple end of year tradition! And then you’re off the hook for making breakfast on the first morning of summer!
- Prep a summer basket with new swimsuit, goggles, floats for pool, books, summer workbooks, etc. This is a delightful way to make sure your kids have all the supplies they need for the upcoming summer (it’d be fun to set these out at breakfast on the last day of school!).
- Decorate the car for carpool pick up. Use some window chalk markers to decorate the car, fill the backseat with balloons, tie streamers on, roll down the windows and blast some music – what a way to welcome summer! (One mom said she brings her bubble machine and bubbles pour out the open windows. How fun is that??).
- Rent a bounce house. This will make you the most popular house in the neighborhood. They’re often not that expensive and you can put it up in your front yard so the neighbors can join in!
- If school gets out early, go out to lunch! Lots of schools have an early-release day or half-day on the last day of school, so it’s a great time to take your kids out for lunch.
- Organize a Park and Picnic Play Date! Text some friends and meet up at a favorite park with a dinner picnic on the last day of school – easy and fun!
- Create your summer bucket list. This is a great way to kick off summer – get everyone’s summer wishlist on paper so you don’t miss out on any fun!
- Take a trip to the library after school gets out. This is a great way to make sure they immediately have a bunch of books to read, audiobooks to listen to or activities to do!
- Have a movie marathon. When is a better time to stay up late watching multiple movies than on the last day of school?!
- Swim! If there’s water near you, in the form of a splash pad, pool, beach or lake, it’s the perfect way to bring on that summer feeling.
- Hang a big “Welcome to Summer” banner. This is a delight to come home to and lots of parents mentioned that they make it so their kids can run through the banner when they get home.
- Play “ice cream truck” for the neighborhood! How fun is this? Load up your car with popsicles or ice cream sandwiches and drive around playing music and handing them out to friends and neighbors!
- Write chalk messages on the driveway and sidewalk for your kids to see when they come home. And then probably leave the chalk out so they can add their own decorations when they get home!
- Go get pedicures. My girls would be THRILLED if we did this on the last day of school!
- Make a summer playlist. This is simple and easy and you can blast it in the car on the way home school and then listen all summer long – those songs will always remind you of that summer.
- Bike to get ice cream on the last day. This is such a quintessentially summer activity – I love it!
- Decorate the hall coming in from the garage with streamers. I love streamers. They’re so cheap, so festive, and this is a great way to make the end of the school year special with $2 and 5 minutes!
Any other fun suggestions for end of school year celebrations? I’d love it if you shared!
Love these! My daughter and the majority of the kids on our block were in kindergaten in 2020 and we wanted to make the last day special, so they decorated their bikes, biked up to the empty school (because of 🙁 covid) and then biked back to the block where we had a finish line set up for all the kids to cross while neighbors cheered them on. Since then we now close the block with a permit from the city and draw a big chalk finish line and celebrate afterwards with biking in the street, sprinklers, and popsicles. It’s such a fun start to summer!
We have ice cream for breakfast on the last day!
We’ll do glow in the dark night, lots of glow sticks and lanterns and anything else that glows in the dark and let the kids stay up late! I love all these ideas!