20 Fun Low-Budget Things to Do with The Kids This Summer


summer low budget

If you’re like me and other parents, we are constantly looking for things to do during the Summer with the children. Going out can be costly however. If you don’t pack snacks and lunch, you can end up spending $50-$100 per outing. That’s why we have to plan our Summer appropriately and hunt for super low cost things we can do before or after eating at home or that are Free so we only have to pay for food or snacks while out.

Here are 20 ideas for outdoor activities that are fun to do and/or are low cost or no cost:

1. Camp out in the backyard

2. Go to  your local state park

3. Visit a park that has a creek and look for frogs, tadpoles, minnows and other creek life. My middle kid LOVES animals and marine life.  It’s his fave past time and summer is THE best time at the creek.

4. If you have a fishing rod, head out to a local spot and go fishing on a dock or at the shore.

5. Go bowling. There are a lot of Summer free bowling opps.

6. Go Roller skating. Many rinks have half off or special nights for families where it cost less.

7. Start a windowsill garden. You can make a D.I.Y. container or box for the sill.

8. Play soccer with the family. My family has evening soccer matches where we team up and play against each other. It’s great exercise and it helps increase the kids’ skill for rec and school soccer in the fall.

9. Go to the library. Many libraries have Summer Reading programs and ongoing special events like live animal shows, magic shows and weekly reading hours for various age groups. For us, it’s a great way to get the kids away from the TV and video games and reading.

10. Have an outdoor scavenger Hunt! Fortunately, we live in a town with a creek and several parks. I’ve printed out outdoor scavenger hunt lists online and we’ve headed outdoors for fun.

11. Get the other kids in the neighborhood together for a group match and if possible, schedule it for the same day and time each week. My husband was a soccer coach a few times and has coached many kids in the town and has their numbers still and has been wanting to organize an impromptu drop in clinic.

12. Catch fireflies outside and put them in a mason jar and watch them glow, then set them free.

13. See a puppet show or kids play. We are lucky to live near the Kennedy Center which has free or very low cost productions and performances  all year. If you live near a school with a theater department, check out their schedules to see if they have performances in the summer and student rates.

14. Visit the local animal shelter. My middle kid who loves animals enjoy our monthly visits to the animal shelter so he can see the dogs he hopes to one day get.

15. Go swimming. Local public pools have low fares and if you have friends who live in apartment or housing complexes with a pool, or who have their own personal backyard pools, schedule weekly visits. We do this and it saves us fun and keeps our Summer fun and cool.

16. Drive to a local beach for the day for a day trip.

17. Visit museums. We live in DC so the Smithsonian museums are free, there  are plenty of them and the exhibits change routinely. Other areas have discount days as well.

18. Catch a local outdoor movie night. Many locales have movie on the lawns for free events all summer long.

19. Go to the County Fair. Throughout the summer, various counties locally have fairs. We’ve gone every year and have a blast!

20. Visit a local farm. Pet the animals. Buy some local produce which is better for your and support your local farmer and community at the same time.

Hope these ideas help make the rest of your Summer a fun one! Enjoy!

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