Summer is here and you might be looking for some fun, inexpensive ways to keep your family entertained. There are probably some activities in your town, or nearby, that you haven’t thought to try before!
Try out some of these ideas for some summer fun that won’t cost a fortune!
1. Go to a farmers market.
We have several farmers markets within half an hour of our home, and we love visiting them! It’s a great reason to get out of the house, and you can decide how much money to spend. You can enjoy a nice walk around, checking out the goods, even if you don’t want to buy anything. But I’ve often found that I can get some of the groceries I need for a great price, and I’m supporting local small businesses. Bring your dog, your kids, and your coffee on a Saturday or Sunday morning to your nearest farmers market!
2. Check out a real farm.
If you like farmers markets, try visiting the vendors at the source! Lots of farms do tours, have stores on-site, and love having families and children visit. Look for berry picking, an orchard, or a farm with animals (bonus for baby animals!) that you can let your kids see up close. There are also butterfly farms, aviaries, and dairy farms (can you say ice cream?), for something different!
3. Try out a new park.
You’ve probably got a go-to playground that’s close to home and that your kids are familiar with, but try looking for a new spot this summer. You might even find one with a splash pad for those really hot days! Bring along a picnic, outdoor toys, games, and a few friends, and you’ve got yourself a great afternoon planned!
4. Visit a children’s museum, aquarium, or science center.
These never get old with my kids. Admission can sometimes be steep, but check out the membership price. Often, a family membership can be made worth it with a small number of visits. I’ve also found that there’s too much to do and see for a single visit anyway, so you end up wishing you had the chance to go back! Supporting these museums is also a great community builder. Perfect for a rainy day activity.
5. Look for the live music.
I bet that somewhere in your town, there’s an outdoor event with some live music. It might be a park, it might be a downtown festival, or it might be the back patio of a local restaurant. If you had already planned to eat out on Saturday night, check to see which restaurant has live music, and you’ll be serenaded over dinner for a change! Supporting local musicians is fun and easy.
6. Stop by a pet store or animal shelter.
What kid wouldn’t love to get some snuggles with puppies and kittens, or to do some close-up birdwatching? Taking a trip to the pet store is a fun way to let your kids see some different animals than your pets at home. It’s free, and it’s fun! An animal shelter is the same way—but call first, because some shelters have hours and rules to follow with their rescues.
7. Do some pottery painting.
See if there is a pottery painting location near you! It’s a fun way to let the kids have a creative outlet without buying all the supplies yourself. They can choose a piece of pottery, some paint colors, and let the creative juices flow. They will fire the pieces for you, and you just pick it up in a few days! My mom took my brother and I to do this several times growing up, and we loved it! This is another idea that’s good for a rainy day.
8. Play mini golf or go bowling.
It’s never too early to let your kids get their game faces on! Mini-golf and bowling are often inexpensive, and check your local paper or neighborhood mailers for coupons. Not a great bowler? Put up those rails! Worried your kids will get a par 10? That’s okay, too. There’s no time limit on mini-golf as long as you let the quicker players go around. For more time flexibility and a less crowded experience, go right when the locations open!
9. Take a bike ride or hike a nature trail.
You might find that very close to you is a trail, possibly even near a lake or river, that’s perfect to take the kids on an easy hike or bike ride. It’s a great opportunity for family exercise, nature exploration, and getting some sunshine! Explore the local plant life, look for some critters, and unplug for the day! It might be a great opportunity for a picnic, as well!
10. Find your town’s best hot dog!
Does your area have a famous hot dog joint, or locally-renowned burger? Take the family on a hunt for the best hot dog or burger in town! You could even create a list of criteria for your ideal junk food heaven, and let the kids check the items off the list every time you visit a new spot! Don’t forget the pop-up stands downtown, or the neighborhood grills that are only open for lunch! Find the best burger or dog in your city!
And there you have it! 10 easy, inexpensive things to do with your family this summer, and you won’t even half to take a trip anywhere! Explore your area and see what fun you can find there! I bet you won’t have to search too far.
You’ll also like Dear SAHM: I See You and Want You to Know These 8 Things, 10 Tips for Cheap DIY Summer Fun, 10 Tips for How to Enjoy a Road Trip With Kids, and An Easy Way to Teach Your Kids You’re the Mom, Not the Maid (Video).