Online or virtual, life is about to change as the kids head back to school and the final days of summer start to give way to fall.

Online or virtual, life is about to change as the kids head back to school and the final days of summer start to give way to fall. There's still plenty of time to enjoy some of the fun outdoor activities at the Lake and  make some great summertime memories before the grind of school begins. 

So, grab some sunscreen, load up the kids and head outside.   1. Take advantage of being in an area that boosts plenty of outdoor activities and don't let the summer end without visiting the state parks. From anywhere around the lake, a state park is nearby. No matter how many times you visit, Ha Ha Tonka State Park and Lake of the Ozarks State Park are always worth checking out. Trails, picnic areas and playgrounds will keep the kids entertained. Check out wwwmostateparks.com for maps and detailed information. If a short trip is in order, head to Bennett Springs State Park just outside of Lebanon.    2. Take a dip. If the kids have grown tired of the pools and jumping off the dock, there's some great alternatives just waiting to be enjoyed. These days we suggest checking before going to make sure destinations are open.  Head to the westside and enjoy an afternoon at Bear Bottom Resort's waterslides and experience the velocity of flying  down the 700' long flumes. The slides are open to the public for an admission price. Big Surf is always a hit with the kids. Parents can relax while the kids explore the different water rides and pools.  Don't forget Jolly Mon Indoor Water Park at Margaritaville Lake Resort. Check for open dates. It's a great place for a rainy day.    3. Take a challenge on the rope course at the Malted Monkey on the Bagnell Dam Strip and enjoy an authentic Chicago Dog and malt.  New to the lake area, the rope swing at the Malted Monkey is an obstacle course that includes a zipline and other activities. Admission includes spending as much time on the course as you want as long as you don't take the exit. Everyone has to try it at least once.    4. Learn to paddle board. It's fun, it's easy and something that kids and adults can enjoy together. There's several places at the lake that offer rentals and lessons. Just remember, if at first you don't succeed... try again.     5. Enjoy the simple pleasures. Head to Versailles and take Route C where you will find a thriving Mennonite community. Produce stands, shops and other businesses show the Mennonite way of life. You might even see a horse  pulling a buggy traveling the highways. Slow down -- bicycles are common modes to transportation, too. Or visit some of the Farmer's Markets in Osage Beach, Camdenton, Linn Creek and Eldon where kids can learn about sustainability and farm fresh products. Maybe visit with a soap or candle maker.