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Cheap & Free Summer Activities for Kids

Jessica Stackowicz

Long summer days mean lots of outdoor fun, but it can sometimes be a bit of a task to keep children entertained, and not spend a lot along the way. 

Here are 10 ideas for free or cheap fun for kids this summer:

1. Backyard Fun- Start with what you have! Simplify your idea of fun and get creative. Build a cardboard box castle, create an obstacle course, pitch a tent and spend the night camping in you backyard.  There are endless possibilities.

2. Garden- Plant seeds together!  It could be in a few pots on your patio or getting involved in your local community garden. There is nothing like the joy of a child who watches a seed grow.

3. State Parks- Walk nature paths, go for long hikes, and maybe even camp for a few days.  Bring along a magnifying glass, jars to catch fireflies, and journals to make it an interactive experience. There is so much to learn through nature.

4. Berry Picking- Support local farms that have u-pick produce by picking your own fruit. I can’t think of anything better than farm fresh organic blueberries warm from the sun.

6.  The Beach- Pack your sunscreen and towels and head to the nearest beach!  What better summer fun then playing in the sand and waves? 

5. Public Pools- Look into local public pools in your area. With slides, fountains and kiddie pools, there’s fun to be had for big kids and little ones too. 

7. New Parks and Splash Pads- Venture out to new parks and splash pads that you have never been to for a change of play equipment and scenery.


8. Playgroups- Get involved in a local playgroup.  It’s a great way to meet new people and for your children to make new friends. 

9. Picnics- Take your breakfast, lunch or dinner outside!  Bring some card games or a Frisbee along to play with after.

10. Discover your city- Explore what your city has to offer.  Try museums, zoos, outdoor music venues, fairs and cultural events. Find things you’ve never done before.


deliberate:Parenting articles by Jessica Stackowicz. Photos cannot be used without written permission.