Summer can be an expensive season for many families. Kids are home for school and need to be entertained. Oftentimes, this means spending lots of money to keep them occupied. But we don’t have to do that! There are load of free summer activities for kids that families can take advantage of. If you want to save money this summer, keep reading to get some ideas!
FREE SUMMER ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
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Read to find ideas for fun and free summer activities for kids.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
Of course, this also means knowing what your local attractions are. Even if you’ve lived in the same town for your whole life, everything is different from the perspective of a parent.
There may be some hidden gems nearby that you’re not aware of. Do a quick internet search for the best free kids activities in your town.
And talk to other parents! When you meet a mom at the park, library, or playgroup, ask her what other activities she’s found for her child. She will be probably be thrilled to swap info with you.
GO TO THE PARK
Explore the parks in your neighborhood whether they’re big grassy fields or playgrounds. This is always a go-to can’t lose idea for kids.
Is there a free local pool in your area during the summertime? Check it out! They’re probably less busy in the early afternoon when the littlest ones are napping.
These are the new trend replacing local pools in many places. They’re fun for kiddos and safer, so you really can’t go wrong.
Of course, the beach is the perfect summertime spot if you have one in your nearby area. If your beach charges for parking, consider carpooling with a friend or another family.
If your town doesn’t have a beach, maybe there is a lake nearby that you can take the kids to enjoy instead.
If you’re feeling brave, venture to a local campground and take the kiddos camping!
CAMP OUT IN YOUR BACKYARD
If you’re not feeling brave, you can just camp in your backyard!
This is always a nice way to spend a free day. If you’re not used to hiking, start small with a the easiest trails and build from there. You really don’t need to be a serious hiker to enjoy a nice walk on a trail.
GO FOR A WALK
Not ready for a hike? Just walk around the neighborhood. My son and I go for a walk every morning as long as the weather is nice and it is just a positive way to start the day!
If your town has an email list, make sure you’re on it! You’ll want to find out about any free local community events like fairs, outdoor movie nights, or gatherings.
Just lay outside and look up at the stars. This could entertain me for hours. You can make it more fun by looking up summertime constellations and learning a little about the stars before you start.
VISIT THE LIBRARY
The library has so much more than books! You can check out free movies, video games, board games or puzzles too!
Of course, while you’re at the library for those other things, you should probably take advantage of the books. Make it exciting by getting your child involved in the library’s summer reading program. Oftentimes, there are rewards to help motivate little ones to get their summer reading done.
GRAB A FREE MUSEUM PASS
Before you leave the library, be sure to ask about their free passes to local museums! These work for all kids of fun local educational centers. The passes available and rules will depend on your specific library, so be sure to find out.
FREE LIBRARY EVENTS
And be sure to check out the library’s calendar of free events. There could be free storytimes, playtimes, song or dance classes and special events each month.
CHECK IN ON OTHER LIBRARIES TOO
Don’t limit yourself to just the library in your town! You can visit libraries in surrounding towns too. Some programs require you to be a citizen of that town but many don’t so just be sure to ask and find out.
MAKE AN OUTDOOR BOOK NOOK
Summer reading will be a lot more fun with this outdoor book nook.
FUN WITH FOOD
So, these ideas might not be 100% free, since you have to buy the food. But, you’re going to have to eat anyway, so I don’t think if those food costs really count.
HAVE A COOKOUT
Is there anything better than a summertime cookout? Whether you invite friends to join you or just have a little cookout for your family, something about cooking outside makes the food taste better. Here are some tips for a frugal summer cookout.
HAVE A PICNIC IN THE PARK
Make lunch more exciting by packing it up in a basket or sack and carrying it over to a nearby park for a picnic. Throw down a blanket, and have a fun lunch outdoors.
Side note: I have this awesome waterproof blanket that folds up into a bag and I carry it around with me all summer long. It makes everything so much easier!
GO TO THE FARMERS MARKET
The Farmers Market is a great place to have fun while shopping for farm fresh healthy foods for your family. Bring the kids along and let them get in on the experience. Here are some tips for saving money at the farmers market.
HAVE A FAMILY GAME NIGHT
Since most of us usually don’t have time to sit down and play a game as a family, it makes it much more exciting when we do it. Choose a game everyone enjoys and have an easy and fun family game night.
TAKE TURNS CHOOSING ACTIVITIES
Make family time exciting by letting everyone take a turn choosing an activity. Whether it’s playing with a certain toy or cleaning up a room, letting everyone have a turn makes it more fun.
POPSICLE STICK IDEAS
You could also write all your activity ideas down on Popsicle sticks and put them in a cup. Then just pull a Popsicle stick idea to choose what to do.
HAVE A YARD SALE
Enjoy the double benefits of profiting from your old stuff and working together with your family by hosting a yard sale.
When we think of charades we usually think of dinner parties, but this is a hilarious game to play with kids! Try it out next time they’re bored. They will love it!
SUMMER SCAVENGER HUNT
Have a fun family scavenger hunt. Here’s a free printable to use.
A simple family bike ride is a great way to entertain the kiddos and get in some exercise!
DIY BOUNCY BALLS
The kids will love to make their own glow in the dark bouncy balls.
RECYCLE YOUR CRAYONS
Gather up all your old, broken crayons and make them brand-new again! Here’s the easy tutorial.
This is so popular these days. Kids love making slime! Here’s a recipe. And here’s a helpful hack – put a shower curtain down before they start. (You could use a spare or grab one from the dollar store). A slime mess isn’t easily contained with newspaper or paper towels but a shower curtain should do the trick.
I remember loving paper dolls as a kid. Here’s a DIY printout you can use to make paper dolls with your child.
Paper airplanes are another simple but fun activity. Everyone can make one and then take them outside to race and see whose can go the farthest. If you have little ones, this is a great way to teach them about distance.
SUPERSOAKER SPONGE BALLS
Here’s another craft that kids will LOVE to play with after! You can get the full scoop on how to make your own DIY Supersoaker Sponge Balls here.
HOME DEPOT WORKSHOPS
Did you know Home Depot does free kid’s project workshops regularly. They are pretty cool too! Find a workshop near you here.
LAKESHORE LEARNING CRAFTS
Lakeshore Learning Stores also offer hands-on crafts regularly. You can find the schedule for your local learning center here.
SAVE MONEY & ENJOY SOME FREE SUMMER ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Try out some of these ideas with your family! Check out your local attractions, visit the library, have fun with food, play fun games as a family and make some kid-friendly crafts. You’ll have a fun filled summer without spending lots of money!