Summer is definitely the season for lots of all day and evening long activity. The problem is how do you entertain yourself, and/or your friends and family without going broke? Never fear! Here are 41 Cheap or Free Summer Activities for Kids and Families. Keep your crew having fun all summer long on a tight budget.
Art Crawls-Groups of galleries come together to offer evening or weekend day viewing of their art along with refreshments and possibly even music from a band(s).
Attend a Festival-Whether the celebration is centered around food, music, or sports, it is sure to offer lots to look at and activities to be a part of.
Attend a Parade-4th of July parades can be pretty spectacular. Also, communities along bodies of water may offer neat patriotic light flotillas, as well.
Ballet or Theater in The Park-Enjoy the performing arts at low or no cost.
Biking on Trails-Fitness, fun, and site-seeing all at the same time.
Birding-Grab some binoculars and a bird identification book and get to checking out the birds that live or pass through your area. You will be surprised at how many varieties there are.
Boat Races-From sailing competitions to rowing races, so much fun can be had watching boats glide across the water.
Bowling-Select bowling centers across the United States offer kids the opportunity to bowl two games a day, all summer long for free. Do keep in mind that you will still need to rent bowling shoes. Check out this website, to find participating bowling alleys in your state.
Build a Living Room or Outdoor Fort-Pillows and blankets are great for indoor building and hay bales make perfect walls for outdoor forts.
Conduct Some Fun Science Experiments with Cool Action– These 12 Cheap Fizzing, Popping, and Erupting Kids’ Science Experiments will give you great ideas for adult-guided and kid thrilling activities.
Enjoy a Day at a Public Beach-Live near the coast. Take advantage of public access points for sand and surf fun.
Exercise in the Park-How about a game of kickball in green, open spaces or a family jog on some trails?
Factory Tours-Getting behind-the-scenes to see how products are made can be fascinating and inexpensive/free. Take a look at these 13 Mouth-Watering Food Factory Tours and 12 Car, Plane, and More Factory Tours opportunities.
Free Fishing Days-During National Boating and Fishing Week, many states offer free fishing days where no fishing license is required. Looking over the state-by-state list, lots of them are offering opportunities during that week in June. Also, local police departments and/or civic organization may offer kids’ fishing derbies during the summer. Check your local media for upcoming events.
Free Movies in the Park/Concerts in the Park-Bring a blanket and some snacks and come enjoy a film or musical performance.
Frisbee Disc Golf-A number of parks are equipped with disc golf courses. You simply take a Frisbee (you can buy a special disc golf frisbee if you like, but not required) and make as few throws as possible on each “hole” to hit the target. This sport is similar to regular golf but with a Frisbee instead (Professional Disc Golf Association). Simply Google your town name and disc golf to find courses in your region.
Glow in the Dark Fun-Long summer evenings, make for the perfect time to enjoy these 9 Mesmerizing Glow in the Dark Activities. And speaking of making the most of your summer nights, have a look at these 14 Fun Summer Evening Activities for Kids.
Go to a Flea Market-Browsing at a flea market can be lots of fun and yield bargains on items that you need.
Go to a Playground-It seems as though public playgrounds get fancier all the time.
Grocery and Cooking Supply Stores’ Free Cooking Classes-A number of these businesses will offer free cooking classes for adults and kids to get you to come in and explore their stores. Hey, and you get to eat for free, too! Win, Win!
Help Your Kids Participate in a Public Library Summer Reading Program-Most of these programs have kickoff and end of the summer celebrations, as well as, prizes available for kids achieving reading milestones.
Hiking-Enjoy some family time and get everybody moving by striking out along a trail. I would be remiss to not include a safety note here. Always let someone not going on your hike know where you are headed and when you expect to be back so he or she can keep an eye out for you.
Also, take advantage of the warm summer evenings with a flashlight or moonlight hike. Some parks or wildlife refuges offer full moon hikes.
Hot Air Balloon Glow or Race-So neat to see these beauties inflated or soaring through the skies.
Kids’ Building and DIY Project Workshops-Home Depot and Lowe’s offer these workshops with advanced registration. Sample projects include bird houses, Pinewood Derby cars, tool boxes, etc..
Make a Small Vegetable Garden and Tend To It as a Family-Here are 40 Foods That Grow Well From Seed.
Make Homemade Popsicles or Ice Cream-Here are 117 Popsicle Recipes to satisfy cool treat seekers.
On Thunderstorm Days, Keep Entertained with Activity Books-These 29 Awesome Activity Books for Kids, and 17 Extreme Dot to Dot and Color By Number Books for Adults will get you started.
Organize a Neighborhood Block Party-Enjoy a party in the great outdoors for low cost by having everybody bring a pot luck dish and some lawn chairs. The kids can play baseball, hide and seek, kickball, and other games.
Partake in Water Fun at a Splash Pad-These public spaces are the hottest (coolest) things going on a summer day. The kids will be thrilled.
Picnic in the Park-Grab a blanket and some munchies and you are set to go.
Play Card and Board Games-Here are 15 Budget-Friendly Card and Board Games to give a whirl.
Put Together a Scavenger Hunt-Nature hunts are particularly fun.
Stargaze and Learn About Space-These 12 Fascinating Space Science Activities will help you. Also, keep your eye out for free or low cost planetarium shows.
Take Advantage of Free Museum Admission Days-Some museums offer free admission year round and some provide special days in the summer time for families to enjoy on a hot day.
Take the Kids to Eat for Free-Have a look at these 25 Kids Eat Free (Or Almost Free) Restaurants highlighted by Hip2Save.
Turn Your Sidewalk Into a Playground-Who knew that a simple sidewalk or driveway could be so much fun with these 14+ Ideas for Cheap Kids’ Sidewalk Fun?
Watch a Fireworks Show-Enjoy one during the 4th of July or at other times during the summer.
Watch the Sunset-Long summer evenings often feature brilliant sunsets.
Visit a Wildlife Sanctuary-You are likely to be amazed by the diversity of plants and animals and natural beauty that can be found near you.
Volunteer at an Animal Shelter, Food Bank, or Other Nonprofit-Teach the kids what it means to give back and be an active part of their community.
For more Summer Tips:
Work on an Activity Book