The Best Cheap and Free Family Activities to Try This Summer

Sharing is caring!



Summer is approaching fast, and before you know it, you’ll spend most of your day with your family. While just the prospect of spending more time with your kids and partner can be exciting, you should remember to plan activities to keep everyone entertained. There are plenty of things to do, even if you’re on a budget. Try these low or no-cost activities when those warm and sunny days roll around.

1. Camping

Camping is a great way to get out in nature without ever leaving home. Whether you go to a campsite or pitch a tent in your backyard, your kids will love the adventure that comes with something new. Close to 50 million families go camping each year, so it might be a tradition worth starting with your family.

2. Use Chalk

Chalk is a tool that can lead your children to make art in the real world. Rather than simply scribbling on paper, your children can draw on the driveway or the bricks of your house. After they finish honing their artistic abilities, you can wash it off with your garden hose. It’s less messy than paint or watercolor and it allows your kids to be more creative.

3. Learn to Sew or Knit

Teaching yourself and your children a new life skill is always great. All people should know simple sewing tricks, like how to sew a button back on. You can teach your children essential skills while also helping them make fun things. You can knit a scarf together or sew a small plushie they can treasure forever. 

4. Go Hiking

Keep your kids’ ages in mind when you plan a hike. Local parks will often have a short trail that could be a slight challenge for young children but a breeze for older kids and adults. Urge your kids to notice something new in nature on every trail you visit. Soon, they’ll love going hiking — no matter how easy or intense — just to see what new things they can find out.

5. Enjoy Your Backyard

When the kids are home from school, it can be tempting to let them sit on the couch and watch TV all day rather than pack everyone in the car and go somewhere. But if you have a backyard or patio, why not move your lazy day outside for some fresh air? If your space needs a refresh this season, it won’t cost too much to hang some string lights and decorate with terracotta planters – two affordable options that can make your old backyard feel new and exciting to the whole family. 

6. Join a Sandcastle Competition

There’s nothing more exciting for children than building sandcastles at the beach. Next time you’re on vacation and head to the coast, consider entering your family in a competition. You can work together to build a sandcastle worthy of an award — or just have fun making something that reflects your family bond.

7. Have an Outdoor Movie Night

Many communities host a night where they show movies in the park outdoors. Consider taking your kids to these events whenever they’re available, as they could watch a favorite movie in a new way while enjoying being out in the fresh air. If your community doesn’t hold movie nights, host your own. Make sure to invite family and friends over for a showing on your makeshift outdoor screen.

8. Make Handmade Cards

If you know of any family or friends with birthdays coming up in the summertime, help your kids make handmade cards for them. Writing letters is a form of genuine communication, as it takes time to put down your sentiments. Older relatives especially would love to have something handwritten by your child. It’s something sentimental that they can keep forever.

9. Have a Family Game Night

Designate a night or two during the week to be a family game night. You can teach your kids new card games or play an old favorite board game. If your kids like playing video games, try playing one that allows you to work cooperatively. Older kids might want more of a challenge, so you can battle them in more competitive contests.

10. Volunteer as a Family

Volunteering can expose kids to different situations they might encounter later in life. You could help out at a soup kitchen or walk dogs at an animal shelter, allowing you to spend more time with one another. Consider volunteering at several different places so your children can see what they love to do most when helping others.

Live It up This Summer

Even if you work through the summer, you can still make time to do fun things with your family. These activities hardly cost anything, and you may find them just as fun as your children do. Remember to live fully in every moment. You only get so many summers with your kids, so you should make each one better than the last.