5 must-do activities with the kids before summer ends

As schools start to go back into session, you may be looking for a last family fun hurrah before the starting bus routes and after-school activities.

Here's five things you can do this afternoon to make sure you end your summer break on a high note.

1) Visit a hidden playground
Break up your playground routine and try one of these hidden playgrounds around the Miami Valley. One of our best bets is Owen's Place, a sensory, all-abilities focused playground in Beavercreek currently finishing their second phase of accessible treehouses. 

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2) Explore the wild blue yonder
Check out the new $40.8 million, 224,000-square foot fourth building at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The building will house four galleries – Presidential, Research and Development, Space and Global Reach, along with three science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Learning Nodes. The museum is open seven days a week and admission is free.

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3) Check out a splash park
Hot summer days just scream for water play and there are many spray parks and splash pads where you can let the little ones cool off. RiverScape and Island MetroParks both have water play areas. Interactive water features can also be found in community parks throughout the Miami Valley including Dayton, Centerville, Oakwood, Kettering, Fairborn and Huber Heights. Even amidst The Greene’s many shops and restaurants, children splash and play in the Town Square fountain. >>RELATED: Your comprehensive guide to Miami Valley splash pads

4) Wish upon a star
If your kids are night owls, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is the place to be as they offer free monthly astronomy programs. Weather permitting, there is also night sky viewing every Friday night. On clear nights, visitors can view the night sky through the 30-cm Dall-Kirkham telescope in the Apollo Observatory. The programs are guided by astronomy department staff members and volunteers from the Miami Valley Astronomical Society. For information: call 937-275-7431 or visit www.boonshoftmuseum.org.

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5) Scream for ice cream
Take a trek out to Young's Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs and grab some homemade ice cream, tour the farm and play a round of putt-putt or take a swing at the batting cages. Don't forget to take photos with the tractors and feed the goats!

>>RELATED: 5 ice creams flavors to try at Young's Dairy this summer

Want to let us know your favorite end-of-summer activities? Drop this reporter an email at tabatha.wharton@coxinc.com!

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