Summertime is almost here, and I have some ideas for affordable summer fun to keep you and your family entertained this summer!
Some of you may have already wrapped up your school year while others are just getting ready to close their school books for summer! I love having all of my children home (we home school 4 kids and have one in public high school), and I am always looking for ideas for Affordable summer fun to fill our days.
Usually the first week of summer we can get by just sleeping in and hanging out but sooner then later one of my children is bound to say “I’m bored” or “there’s nothing to do” (imagine the most annoying sing song whine here). Spending a ton of money on summer fun is simply not an option so each year around this time I sit down and make a list of things that we can do as a family to have some affordable summer fun!
I’m came up with a list of activities for affordable summer fun that are sure to put a smile on your families faces!
- Swimming – If you are as lucky as us you may find your community has a pool that you can use during the summertime. If not a community pool then check with your local high school or YMCA to see if they have community swim time. Better yet a lake or river always affords an adventure! When I was growing up I lived near the beach and my mom would take us to Smith’s point beach often. One of my best memories was being at the beach and building sandcastle with my brother and sister.
- Bowling – If you live in the south as we do, you know that summer can get very hot very fast and so finding some things to do indoors to escape the heat is always fun. Check out the website www.kidsbowlfree.com to see if there is a bowling alley in your area that your children can bowl free at (tlk about affordable summer fun)! If you cannot find a free bowling alley near you then another option is to click here and purchase a Summer Games pass for 23.95 per child and 28.95 per adult which will allow you 3 games per day all summer long. It’s not free but it’s still great deal, not to mention affordable!
- Set aside some time to volunteer and serve others. There are many opportunities to serve in your communities such as at food banks, church’s, the library, maybe you have a neighbor who could use some company or help, as a camp counselor at VBS, or even a nursing home or adult retirement community. My children love to perform music and so we visit nursing homes several times a year and they play for the residents. They also love it when visitors come in and play games or color with them so check your neighborhood and see if there are any volunteer opportunities. Not only does it cheer up someone else’s day, I have seen first hand the impact on my children’s heart serving others has!
- Check with your state or national parks here to see if they have any summer programs available in your area. We have some awesome day camp opportunities at our local parks. If you look you are sure to find at least some opportunities to join in on some summer fun for little to nothing.
- Plan a water day and invite friends over to splash on a slip and slide and it you don’t have one you can make one out of a tarp (add some dish soap for extra fun but do so at your own discretion as it can get very slippery), have a water balloon fight, or run through the sprinkler! If you don’t have a sprinkler check out this DIY sprinkler on my affordable summer fun Pinterest board! Use your imaginations and have fun.
- Check with your local library to see what summer programs they have going on. We have a summer toddler time and also a summer reading event for children of different ages.
- Get your children and their friends together to put on a neighborhood talent show and practice throughout the week leading up to the night of the event! This can be a blast and also a great way to meet your neighbors.
- Set up a lemonade stand and raise money for a local charity or a family in need.
- Plan a board game day and set up a schedule so each child gets to pick a game and can look forward to playing their game with the family. Our kids love playing Headbanz, Scrabble, and Candy land.
- Host a cooking class with friends!
- Host an outdoor movie night if you have a projector or know someone you can borrow one from and invite the neighborhood.
- Check with your neighborhood churches to see if they have any summer movie nights planned.
- Go camping – Camping can be very affordable and you may be able to borrow a tent if you don’t have one of your own.
- Attend a children’s workshop at Home depot or Lowe’s
- Attend a craft class at Michael’s
- Host a Magic show and have each child come up with a magic trick to perform.
- Build a fire pit like this one and then sit around it and roast marshmellows or make smores!
- Build a fort!
- Play flashlight tag
- Plant a garden
- Check with your local movie theater to see if they have a summer kids camp movie.
- Visit an indoor play place. There are several churches in our area that have free open play for children throughout the summer. In addition my children enjoying the ocassional Icee treat for $1 while they play at the indoor Burger King play ground. Chic Fil A also has indoor playgrounds where the kids can play while mom or dad enjoys free wifi!
- Have a craft day and let each child choose something to make and then add it to your calendar so your kids have something to look forward to.
- Host a fashion show!
- Have a dance party!
- Catch lightening bugs!
- Visit the arboretum or nature preserve.
- Visit the local historical society.
- Visit the zoo
- Plan a trip to a local farm. Call ahead and often times they will give you a tour and talk to you about where your food comes from or something educational.
- Go blueberry or strawberry picking.
- Swing in a hammock
- Look at the clouds and see how many things you can see in them.
- Write a story and illustrate it as a family.
- Blow bubbles
- Play Hop Scotch
- Draw with side walk chalk
- Take a nature walk.
- Make cookies for a neighbor who doesn’t get out as much as others.
- Build with legos
- Refinish a piece of furniture with your children
- Set up a carnival in your yard with things you have laying around. Check out my pinterest board for game ideas.
- Build a space ship with a large card board box and items you have laying around your house.
- Take a bike ride with your family.
- If you live close to an airport you could Go to the airport and watch planes take off or land. I forgot how cool it is to my younger kids to watch a plane take off or land until recently when we were by the cargo area at our airport and we happened to be next to the runway!. The kids were thrilled to see planes coming and going!
I hope these ideas for affordable summer fun are helpful for you and your family. Sometimes you just have to sit down and allow yourselves the time to brainstorm about activities or ideas that you would enjoy doing with your family. Summer fun doesn’t have to be expensive! Remember, your children will enjoy spending time with you unplugged from all of the many distractions we have as adults! Take time to have fun with your children and almost anything you do will be memorable if you spend your time with them laughing, chatting, and listening to each other. Happy summer!