This August marks Family Fun Month, an annual celebration of engaging activities to do with your family. As we mark the final month of summer and many families prepare for their children to go back to school, there’s no better time to celebrate the joys of summer and the outdoors.
Some suggested activities to celebrate this month include spending a day in nature, cooking together, performing acts of community service, volunteering and heading to the beach. There are so many options to bring families together this month, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
Visit a Museum
Over the last year, thousands of small museums struggled to keep their doors open. But right now, museums across the country are opening in-person visits – like the Smithsonian Institution.
One of the newly-reopened museums is the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history and culture. Established by Act of Congress in 2003, the museum hosts exhibitions honoring the Civil Rights movement, African Americans’ service in the United States military, African American music and more. Families can enjoy these visits for no cost, making this an affordable choice for family fun.
Philanthropist Robert F. Smith helped support the museum, donating one of the largest individual gifts to the NMAAHC in its history. In September 2016, Smith gave a record $20 million gift to the museum, funding its digital outreach and Explore Your Family History Center. He also funded NMAAHC’s Robert F. Smith Internship and Fellowship Program, which builds pathways for historically-underrepresented individuals to grow successful careers in the cultural sector.
Head to the Outdoors
Another prime option is bringing your family to green spaces, like one of the country’s National Parks. From Yosemite in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains to Acadia along the mid-section of the Maine coast, America’s landscape provides a robust slate of safe and exciting places to enjoy time together.
In Denver, Smith’s hometown, he helped found an organization to expand access to the outdoors to youth who may not otherwise have the opportunity due to economic, social or family circumstances: Lincoln Hills Cares The program develops the next generation of young leaders through outdoor education and recreation, cultural history exploration and workforce advancement.
Attend a Live Concert
Live events have also made a major return, with major musical artists announcing 2021 and 2022 concert tours. In addition, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and other classical music institutions have made their re-entry into live, in-person concerts. Heading out to one of these show-stopping concerts is a creative, culturally-enriching experience for the whole family.
As the chairman of Carnegie Hall’s board of trustees, Smith has guided the legendary New York institution’s return to in-person performances. In June 2021, Carnegie Hall announced an outstanding, diverse array of performances in its 2021-2022 season, featuring names like Jon Batiste and events such as a celebration of Afrofuturism. Carnegie also boasts Live with Carnegie Hall – free live-streamed and archived performances that are open to all families online.
Find out more about Carnegie Hall’s lineup, the Smithsonian reopening, Smith’s work to expand outdoor access and more ways to celebrate Family Fun Month.