Free Fun Summer Activities for the Family

Summer fun on a budget can be a challenge unless you are a mom or dad in the know. Smart mothers plan ahead and learn about activities that will keep her kids active all summer long. Some activities are sponsored by groups while some activities are fun times you can have at home.

Book clubs

Reading is a great activity. To participate for free, it requires two activities. First, sign up for a summer reading book club at a local store, like Barnes and Noble. Second, head to the local library and pick out cost-free reading material. More activities can be created with the materials at hand. Invite friends over for a read-a-thon. Kids pick out partners and take their books off to share them or they all sit together taking turns reading their books. The role of the parents is to provide popcorn and lemonade. Of course, a quiet family reading time is always fun. Check out the free downloads for your Kindle and settle in a corner or enjoy the book as a family.

Record your kids reading the books into the computer. Make copies of the story to send to grandparents or to share with kids in the hospital. 

Water fun

Find a hill, preferably in your backyard. Cut open several black, heavy duty trash bags and lay them on the hill. Run the water on them and create your own slip-and-slide fun. If you don’t have a hill, simply add a sprinkler and let the kids run through the water. Add buckets, balloons and water pistols for more water fun.

Free museums

Check out the local museums. Some have no cover charge ever. Others have free days for those who live in the area. Learn about something in the museum before you go so the kids can make a connection. An example would be Egyptian mummies. When you go to the Egypt room, the kids will have fun as they identify elements of the display and learn new things too.

Movie night

Movie night can be a lot of fun and there are many ways to make it happen. First, many communities have outdoor movies that are free. All you have to bring is your own blanket and snacks. Second, hang a sheet on the side of the garage. Use your own laptop and projector to show the movie. Make sure you invite your friends. Have a sleep-over in the living room with your kids. Bring out the old DVDs they used to love and have an all-night marathon. If you don’t have any great movies, head to your local library and check out a few for free.


A great family activity is geocaching, an outdoor treasure hunt. Head over to this website, Geocaching, and download the app. It’s free, too! You enter your local zip code and find a treasure in your area. A hardy high-five goes to the first person to find it once you are in the general area.


Kids Bowl Free allows kids to bowl two free games a day. Head to this site, click on the Canadian or United States map and find an alley near you for more information. 

Game night

The sun has set, but the energy is still high. Pull out the old board games out of the closet and get ready to play. Choose quick and easy ones like Candyland, for the little ones and consider more advanced, longer games, like Monopoly, for the older group. Form teams and play a game Would You Rather? or Pictionary. The name of the game isn’t important, spending time having fun is what counts.

Bike rides

Put on the helmets and elbow pads and go for a bike ride. Find a safe path that will accommodate the entire family. Short or long, it will be healthy and fun. If you don’t have bikes, take a walk. Maybe you could end up at a local playground or park.

Now that your mind is full of free, fun ideas, sit down with a piece of paper and add a few more of your own. You’ll have so much to do that you won’t have time to notice it isn’t costing you anything!