Try These Fun and Affordable Summer Activities for Your Kids
Back to school? Not quite! Depending on your child’s school, there may still be several weeks of summer remaining. And after months of summer camps and team sports, you may be hitting the top of your budget—especially when you factor in back-to-school shopping.
The good news is that some of the best summer activities are inexpensive or free. Most communities host a treasure trove of summertime events. These budget-friendly events can be great opportunities for your kids to socialize, develop strong community ties, and continue learning outside school.
Whether you’re counting down the days or wishing for an endless vacation, we’ve compiled a list of fun and affordable summer activities to keep your whole family entertained for the rest of the summer break.
Fun and Affordable Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy for the Rest of This Summer
Finding enjoyment and not breaking the bank are both possible. Here are some of our favorite low-cost activities that certainly aren’t low on fun!
Local Nature Trails
If your child is high-energy, give them space to run and explore by visiting your local state park or nature trail. These trails are usually free or inexpensive to hike.
Aside from the health benefits of being physically active, you and your child can identify different plants and animals. They can also study the environment of the area and its history. Give your child your phone or camera to take pictures of interesting plants or critters they find along the trails, and they’ll want to know when you’ll be visiting the next park!
Library Reading Activities
Your local public library is a great place to take your child this summer. Modern libraries do much more than lend books. In addition to their book collection, they often have activities for children and teens. Your library may offer book clubs and summer reading challenges. Some even offer a variety of classes, such as gardening, cooking, and crafts. Schedule a day to visit the library soon, and let your child dive into a reading and learning adventure!
Does your child want to try out a new sport this year? Maybe they need a break from electronics with more physical activity, or you’d like them to develop teamwork skills. Community sports are a great low-cost option to get moving! With the competition being less intense than regular leagues, community sports are also a good way for your child to try a sport that interests them without pressure. Visit your county’s website and search for their recreational department for a listing of all activities and times.
Some activities check all the boxes for what makes a great way to spend time, and volunteering is one of them. When you volunteer with your kids, you’re not only adding an activity to the calendar. You’re providing them with:
- An opportunity to build emotional intelligence and empathy.
- Real-world experience in a work-like setting.
- A sense of community and responsibility.
- Time spent together as a family, working toward a common goal.
If your child learns a new skill or gains a new interest while volunteering, that’s the cherry on top!
Do you have local museums within driving distance? Kids’ museums are always a great hit because they have exhibits children can touch and interact with. Some are science-based and allow children to explore everything from physics to dinosaurs. Others are play-based and enable children to act out what they’re learning.
If your kids are older, consider branching out to other museums. Depending on your child’s interests, they may love the train, art, or natural history museums. Visiting a local museum will give your child a fun summer day out and may even spark a lifelong interest!
Outdoor Movie Nights
Does your city host outdoor movie nights? While they may not show the latest blockbuster, your whole crew can spend an evening under the stars watching a family-friendly flick. So, pack your favorite movie snacks and make a memory your kids will cherish for many years.
Learning Fun Can Continue as You Prepare for the New School Year
Community-based summer activities are excellent for kids because they aren’t just fun and affordable; they teach new skills, build confidence, and foster strong relationships. These benefits will help your child succeed in school and the workplace someday.