Pool parties, water parks, barbecues and lazy days on the beach are all here! But you don’t have to break the bank this summer to enjoy tons of family fun.
Check out over 50 of my all-time favorite summer activities and ideas and see how many you can check off your summer “to do” list! 🙂
1. Run through a sprinkler
Nothing says “old school” summer fun like setting up the garden hose and a sprinkler in the yard.
2. Catch fireflies
Save some glass jars and don’t forget to poke holes in the lids, decorate with your kids names, and send them out to collect fireflies.
3. Make ice cream sundaes
Invite some friends over and have an ice cream sundae night with all of your favorite toppings.
4. Build sand castles
If you don’t live near a beach, bring the beach to your backyard. Buy some sand from your local hardware store and set up a sand castle making area in your yard.
5. Play baseball
It’s as simple as some baseball mitts, a ball, and a bat. Find a local ball field and get the whole family involved. Just playing outside would be great for the family, you can ever find a local tennis court a play pickleball, since there are affordable places like pickleball paddles amazon where you get the paddles.
6. Make homemade lemonade or popsicles
Get a bag of lemons and squeeze away and make a big pitcher of the good stuff. Kids will also love helping and it could inspire a lemonade stand.
7. Collect seashells at the beach
If you can get away to the beach, go ahead and start a beautiful collection of unusual seashells. What a way to create summer memories.
8. Hit up the local gym
Mom and Dad need some time too, so hit up your local gyms in the area for their introductory free week offers. Most gyms have kids programs too.
9. Plant a small garden
Just pick a spot in the yard or in a planter and start with some seedlings. Your kids will love watching their flowers or veggies growing.
10. Play on a Slip-n-Slide
Another way to stay cool is to play slip-n-slide right in your backyard. Think of the photo opportunities here!
11. Make s’mores
On a cool, summer, night, get all the ingredients to make s’mores around your fire pit or make one in your yard. Yum!
12. Play with sidewalk chalk
Buy a big box of chalk from your dollar store and send the kids to the sidewalk to get creative. Turn it into an art show and have a winner with a prize too.
13. Plan a scavenger hunt
This takes a little planning, but it’s so much fun for everyone. Pick a day and head to a local park early to set up and then hunt away for the afternoon.
14. Play hide and seek
Get the neighborhood kids together and have some fun with an old fashioned game of hide and seek, but set some perimeters especially if you have younger children.
15. Play at your local recreation center
Call the center and see what free drop in activities are coming up for all different age groups, especially if their is free swimming.
16. Plan a picnic
Get everyone’s favorite lunch packed up and some outdoor games and go to a local park for the day.
17. Crank up the music and have a dance off
On a rainy summer day, this is a fun way to blow off some energy and capture some great video and laughs.
18. Free movies at the park
Most towns have a park where outdoor movies are shown on a big screen, but if not, check your local library as well.
19. A trip to the local farmers market
Don’t wait for an early Saturday morning, grab the kids and enjoy an adventure picking out tons of fresh produce and then coming home and making a fresh dinner together.
20. Go on a road trip
This is my family’s most favorite summer activity! Pick a fun destination that isn’t too far away, pack the car and go on a road trip.
21. Bake cookies
Another rainy day idea, so make sure you get everyone’s favorites along with a lot of decorations for the kids.
22. 4th of July BBQ
Plan a family BBQ with everyone’s input on the menu. Get sparklers to end the night with some more fun!
23. Make 4th of July t-shirts
Get ready for the BBQ with tie-dye t-shirt making. It’s so easy and with iron letters, the kids can put their names and the date on each shirt.
24. Make homemade popsicles
Hit the dollar store for unique objects to make frozen treats in all summer long, or you can try making this fun patriotic ice pops recipe with the kids!
25. Fly kites
Another super easy and cost effective way to stay outdoors is to fly kites at your local park.
26. Camp in the backyard
Set up camp right in your own backyard on a cooler, summer night. Even have your kids invite some of their friends for a sleepover.
27. Outdoor concerts
Check out what’s going in your town or city for free outdoor concerts all summer long. Take a blanket and listen to some free music.
28. Play frisbee
It sounds simple, because it is. Grab some frisbee’s and get running around trying to catch all the crazy throws!
29. Drive in movie
This summer night entertainment is not on a classic one, but it can actually turn into a full blown extravaganza! With the snacks, the double feature, and friends and family. Go ahead and make a night of it!
30. Plan a beach day
If you can, head to the beach for the day, but take all your supplies from home to save money. As we are always at the beach, one day I would love to be able to tick off the fact that we actually went on a boat. Not one of those small ones, but a proper yacht, like the ones you see in the movies. That would be amazing. I’ve heard that there is financial support such as a boat loan that people can look into if they are struggling financially with this investment. I may just have to do just that. It would be great to surprise the family with this treat one day.
31. Movie marathon
Let each family member pick their favorite movie, snacks, and settle in for a long movie marathon.
32. Break a Guinness World Record
Do some research and find a fun family involved world record to try to break this summer. There has got to be something!
33. Make homemade play doh
Go online and find an easy recipe for play doh and then you will have hours of entertainment.
34. Play bingo
Get some boardgames and a set of bingo cards and when you hear the “I’m bored” words, bust them out!
35. Go feed the ducks
Find a local lake or pond where the ducks like to hang out and take a bag a day old bread.
36. Go on a hike
Lace up your sneakers and get everyone outdoors for a hike on a beautiful day.
37. Wash the cars
Here you can kill two birds with two stones and get your cars washed and keeps your kids occupied for a few hours! Also, they will cool off too!
38. Visit a street fair
All summer in most cities and towns are street fairs of all kinds. Pick a few and get them on the calendar.
39. Visit a tourist attraction you’ve never been to in your town
Find something unique that has peaked your interest, but you have never checked out.
40. Go to a film festival
Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor festival, this can be an all day fun fest for everyone and kids are usually free of charge.
41. Have breakfast for dinner
Pancakes for all! Put away your normal dinner routine and get out all the breakfast goodies for family breakfast night.
42. Water balloon fight
Cheap, easy, super fun, and who doesn’t love throwing water balloons?
43. Plan a block party with your neighbors
Ask your friends and neighbors to plan a summer block party and get all involved a themed event.
44. Go to your local pool
A one day pass is super low cost and if you are lucky enough to grab a season pass at a discount at the end of each summer, even better!
45. Watch fireworks
You don’t always have to wait until the 4th of July because a lot of towns offer weekend firework displays. Check your local paper or city’s internet page.
46. Have a fondue night
All you need is cheese, chocolate, and all the fixings for a big fondue night around the family dinner table.
47. Decorate your own t-shirts
Round out the Summer of 2017 with a T-shirt decorating day and add decals, iron on’s, and let the kids get creative to commemorate a glorious summer!
48. Go berry picking
Find a local berry farm and get out there and fill you a basket or three! If you love strawberry picking, you’ll also love making this homemade strawberry slushie!
49. Free 7-11 Slurpee Day
This could be the best day ever on a hot, July day! Head to 7-11 on July 11th and get your free slurpee!
50. Record a music video
You don’t have to have “America’s Talent” to record a memorable music video right in your own home.
51. Ride bikes
Go ahead and dust off the whole family’s bicycles, get the helmets, and go for a long bike ride.
52. Make a summer scrapbook
Instead of keeping all your photos in your Smartphone, print them throughout the summer and start a scrapbook.
53. Learn to hula hoop.
Hit the dollar store and buy several hula hoops and get those hips moving.
54. Bring back hopscotch
Use the sidewalk chalk and get outside and draw large hopscotch grids. Get your kids to find some rocks and teach them the rules of this classic game.
55. Play kickball
Go to your nearest playground or if your backyard is big enough, get a game of kickball going for the whole family to work up a sweat,
No one said that summer had to be boring and even though most of us are on a tight budget, we can also have tons of fun this summer and every summer to come! Get out there and get creative with your summer activities and don’t let the cost of summer camps, sports camps, and every other type of high priced adventure out there keep you home. Make a list and check them off as you go along!