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Everyone loves summer. Kids are out of school, the weather is warmer, and being outside is more fun. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you need to spend more. This quick list of cheap summer activities will help your family stay on budget!
When my husband was suddenly unemployed, it was during the summer. We quickly had to figure out easy ways to entertain ourselves and the kids without spending any money.
This list is just the beginning of your cheap summer activities that you can do with your family.
Going to the farmers market was always fun. We could walk around, enjoy being outside and pick up fresh produce and meats instead of grocery shopping at the store. The produce was always what was in season and so yummy. I would spend less at the grocery store that week since I had the fresh produce already. Additionally, there was always live entertainment at the market so our kids were entertained when we were there too.
A day at the beach is always fun. Packing a picnic lunch and planning to be at the beach all day always puts a smile on the kid’s face.
Having our friends over for a fun get together with backyard games. Grilling up hotdogs and playing Bags, while the kids run around having water wars. BBQ’s is a win-win for everyone!
Hiking and kayaking, camping all this gets you outside as a family. They are easy too. Hiking you can just throw on a pair of gym shoes, grab a water bottle and you are set. You can find trails all over. Some are around water, in a forest preserve or by the lakefront. I can smell the fresh air just thinking about it!
Kids love parks. As my kids have grown, they still like to go to the park, they just want to make sure we have brought a ball for their back up plan.
My family and I took this up this summer. We went to Lake Michigan and sourced our rocks from there. We had to wash them and prepare the rocks for painting, but once that was done we all really enjoyed painting the rocks.
Once the rocks are painted we hide them in our surrounding areas and hope people will find them, take a picture, post to the local Facebook group and then re-hide them somewhere else.
The best part of painting the rocks, we are chatting as a family as we paint.
Water Balloons and Squirt guns
This was one of my favorite summer activities as a kid and now it is my kids favorite. Every summer they ask if they can have friends over for a water balloon fight. A word of caution, make sure the balloons are rather full so they break more easily!
Be prepared to have to wait till it gets dark, but the memory will last. Bring bug spray. But you will have a blast!
This activity has been around for a while but my kids love it. You look for a mystery treasure and when you find it, you check it out and put it back. The best part is the kids are excited to find it, you are outside and you are probably getting exercise in at the same time! Winner, winner!!!
Scavenger hunts are fun because you can make them up on the fly, or you can download one from the internet. There are loads of them on Pinterest. Recently I started making them up for the kids to find in our neighborhood and they love it! An orange flower, money of some kind, a grey rock, a sign, something green. They get creative and come back with the most bizarre things! If it’s garbage day, they usually get lucky and find the things really fast.
My kids love having picnics. We pair it frequently with going to the park, the pool or the beach. Eating outside is the best since you don’t have to worry about all the crumbs all over!
Going to get ice cream at the local creamery is so fun. Since the ice cream costs a bunch of money and it helps to cool them off, we all love it. Yes, I know I can just buy ice cream at the store, but this makes it fun to see all the flavors and have conversations and tastings.
Watch the sunset
Now that the kids are getting older and we live in Florida, we can go to the beach and watch the sunset all in one day. Watching the sunset is one of my favorite parts of summer.
Skating on the boardwalk
This past year my kids have fallen in love with rollerblading. They want to take their skates everywhere. I think it’s awesome because it’s added exercise. Plus they can skate at the beach, or on the river walk. Or the nearby trails.
My kids are entering the age where board games are becoming less appealing and they watch more movies or play more Fort Night. We have started implementing 1 board game night a month. I tried to be really ambitious and play them every week but it’s hard. So now I aim for once a month. It’s fun and we talk and joke around.
Going for a bike ride is one of my favorites. We usually have a destination of a park or a store or something. But we are all out having fun together.
If your kids are young, the splash pad is an awesome place to go and burn some energy.
Cheap Summer Activites
There are so many more things you can do that are cheap and inexpensive. When we were unemployed our goal was to be able to have fun and take our mind off money.
Having a plan and always having snacks with helped to keep us on track with money.
This is just a quick list of cheap summer activities. I would love to hear some of the things you have done.
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Stephanie has been blogging at Sticky Note Mom for 8 years. Before starting her blog, she worked in the finance industry working on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade to working for major financial institutions with personal financial planning and the mortgage industry. Now she shares all she has learned about frugal living to help others learn how to stop spending and start saving more.