Here is a long list of free and fun things for kids to do in the Summer. It works for any city and great for all ages. Find free movies, reading programs, crafts for kids and more to keep them busy and have fun together during the summertime when they’re off. Find a new activity and make new memories this year.
It’s Summertime! Time to spend a bit more one on one time with our kids while they’re out of school, take family vacations, and let’s be honest above all else…..we need to keep them busy! With 3 kids of various ages, and being the cheapskate that I am (I like to call it being frugal), I love finding fun things for kids to do in the Summer that don’t cost an arm and a leg. We first came up with this summer to do list that is a printable checklist with 50 free and cheap activities for kids to do during the summer so we could keep track of what we did and what we wanted to do. (originally published 4/14)
Then we continued to brainstorm and come up with a bunch of other free and cheap things for kids to do in the summer time and continued on with this list complete with links and directions to easy crafts and activities that may be new to you…like Geocaching! 😉
Next we had a backyard day and had some cheap water balloon fun!
Start the summer by printing off the summer months from this printable monthly calendar and fill it with the activities your kids want to do.
I usually start with the $1 movies and write down which ones we want to go to since they are only offered 2 days a week at specific times, then fill in the rest with camps I have scheduled for them….and then we add to the other days with things off this list.
Fun things for kids to do in the Summer
Visit a local park
Go to the movies (matinee shows & discount theaters offer lower rates)
Have a picnic (at the park, beach or in your backyard)
Go roller skating – FREE program at many centers here
Go bowling – FREE program at many centers here
– Turn on the sprinklers
– Water balloon toss in the backyard (seen above)
– Jump on the trampoline
Repurpose 1/2 gallon containers into boats (good for the bath & ponds)
– Fill a watering can & water plants in yard (repurpose juice containers for a can)
~ Wash the car (FUN & Daddy loves this)
Take a walk/hiking activities:
~ Bring an egg carton & fill with treasures
~ Have a picnic at your destination
~ Fill a spray bottle & spray things you like/water flowers along the way
~ Take pictures with a play/throw away camera
~ Find bugs (bring note pad & draw pictures of them)
~ Buckets (build sand castles etc)
~ Boogie boarding
~ Frisbee fun
~ Have a picnic (cooler)
~ Build a track out of sand (bring matchbox cars)
~ Build a castle out of sand for toys (barbies & my little ponies work well)
Vacation Bible School (most churches have them, register in May or June)
Visit your community pool (contact local recreation center)
Make some Summer time snacks at home
Have a lemonade stand
Make cookies – try our edible artwork cookies
Color a picture with kool aid paint
Make chocolate playdough
Make one of our 50+ best way to make slime recipes and have fun
Paint a picture – try our watercolor art project
Write a card to an out of state relative (take a trip to the post office to send it) – or send them a ball in the mail
Build a little free library & fill it with goodies
Visit your local library (usually have activities during the summer/story time)
Visit a local fair (usually several in the summer time)
Take a drive (somewhere new) – here are road trip tips on our road trip blog
Window shop at your local mall
Take the train or metrolink (get off for lunch & come back)
Read a book
Put on the radio and dance
Ride your bike
Feed ducks at a local lake or pond
Along with lists like this of fun things to do for kids in the summer look up your local community center and/or YMCA and see what kind of summer camps they have available. I start with this around April/May to break up the summertime. I schedule at least one week long camp for them in order for them to get out of the house, meet new friends, and give myself a little break as well (I work from home so I do need some work time).
Local camps can be inexpensive and many offer financial assistance as well if the cost is a struggle (YMCA has programs for this). Then start the summer adding activities to your printable calendar and summer to do list so you keep them busy and save yourself from a lot of “what are we going to do today”s.
Have a swim party
Have a BBQ with friends (potlucks are great, here are some BBQ hacks & recipes)
Create a movie night/afternoon in your living room (use netflix or redbox)
Visit a local thrift store & find treasures
Make Banana Smores over the BBQ
Play hopscotch (sidewalk chalk isn’t very inexpensive)
Play a board game (quirkle is our favorite)
Learn a new card game
Make an obstacle course in your backyard
This is our list of fun things to do for kids in the Summer, what else did we miss that we should add?
I have many specific ideas for those of us in Southern California here too, but for those of you in other areas these work for just about everyone!
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