Looking for some fun family friendly free and cheap summer activities your whole family will enjoy? Check out this list and make the most of your summer days!
By Contributing writer Rebekah Harris
Summer is almost upon us; which means for many that school is out and schedules and routines will be changing.
There is so much to do with your family in the summer that you might not normally do during the school year.
Whether your kids are in public school, private school, or homeschool year, you are going to probably have totally different activities planned because of the weather and resources available.
My family and I live in Florida and it can feel like a perpetual summer sometimes. There usually isn’t a day that the sun doesn’t make an appearance. We are really spoiled. My family and I love being outdoors and taking advantage of the beautiful weather.
Because of the heat and humidity here in Florida during the summer, we like to take more time off of school during the cooler months and fit in a little school during the summer. We mostly will be focusing on the three R’s. Though we will be still doing some school, there are plenty of summer activities that we are looking forward to taking part of, especially those that include cool water and air conditioning!
Ideas for Family Friendly Free or Cheap Summer Activities
I can’t think of a better thing to do during the summer than to cool off in the water.
We live near some of the best beaches in the world, so you better believe that’s where you will find my family and me most of this summer. Besides having to pay to park at some beaches, and all the beach essentials; it’s pretty much free!
Not only do we enjoy cooling off in the water and playing in the sand but my kids always find the coolest sea creatures. It’s always a learning experience for them and it’s like having our own personal aquarium!
When we are not at the beach we are pool hopping at our friend’s houses that have pools or enjoying our local city pools. They have some amazing water slides and to my kids, it feels like we are going to a water park!
Many pools have family fun days that include games, prizes, and activities. Costs in our area are $3 for adults and $2 for children. There are also movie days where you can lounge in the pool while watching your favorite movie. The cost in our area is $4.
Check your local pool for costs and activities! Most pools have punch cards or membership that will save you money if you plan on going a lot.
One of the activities that we look forward to doing during the summer is bowling. There is a program called Kids Bowl Free where you can sign up to bowl for free at local participating bowling alleys.
All you have to pay for is shoe rental. Not every bowling alley participates in this program so check their site to see the ones that do, near you.
Also, make sure to sign up each of your children and print out the coupons for the free bowling. I just showed up one time thinking that I just had to sign up online and we were all disappointed when we were told we couldn’t bowl without the coupons.
Summer Movie Express/$1 movies
All summer long your local Regal Cinema will have $1 movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays called the Summer Movie Express.
Check out their site for local theaters, times and movies. There is nothing like watching your favorite movies on the big screen!
Though we have rented a few of the movies playing this summer, we are excited that a lot of our favorites are playing. I am not sure how my toddler will do during a whole movie so I might try to make a date out of it with my older children and exchange some babysitting with friends.
I have really been looking forward to getting a lot of reading in this summer for myself and my kids. I have stocked up at the library on a ton of great books. There are so many great programs that you can enroll your children into receive rewards.
We have a reading program in our city that involves our local sports team (The Rays). If each child reads an amount of 24 recorded hours they will receive 2 tickets to a baseball game! It sounds like a lot of hours, but if they are going to be reading anyway why not get a great reward while they are at it!?
Check out your local library for reading programs in your area!
Free Museum Days
Many museums offer free admission days, monthly and yearly. Many children’s museums offer one free day a month, so check out your local museum for details.
Across the country, there is a Free Museum Day on September 23, 2017. This date is a bit after most schools start back up but still a great field trip to enjoy. I braved the crowds last year with my children and it was so worth it!
Free National Parks Admission
2016 was the centennial anniversary of the National Parks Service. To celebrate, they are offering free admission on select days to parks that normally charge an entrance fee.
Get out with your family and explore your state’s beautiful nature and environment for FREE!
Also, did you know that current 4th graders for 2016/2017 can get free passes to national parks for the whole year! The pass includes all children under 16 and up to 3 adults! Check it out at Every Kid In A Park.
These are just a few of the great opportunities that await you and your family this summer and that won’t break your bank account.
I hope and pray that this summer brings a slower pace to your life and a chance to just relax and enjoy spending time with your family doing some things that you don’t normally get to do.
Along with participating in some of these great deals and activities there a lot of other things I am looking forward to doing this summer that have become rituals and great memory making times for my family and me.
- Snuggling up during afternoon thunderstorms.
- Netflix marathons.
- Playing Monopoly for days on end.
- Staying out late at the beach or outside till the sun sets.
- Barbecues with friends and family.
- Bonfires and smores.
- Hours of fun in the kiddie pool and slip and slide.
- Eating a whole watermelon in one day.
- Blowing bubbles.
Whatever you and your family end up doing this summer, I hope you make some great memories that will last the rest of your lives.
Remember that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make lasting memories with your family. The greatest thing we can give our children is our time and our willingness to interact and just have fun with them!
What are some free or cheap things that you enjoy doing with your family during the summer?
Don’t forget to download your free summer bucket list printables for you and your family to fill out together to make the most of your summer fun and to be intentional about the months ahead. You can download them HERE.