101 Ideas for FREE Summer Fun!

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101 FREE (or Cheap) Things to Do with the Kids this Summer!

Summer is the best! It’s beautiful. The pools are open. And I don’t have to get the kids up early for school anymore. (That’s my favorite part.) But eventually, the kids get a little restless and want to do something fun. This can be tricky if you are on a budget so here is an epic list of 101 free or cheap activities you can do with your kids this summer.

101 Ideas for FREE Summer Fun!

  1. Play flashlight tag.
  2. Catch fireflies.
  3. Teach the kids to bake some cookies from scratch.
  4. Do a fun science experiment with stuff you already have. Use this app for ideas and instructions.
  5. Go for a hike.
  6. Go for a bike ride.
  7. Print free coloring sheets at Crayola.
  8. Do the Scholastic summer reading challenge.
  9. Do the Barnes and Noble summer reading challenge to earn a free book.
  10. Do the Half Priced Books summer reading challenge to earn a free $5 gift card.
  11. Sign your kids up for Apple Camp which is a free technology class at the Apple Store.
  12. Take the kids to a $1 movie at Regal Cinemas or Cinemark.
  13. Do a free kids project at the Home Depot.
  14. Do a free mini-build at the Lego store. Get their calendar here.
  15. Go on a free factory tour.  See the list of local factories in your area.
  16. Find a bowling alley where kids bowl for free. Check here.
  17. Go to a free Splash Pad Park in your area.
  18. Do an art project at Michaels for $2 a kid. Click here for the schedule.
  19. All 4th graders and their families can get into a National Park free on August 31st.
  20. Play at the McDonald’s Playplace and get $1 ice cream cones.
  21. Go geocaching.
  22. Kids can roller skate free at participating locations.
  23. Get a free ticket to a museum if you have a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch account.
  24. Enjoy free family activities at the Bass Pro shop. See their schedule here.
  25. Use Volunteer Match to find a volunteer opportunity for your family.
  26. Do a drawing contest on your driveway with sidewalk chalk.
  27. Play disc golf. Some disc golf courses are free. See directory here.
  28. Go to a free YouthSpark program at Microsoft stores and learn to code, design images, and play apps.
  29. Visit a park or playground.
  30. Go on a nature scavenger hunt.
  31. Visit your state capital.
  32. Collect seashells at the beach.
  33. Look for animal sightings at a free park.
  34. Print out the REI family adventure journal for the kids to fill out.
  35. Go to a local farmer’s market. Find one near you.
  36. Find a restaurant where kids eat free.
  37. Take the kids fishing.
  38. Find cheap tickets to a minor league baseball game.
  39. Go to a petting zoo in your area.
  40. Explore a Wildlife Refuge in your area.
  41. Go to a free concert in the park or movie in the park. Check your town website to see if there is one where you live.
  42. Visit the library.
  43. Have a water balloon fight
  44. Play hide and seek.
  45. Make a blanket fort.
  46. Camp in the backyard.
  47. Make a campfire and have S’mores.
  48. Plant a garden.
  49. Teach your kids how to make homemade smoothies.
  50. Learn a new board game.
  51. Clean out the kids’ closet and donate to a thrift store. (Save your donation receipt for a tax write-off.)
  52. Find some tourist destinations in your local area that you haven’t visited.
  53. Bake cookies for the local firefighters or for a nursing home.
  54. Play jump rope.
  55. Make hopscotch with sidewalk chalk.
  56. Have a bubble blowing day.
  57. Do a lemonade stand.
  58. Discover star gazing evening. Use the Skyview app for reference.
  59. Make silly videos with your kids on your cell phone and send them to relatives.
  60. Set up a play date with kids from school.
  61. Set up a play water station in the back yard with buckets and Tupperware.
  62. Play dress up.
  63. Do a yard sale.
  64. Have your kids find all the coins around the house, in the couch, and in the car. Then go out for an ice cream treat with the money they found.
  65. Host a craft day for your kids and their friends using supplies you already have.
  66. Go birdwatching.
  67. Build giant board games for the backyard from ideas on Pinterest, using materials you already have.
  68. Take a walk along a river and skip a rock.
  69. Go to a farm.
  70. Make paper airplanes and have a flight competition.
  71. Help your kids make a scrapbook.
  72. On days when it is too hot outside, have an indoor movie party.
  73. Have a home spa night.
  74. Set up a toy swap with friends.
  75. Make shadow puppets.
  76. Play soccer in the backyard.
  77. Host a football game in the backyard.
  78. Throw a frisbee at the park.
  79. Make an obstacle course in the backyard.
  80. Make a yarn obstacle course indoors.
  81. Go to a cheap Tuesday morning movie.
  82. Have a Nerf gun war.
  83. Use a giant box to make a play box house or box store.
  84. Let the kids help you wash the car. Use kid-safe soap so they can play too.
  85. Go on a tour of the local fire station.
  86. Use YouTube to learn how to fold origami with your kids.
  87. Help the kids make their own nature journal and start using it.
  88. Run through the sprinkler.
  89. Do a family photo shoot where the kids run the cameras.
  90. Feed ducks at the park.
  91. Bake some food for a family in need.
  92. Make mini pizzas and let the kids do the toppings.
  93. Visit a community garden.
  94. Take a mini road trip.
  95. Watch fireworks.
  96. Eat breakfast for dinner.
  97. Make a water balloon pinata.
  98. Play driveway lawn darts. (draw a target and throw wet sponges at them.)
  99. Have a picnic.
  100. Have a tea party.
  101. Make your own popsicles.
  102. Paint rocks.


Hope you have a blast this summer!

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