I’m always on the lookout for free or frugal summer activities for kids.
There is just something about the relaxing, fun-filled days of summer that envelope me with a sense of excitement every single year. And after so much time spent indoors during cold winters, my family is ready to explore!
Check out this list of 17 free and frugal summer activities for kids!
1. Take them bowling.
2. Take them roller skating!
You could take them roller skating at a local park or in your neighborhood, or you could take them to a skating rink that is participating in free skating–just like the free bowling! Check out this list of participating locations.
3. Take them swimming.
So this one is a no-brainer. Many neighborhoods have pools, and if yours doesn’t, check out your local community center. We have both, but I prefer our community center pool because it has a great kid area! It’s also only $2 per person for family swim nights! Our community center also offers swimming lessons for only $30 per child!
4. Go geocaching.
I’ve never done this, but it looks to be good, clean, FREE (or really cheap) fun! Stacy Makes Cents makes it sound like a treasure hunt!
5. Make ice cream.
6. Check off a summer bucket list.
There’s no better way to be intentional about your summer than to create a bucket list! Beth from Red and Honey created this great list of 73 frugal and creative backyard activities for kids!
7. Go on a photo hunt.
Yesterday I put together a pre-reading edition of Life Your Way’s June Photo Hunt for my pre-reading girls. The idea is that each day we will look for something specific to photograph!
At the end of each month, we will put together a photo collage of our pictures! Items range from a campfire to a ladybug to a giggle! Little Girl wanted to photograph everything TODAY! I’ll be sharing our pictures via Instagram (which I just joined!) and using the hashtag #junephotohunt. I hope you’ll follow along and participate! My name there is erinbodom.
Click here to download a FREE printable pre-reader edition of the June Photo Hunt!
8. Join a summer reading program at your local library.
I’m a bookworm. Participating in my community library’s summer reading program was admittedly my favorite part of summer growing up!
9. Pick berries.
Here in North Carolina, we’re wrapping up strawberry season. My girls picked last week. Blackberry season is next, and, our favorite, blueberry season, will be in full swing by late July.
Just remind your kids to actually put some berries in their baskets to take home (and not eat them all off the plants!).
10. Visit a farm–or farmer’s market.
Our local strawberry patch gives farm tours and is equipped with a full petting zoo and fun play area! A field trip to the farm will teach your kids that food doesn’t come straight from the grocery store!
11. Make a bonfire and roast hotdogs or marshmallows to make s’mores.
My parents have a fire pit, and the past two Saturdays we’ve spent relaxing around it–roasting hot dogs and marshmallows! My girls think they are in heaven!
12. Plant a garden–and tend to and harvest it together.
We planted our garden in the spring, and we are now seeing some snap peas, lettuce, kale, spinach and broccoli pop up! My girls absolutely love watering it with their mini watering cans, and they are now enjoying eating peas right off the vine!
13. Take them to a free (or cheap) summer movie.
Several theaters in our area are offering free or cheap kids’ movies all summer long! Check out your local theater to find out whether they offer something similar!
14. Visit a splash pad.
We love splash pads because they let the kids get wet without the risk of drowning. And let’s be honest: I do not take all three of my kids (all under age 5!) to the pool by myself!
We have one splash pad in our town that is connected to a park, and it’s FREE! Another one is about 30 minutes away and only costs $1!
15. Explore a museum.
Some museums offer special summer rates, exhibits or activities. It never hurts to ask! This is a great one for getting out of the heat!
16. Play at a new-to-your-kids park.
We are blessed in that our town is loaded with parks. But we really only visit a handful of them! I’ve been thinking it might be fun to visit a new park each week this summer!
17. Attend a Vacation Bible School.
Whether your church offers one or not (ours doesn’t), you are bound to find a Vacation Bible School somewhere for your kids to attend!
What are your ideas for some free or frugal summer activities for kids?
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