By Jeffrey Totey

It is not unusual for today’s youth to begin and end their summer vacations in front of a screen. They start in June and look up for the first time in August and realize that their summer is almost over and they haven’t really done anything. Don’t let that happen to your family. With just a few short weeks left before the school bells will begin to chime, take advantage of these last minute summer events and make some memories while you still can.

Arts In Nature Festival
Camp Long
5200 35th Ave. S.W.
Seattle, WA 98126
(206) 935-2999

The Arts in Nature Festival is unlike any other. Held on the 68 acres of Camp Long, attendees will interact with the artists in a variety of ways. The event features over 40 live music performances in various outdoor venues at the camp, a “Museum of Sound” displayed in eight cabins, plenty of “hands on” activities, writing workshops, open mics, juggling demonstrations, costumed hikes through the forest, lots of food and a bunch more. The Arts in Nature Festival will be held on August 26 and 27. Admission is $10 per person per day or $16 for both days.

Evergreen State Fair
14405 179th Ave. S.E.
Monroe, WA  98272
(360) 805-6700

While many prefer the Puyallup Fair, for some, it is just too big to see everything in one day and is held while the kids are back in school. The Evergreen State Fair in Monroe is considered one of the best in the state featuring big names for their concert series (For King & Country, Josh Turner, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Kenny Loggins and Trace Adkins), daily performances from the Aztec Indian Dancers, daily lumberjack show, a variety of other performances featuring singers, comedians and children’s performers, a large carnival of rides, traditional games (like pie eating contests, water balloon tossing, diaper derbies, etc.), crazy animal races, petting zoo, draft horses on display, pony rides, rodeo, basketball tournaments, lots of special displays, autocross, fireworks and of course the famous Scones. This year’s fair will be held August 24 through Sept. 4, 2017. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for Seniors (62+), active military and youth (6-15). Kids under the age of 5 and seniors age 90 or over get in free.

Kids Obstacle Challenge
Lake Sammamish State Park
2000 NW Sammamish Road
Issaquah, WA 98027

With so many races and fun runs aimed for adults, this one is just for the kids, but parent can come along too for free! Held at Lake Sammamish State Park, this course is geared for kids ages 5-16 with 10-15 obstacles and lots of mud. Challenge your family for this group event that involves rope swinging, army crawling, cargo net climbing and slides. The cost is $46 for each kids if tickets are purchased before August 18 and $56 per kid on the day of the event. Admission includes a 2017 race medal, free event photos, a goodie bag, finish line snacks and unlimited re-runs for $5. The event will be held on August 18, 2017.

Related: Best Places to Picnic in Seattle

Amica Insurance Outdoor Movies
Magnuson Park
7400 Sand Point Way N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98115
(360) 733-2682

What a way to cool off after those hot August days. Now in its seventh year, this event features not only family-friendly movies under the stars, but also other entertainment like cirque performers, live music, trivia contests and more before the shows start. Also on hand will be food trucks so you can pack up the family early and eat dinner at the event or save a few bucks and pack up your own picnic. All movies will be shown on Thursdays at dusk. This August you will have the chance to see The Lego Batman Movie (August 10), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them (August 17) and The Princess Bride (August 24). Admission is $5 per person. Those age 5 and under get in free.

PAX West
Washington State Convention Center
705 Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 694-5000

Okay, so many pulling your kids away from screens is tougher than we thought. In that case, consider bringing the kids to PAX West, a conference dedicated to the world of gaming. This event features a Console Freeplay area where you can test out hundreds of the latest (and many older) games on a variety of different consoles, a huge expo hall, panels, live music and more. And now PAX offers something you wouldn’t expect at a gaming show – board games. That’s right, a whole area will be dedicated to low-tech board games from the simple to the more complex which promises much more personal interaction. PAX West will be held September 1-4, 2017. Admission is $48 per person per day.

Related: Best Activities for Summer Thrill-Seekers in Seattle