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Posted by on Mar 14, 2018 in Seasonal & Events | 0 comments

Cheap or Free Summer Activities for Kids

Summer is coming, and for us mom’s that’s way scarier than winter! That’s because there are so many hours to fill during the summer. Sure, you have to stave off those whiny choruses of “I’m bored!” However, more importantly, you need to ensure your kiddo’s brain doesn’t turn to total mush after hours and hours of screen time. It can be a real challenge, especially if you’re on a budget. Luckily, there are many cheap or even free summer activities you may be able to take advantage of including these 3.

1. Museums:
Museums are a great summer activity because they’re fun and educational. Plus, since there are all different types of museums (science, art, natural history, etc.), you should be able to find something that appeals to your family.

To stay on budget, contact prospective museums and ask about discount days or times or discounts for young children. Many museums offer special rates for visiting during off times, such as the middle of the day during the week. In addition, check out Target’s community events section. Target routinely partners with local museum and art organizations across the country to offer reduced or even free admission!

2. DIY Workshops:
Many national chains offer free or very inexpensive DIY workshops for kids on a regular basis. These workshops, which range from building things to craft projects to technology-based projects, are a great way to keep those little hands busy during the dog days of summer. For example, during February, Home Depot had a free Valentine’s Day themed workshop where kiddos got to build and decorate a cornhole game set.

Stores to check this summer include:

Simply give each store a call or stop in to learn about what activities they have going on the schedule, and the price (if any).

3. Parks:
Local, state and national parks offer a great opportunity for frugal fun during the summer. Other than being budget-friendly, one of the things that make parks a fantastic option is that they can keep the whole family physically active.

Most local parks have no entrance fee and even national parks offer fee-free days. (Just visit their website to learn more.) Regardless of your family’s activity level, ages, and preferences, you can probably find something to keep you busy at the park including:

  • Water activities like canoeing, wading, or fishing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Wildlife or plant viewing like bird watching
  • Playing games like frisbee, tag, or on jungle gym equipment

If you’re lucky enough to live near multiple parks, don’t limit yourself to just one this summer. Take the opportunity to explore your community and experience several parks.

Tip: Keep park visits in the budget by bringing plenty of beverages, snacks, and a lunch. If you have a picky little eater on your hands, don’t get discouraged! Check out these 25 toddler lunch ideas for inspiration.

This summer, don’t let the kids spend all their time indoors. Instead, get out and explore your community and meet new people by taking advantage of frugal and free summer activities. Get even more great ideas by checking out this HUGE list of free or nearly free summer activities for kids.

Kelli Bhattacharjee, the proprietor of, is a former investment professional with nearly ten years of experience who has a passion for showing others how to live a frugal yet fabulous life.