FREE Summer Activities

Take a look at this list of free summer entertainment activities to help fill in those dull summer days on a budget.  Summer activities to entertain kids can

Summer activities to entertain kids can be hard, especially when you’re on a budget. Take a look at this list of free summer activities to help fill in those dull summer days on a budget.

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Free Summer Activities


  1. When it’s hot out, cool off by making ice-cream or Popsicles.
  2. Or, visit the library.
  3. You can also check the libraries calendar for free events.
  4. Making play dough is fun for older kids, and all ages can practice making their own art sculpture.
  5. Another quick activity is to print off free coloring pages and color.
  6. Make a list of everything your child wants to do that summer, and try to do everything on the list.  If some ideas are too expensive try figuring out a cheaper or free version of the activity.
  7. Not into cold treats? Have a pizza buffet.
  8. You can also try to check your local paper for free events.
  9. While its hot out, dream of colder weather and get a head start on Christmas by making some DIY Christmas gifts.
  10. Interview an older relative about their life and put together a “My Life Book” for them.
  11. Like to party?  Have a Pirate day, Hawaiian Day, or any of your other favorite themes day.
  12. Or find a map and map out your “dream vacation road trip”.
  13. Another great activity that all ages enjoy is playing with vinegar and baking soda (this gives me 30 min of free time)
  14. You can also check out your local theaters to see if they are offering free movie days.
  15. Or create an indoor maze with yarn.
  16. Do you have mini artists?  Make some crumpled paper art.
  17. Visit a local fire station (and take them cookies!).
  18. Instead of going to the Zoo, make your own thumb print zoo.
  19. Who doesn’t love a cookie?  Bake everyones favorites or come up with your own recipes.
  20. Plan a movie marathon.
  21. Have Legos?  Try making some of these Lego Pets.
  22. Go bowling, lots of times local bowling places offer kids free bowling days.
  23. Try out some of these 20 free printable busy bags or check out the ones I made from stuff we mostly had around the house.
  24. Collect cardboard boxes and make a never ending fort.
  25. Go to Home Depots free kids workshop (first Saturday of every month).
  26. Make brown paper bag puppets and have a puppet show.
  27. Check out this list of 67 Random Acts of Kindness and see if you can do any for free that fit with your family.
  28. Create an art box- give the kids 20 min to create something, then have a contest and judge the artwork.

Download my FREE Summer Savings Checklist 


  1. Visit local playgrounds and parks- Sometimes these have beautiful hiking/biking trails to take your kids on too.
  2. Find a local splash pad or water ground and cool off.
  3. Send your kids outside and tell them to “create their own adventure”… You’ll tell them in 30-60 min (age appropriate time) you’ll come get with with a “treat” and want to hear their adventure.  30 min free time for you, and 5 min work afterwards for a quick snack and story.  A win win in our family!
  4. Be a tourist in your own town and visit the free local sites.
  5. Go to local outdoor concerts, festivals and and movies- check your local news paper, or ask around.  Most of the time my friends on Facebook post about the “Free” events they are going to around town.
  6. Check out your local parks and rec to see if they have any kid free days.
  7. Go on a picnic… it might be hot outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it a late evening one when it’s cooler, or a breakfast picnic.
  8. Make a water park with sprinklers, water and bubbles.
  9. Ride your bikes- find local trails (with shade is a bonus), and hit the road.  Sweating on your bike doesn’t feel as bad with the wind going by.
  10. Create your own Summer Olympics.
  11. Volunteer at the local nursing home or nature center.
  12. Find a friend with a pool and go swimming.
  13. Pick up trash at the local park or in your neighborhood.
  14. Visit a farmer’s market and see how much variety can be grown in your local area.
  15. Learn about stargazing and look for constellations.
  16. Go on a Scavenger Hunt.
  17. Have a backyard camp out.
  18. Play tourist at a nearby town.
  19. While it’s nice outside, take a walk and collect “nature”, then make a collage.
  20. Fold paper airplanes and have a contest to see who’s flies the farthest.  Here is a website teaching you how to fold tons of airplanes.

In conclusion

Finding fun stuff with the kids can be hard.  Ultimately, I find the best thing is to have a jar with a list of 20 ideas, and another jar with a list of chores around the house to do.  When they tell you “I’m bored”, they can pick from the fun jar, but if they keep complaining, make them pick from the chore jar.

What can you add to this list of FREE summer activities?  Comment below.

Download my FREE Summer Savings Checklist 

Further Reading:

How to Cut on Summer Costs

How to Save on Summer Travel

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