7 Inexpensive Summer Activities

“Mom, I’m bored!”
Do you dread summer vacation because of these three little words? Planning an outing or two a week may greatly help your kids stay satisfied with all the books, craft projects and games you have at home the rest of the time. Consider taking advantage of the following cheap summer activities for families:

Library Reading Programs

Most libraries offer some sort of incentive program to keep kids reading throughout the summer. If your library doesn’t (and even if it does), check out the program from Barnes & Noble or create your own program for your kids.

Craft Workshops

Businesses like Michaels, JoAnn Fabric and Crafts, Lowe’s and Home Depot frequently have workshops for kids. There may be a minimal fee for supplies, and parent supervision may be required, but they’re usually quite a bargain. My son absolutely loves his airplane that he and Grandpa made at a Home Depot workshop.

Dollar Movies

Growing up, my siblings and I loved going to the Dollar Theater. Sure the movies weren’t new releases, but we hadn’t seen them and it was so wonderful to be in the air conditioning for a couple of hours. An article from Woman’s Day tells where you can find discounted movie tickets in your area.


Many bowling alleys sit quiet during the day which makes them a great place to take the kids. Some even offer special rates during the summer, so the whole family can have fun for a fraction of the cost you’d pay in the evening. Kids Bowl Free will help you find a local bowling alley that offers free games for kids all summer long.


Bank of American Museums On Us Customers get one free general admission to participating museums on the first weekend of every month. Pair this with a couple of kids’ tickets and you’re set for a day of exploring

Day Camp 

Need to get some big projects done around the house without the kiddos in your way? For less than a babysitter would cost for a few hours, your kids can attend the YMCA or Boys and Girls Club day camp for a week. My son had a great experience at a YMCA camp last summer and it was only $50 for the 20-hour week!

Farmer’s Markets

Get some shopping done, support local businesses, take in some fresh air and connect with community members all at once; this is a win-win all around! Check ahead to see if there will be demonstrations of soap making or goat milking that the kids would like, or go on a day when they have another special event.

Tell us what family fun summer activities you’ve got planned!

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