Summer break is quickly approaching and that means I’ll have three kids home during the day (my two boys and my niece). We need to have things planned to do during the summer, or we’ll all go crazy! I’ve put together a list of things to do with kids during the summer that is either free or cheap.
- The Library I say this all the time, but the library is a great place because they have so many programs and it’s all free. Plus, it’s air-conditioned! Besides books, libraries have computers, games, and toys. They also have story times for kids of all ages. My library even does story time in the park during the summer. They also have craft nights, summer book clubs with prizes, and video game nights.
- The Splash Park The kids and I live at the splash park during the summer. If you’ve never been to a splash park, it’s a park where water comes out of the ground or sprays from other objects. The kids can play, but still get wet and cool off. And it’s free! We usually pack a lunch, and head out to the splash park for a few hours. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Local park districts usually have a list of all the parks in the area, so check yours out to find a park near you.
- The Pool We usually set up a little pool in the backyard. The kids love to play in it and could stay outside all day. You can usually find a pool for pretty inexpensive, and it will last all summer. Or you could go to a local pool. We do this a few times during the summer, but it can be expensive. If you plan on going a lot, definitely get a pool pass. They are worth it. Also, a lot of pools have a discounted rate after a certain time.
- Camps If you have the money, camp is a fun place for kids. They usually last about a week or so, and there are so many different types – sports camp, nature camp, swimming camp. We usually do karate camp, and the kids both want to take tennis lessons this summer. If you don’t want to pay for camp, why not make your own camp at home? You could have a sports camp for your children and play a different sport every day of the week – baseball, basketball, football, tennis, hockey, etc. Or you could have a nature camp, and go for walks or bird watching or bug collecting.
- The Park District You can usually find summer camps at your local park district, but they have lots of other programs too. Our park district hosts “a day of play” that the kids love going to. Park district brochure’s usually list all the summer activities from movie nights in the park to fishing derbies.
- Groupon Websites like Groupon are a great places for deals during the summer. I recently bought a Groupon for more than 50% off four passes to a local children’s museum that we’ll use during the summer.
- 50 Parks Summer The kids and I did something a couple of years ago that we called “50 parks summer.” Throughout the summer, we went to 50 different parks. We wrote down each park and put a star next to our favorites so that we could go back. There are parks everywhere. We drove around to find some, used Google to find some, and used the GPS to find some. Besides gas, it didn’t cost anything and the kids loved it.
- Water Play Besides the pool and the splash park, there are tons of ways to play with water over the summer. Spray bottles, squirt guns, buckets of water and paintbrushes to paint the sidewalk, slip and slide, the hose, and water balloons. One of our favorite things to do is fill up a bunch of water balloons and then hide until Danny gets home work and then bombard him. It’s really fun..until Danny gets us back.
- Fishing Kids love to fish, at least mine do. If you’re not really into fishing, like me, then enlist dad, uncle, grandpa, or random guy to take them fishing. Then sit back and relax while they’re gone. Fishing licenses are fairly inexpensive. Danny just bought his at Sports Authority for $15. Did you even know that you needed a license to fish?! I sure didn’t.
- Chuck E. Cheese When all else fails go to Chuck E. Cheese…or send the kids to Grandma’s house.
Do you have any fun summer activities to add to the list?