It is that time of year that most all of us love! We especially love the warm summer months as there are just so many activities to keep not only your kids, but your whole family busy. But even better is that many of these activities are either cheap or FREE meaning you can save some of your hard-earned dollars while you have fun on the cheap either out and about or at home too!
We wanted to provide a list of activities that you can do for free or cheap this summer to enjoy the summer months and possibly even giving you more time together as a family!
Here’s a list of ideas and please add any ideas that you have in the comments section below:
- Free fishing – Enjoy FREE fishing days in the month of June and other summer months all across the country meaning that you do not need a fishing license to fish! Check out the list Free Fishing Days 2012 HERE to find out what dates are available in your area.
- Find free roller skating across the nation – Wow, this brings back memories from our childhoods! This is a new program and you can check out the list of roller skating rinks that are currently part of the Kids Skate Free program HERE that are participating now. If there is not one in your area, they have a letter already drafter that you can send to your local rink to ask them to participate.
- Summer Reading Programs – This is definitely a family favorite as Alex and I remember loving these reading programs at our local library! They are available all over the country from your local libraries to some national chains. You will want to check the list of Kids Summer Reading Programs 2012 HERE for the full list!
- Free bowling – There are many bowling great ways to bowl for free across the nation as part of the Kids Bowl Free summer program. Check out the details and locations on the Kids Bowl Free site HERE.
- Free and cheap movies – Many theaters are offering their Summer Movie programs for cheap from the National theaters. Check out Regal Theaters HERE, Carmike Theaters HERE and Cinemark Theaters HERE. Plus, since there are hundreds of local theaters across the country, we suggest calling or going to the websites of the local theaters in your area for even more FREE or cheap movies this summer!
- Free summer movies or concerts in the park for the community – Check in your local newspaper, your local city’s or county’s websites for the calendar of events for the low-down on the community movies and concerts in the park. Plus you may see other ideas or activities going on in your area too!
- Free museum entrances – There is a possibility that you have many local museums that are free in your area. See our previous post on the topic of Free Museum Entrances HERE.
- Free local attractions or even special summer discounted days – If you have special attractions in your area, check the websites of those attractions or the city, county or state sites calendar of events to easily find any discounted or free days available.
- Lowes has their build and grow clinics for kids to build a fun activity – You can see their calendar of Lowe’s Build & Grow Clinics HERE.
- Free or cheap kids crafts - Michaels has free or cheap kids craft projects and classes in-store all summer. You can visit the Michaels site for the free kids craft project classes schedule.
- Free kids building workshops - Similar to Lowe’s, Home Depot also has a kids free building workshops. You can see their schedule of projects on the Home Depot Kids Free Workshops site.
- Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) – VBS programs are an easy and fun way to enjoy some summer fun! Many local Christian churches will offer Vacation Bible Schools with different themes. Call around or ask around on Facebook for the different ones going on in your area!
- Summer camps from local fitness centers and YMCA – Check the websites of those attractions or the city, county or state sites calendar of events to easily find any discounted or free days available for sports camps or other fun active activities in your area.
- Local church summer activities – Similar to Vacation Bible Schools, churches will also offer fair/carnival days, or other summer fun type activities. Call around or visit the websites of the local churches to find out the calendar of events for churches in your area.
- State and county fairs – Many fairs offer completely free admission or days in which there are free or discounted admission. Our kids (and us!) love the fairs and especially love to see the animals!
- Watch for free or discount days to local baseball or other sports events – Baseball games in our local area is a very fun and memorable family activity. Check the sports’ team websites for a calendar of events and you can see where to find discounts too! Local to our area, local businesses (e.g., banks), companies and television stations will offer FREE or deeply discount tickets to the local sports event!
- Visit the local or community pool on the discounted days or get a summer pass – Many community and local pools will offer a discounted day or a multi-visit pass for cheaper. Call or visit your community pools sites to find those extra discounts.
- Save on amusement/theme parks - If you are visiting a theme or amusement park, don’t miss our 25 Ways to Save on Amusement and Theme Park Tickets HERE.
- Don’t forget movie night - If you or a friend have a projector and a sheet, schedule a outside movie night and invite your friends! If you want to add a fun dimension to it, if you and your friends chip in you can rent a cotton candy machine; what kid doesn’t love cotton candy?
- Schedule with your friends to have fun playdates throughout the summer – If you or your friends have a trampoline, pool and even a swingset it can be a fun way for the kids to get together and play while the adults enjoy some time of relaxing as well.
And of course, don’t forget about sprinkler time, backyard camping trip, staycations and many other activities and ideas at home from our Thrifty Kids section of our site! Plus consider having your own Summer Reading program with a reward at the end of each goal!
Also, consider summertime a great time to educate your children on the topic of finances and complete the family financial focus worksheet and budgeting. It can be a good time to get them involved with couponing too! They can learn everything from cutting and counting (for the younger kids) and organizing in groups and categories (for the older kids). There are so many more skills even such as addition/subtraction practice and the challenge of getting as much as they can with the family’s grocery budget on items your family would eat (obviously for the older kids on this one!) while at the same time build those life application skills from preschoolers all the way through high school! Plus you will enjoy the help from coupon cutting to grocery shopping trip planning and implementing!
What ideas do you have for your family and kids?