It’s hot. Not just hot, hot and humid. Just look at this forecast! Add 4 kids home from school for the summer and one mom working from home and it’s a recipe for disaster. But instead of melting I decided to come up with a list of fun summer activities we could do this week to keep us all busy (and hopefully exhaust the kids so I can work in the evenings)
Frugal and Fun Ways Summer Activities to Beat the Heat
- Take in a free or cheap movie. Some movie chains and local theaters offer $1 or free movies for kids. Learn more in this post about family summer movies for free or cheap.
- Go swimming: Might be free or cheap depending on your location. Our pool is included in our gym membership which isn’t cheap, but it’s already paid for so we may as well use it to full advantage! (Check out these swimsuits from ModCloth.)
- Play board games: I let each kid have a turn picking the games to avoid competition tears.
- Go bowling: Several chains are offering kids bowling programs where kids bowl free (adults pay and you pay for shoe rental and concessions).
- Head to Ikea. Have a local Ikea? Head over and take a break in the cool air. Drop the little ones (who are potty trained) off at Smalland and indulge in some AC, dreaming, overspending on little things (those $3 items add up fast!). Finish off with $1 ice cream cones.
- Library Fun: Go to the library for the free AC, wifi (in some cases), and a plethora of books. Many libraries also offer free classes, camps, and storytimes. For older kids there may be science or chess among other things. Most libraries offer summer reading programs as an incentive for readers of all ages.
- Starbucks: For the cost of a cup of coffee and a treat for the kids I can buy an hour or so of internet browsing and AC. They can have fun reading Marvel comics on the iPad.
- Dollar Store Finds: Give each child a dollar and head to the dollar store or Target’s Dollar spot. Everyone will find something fun to bring home and you won’t be out a ton of dough.
- Park Time: Head to your local parks for some outdoor fun. Look for shady parks, parks near a creek, or even a spray park (with water features to cool off). Many of our local parks host community days, and events during July – there must have been a dozen places to watch fireworks spread out over the last 10 days.
- Backyard Cool off: Set up a baby pool or slip and slide in the shade. Sip on icy cold lemonade, homemade popsicles, and chilled summer fruits like berries. You can even set up a picnic in the shade or a backyard camping experience.
- Hibernate: During the cooler parts of the day spend some time outside, and use the middle of the day (from 10-4) to stay indoors and nap, color, or have a little screen time and play games. Here’s recommendations of things to listen to this summer.
- Great Build: One of our favorite ways to entertain the kids is to get out all their Legos, Lincoln Logs, playmobil or similar toys and have a giant build-a-thon. The only rule is you have to use everything.
- Free Museum Days: Many museums offer free or discounted days throughout the summer for members of groups, banks, or the general public. Consider visiting a museum that has a reciprocal membership as well for free entry.
- Hardware Store: Kids of a certain age love the hardware store. Seems like little ones around 3 or 4 are always fans of power tools. The tractors and the ceiling fans are quite entertaining for toddlers. My kids love to ride in the truck cart at Lowe’s, admire the plants, and pick out paint samples.
What are some ways you have fun without spending a ton during the summer? What fun summer activities will you be doing?
Want even more ideas? Check out these posts with 40 free & frugal ideas summer activities, 25 Ideas For Frugal Summer Fun, and 50 cheap things to do when your kids are home from school.
MomAdvice has a Pinterest board dedicated to 100 Days of Summer with ideas for every age. All her ideas are budget-friendly and she’ll be sharing more crafts, activities, and menus all summer long on her blog.