The days are hot, but the nights are bearable. Before kids have to get back in bed earlier for school, let them stay up late and experience the great outdoors — after dark.

1. Look at the Stars

If you do not already live in the country, find a place out of town where you can see constellations on a clear night. Take some flashlights, a couple of sleeping blankets, some water, a few snacks, and some bug spray.

  • Kids Astronomy.com has a Constellation Hunt Game to help children learn the position of major constellations.
  • The University of Wisconsin's Constellations and their Stars, a great site for older children, lists constellations, stars, and information about the phases of the moon. It also has photos of the Milky Way, and a constellation pronunciation guide.

2. Go Camping

3. Catch Fireflies

Can you believe there's an entire site dedicated to fireflies? Firefly.org gives facts about fireflies, firefly stories, and step-by-step instructions on how to properly catch — then let go — these fun little creatures. Read through the information for a good education, and fascinating photos.

4. Cook Outside

Whether you use a campfire, a fire pit, or just a grill, have fun teaching your kids how to cook in great outdoors. Doing this as the sun goes down helps ease the pain of hot weather in the middle of summer. Make s'mores, roast marshmallows, or use other campfire recipes for a full meal: