Nine Summer Activities on a Budget

It was a warm summer night. The humidity had to have been 100% and the crickets were extra loud. Lighting Bugs lit up the air like Christmas lights in July and your stomach ached from the 23 marshmallows your buddies challenged you to eat in 1 minute.

These were the nights you’ll never forget and the best part about them? They were in the backyard and didn’t cost anything except for the 99cent mallows. This summer may be one of the tightest our country has seen in a decade, but don’t let money throw a wrench in your summer fun! We want to give you some fantastic summer fun without the extra dough!

1: Homemade slip-n-slide

Got a hose, a sprinkler and a tarp? Then u can make your own slip-n-slide for free. Just flood the tarp with water and add a sprinkler or two into the mix for extra fun. Don’t have any of these items? Ask a neighbor or family member if you can borrow them for the day. Home Depot sells tarps for fairly cheap if want to buy one. Two tips (A) be sure to get all sticks and rocks out from underneath first (B) If you place the tarp on a slight down slope it works nicely too.

2: Take a Hike!

When was the last time you visited your regional State Park or the hiking trails in your township? Take the kids on a nature walk. Just be sure to wear sunscreen, bug spray, bring first aid supplies and let another adult know where you’ll be and when you’ll be back.

3: Just Beachy!

Even if you’re not near the ocean or one of the Great Lakes, chances are there’s some form of a beach on a lake within 50 miles of your home. Take a day trip to the lake and just relax in the sun and shade.

4: Rack those Little Brains!

School may be out, but learning can be fun. Try out your library’s summer reading programs for fun and free entertainment with an educational twist. For added incentive, invite your child’s friend to go along.

5: New Sports

Have your kids ever tried golfing? Go on eBay or to find an inexpensive set of youth golf clubs, buy a bag of whiffle golf balls, and set a bucket in the yard as a target. Teach your kids how to swing, aim, and enjoy. Golf is a game of patience and practice, so even if you don’t actually go to the course with them very often, they can still enjoy it with you. You can also teach them the rules while the matches are on TV on the weekends. Hate Golf: Pick another sport you’re kids don’t usually play.

6: Help Others & Learn

Community Service is a great way for kids to get out of the house and learn about others. Donate your time with the local animal shelter or join a community service club like 4-H ( These activities teach your kids lessons while they make new friends.

7: Neighborhood Camp-Out

Have a camp out with all of your kids friends at your house. Be sure everyone brings their own snacks to share and all you have to supply is your yard, a potty, and beverages. If you’re friends with the parents, invite them over for conversation while the kids play. Note: have a space available in the house if it starts raining or they get scared.

8: Dollar Store Art

Raid the Dollar Store for art supplies and let the kids go wild. You don’t need to give your kids $7 dollar markers and $15 paints for them to have fun.

9: Budget friendly Child Care

Also try your local parks program for free or minimal costing day camps for kids. These programs offer a fun day for a reasonable cost.