Affordable and Family Friendly Summer Fun
Look for local events. From concerts to festivals, there are many ways to have fun without going great distances for it. Keep an eye out for ads, and check your local newspaper often for events in your own town and surrounding areas. Local attractions may include county fairs, museums, parks, zoos, historical sites, drive-in movie theaters and special events at local libraries.
Have fun with food. A cookout is a great way to enjoy a summer evening. Eating a meal outside on a porch or in your yard can feel like a great adventure for a child. You can also take a picnic to a park, organize yard games or relays, make homemade ice cream for dessert or even eat watermelon and have a seed-spitting contest.
Explore the outdoors. From firefly-catching to star-gazing, your own backyard can be a great place for children to explore and have fun. If you're feeling especially adventurous, pitch a tent in your backyard and camp together. Other enjoyable and inexpensive activities include fishing, exploring hiking trails, visiting a state park or going on a family bike ride.
Visit local farms and orchards. Picking your own fruits and veggies is a great way to have local family fun, and it's probably the freshest, most affordable produce you'll get all year. If you have a nearby farmer's market, take advantage of all it has to offer for the whole family.
Do a home project. Summer is a great time for home fix-up projects, and your kids can help out. Adapt an old to belt to fit your child and, depending on his or her age, provide plastic or mini tools. Then ask your assistant to help by handing you tools, doing light sanding, polishing surfaces with a rag and picking up spilled screws or tools.
Get wet. A true crowd pleaser for most families on hot summer days is to go for a swim. Visit a community pool, water park or nearby lake. Other ideas you can use at home include having a water balloon toss, splashing in the sprinkler or washing the car together -- expecting to get soaked.
Spend time together. As you consider the various ways to have fun this summer, don't overlook the impact of just being together as a family. Designate a time each week for family activities such as a board game night or a movie night. Build a fort together, learn a new craft or hobby or have a family-only slumber party in your living room.