Free Things to do with the Kids during Summer Break

School is out for summer break and it is time to relax and enjoy each and every moment of this much needed time off.  However, money is tight and a vacation is not in the family budget this year.  So, how do you make the most of your summer break without spending any money?  You do a little research and take advantage of the summer programs offered throughout your area.

~Library

One of the greatest resources available is your local public library. 

Book Club-Depending on the age of your children, there are different summer programs available.  Most libraries offer book clubs for all ages.  This is a great way to encourage your children to read during the summer, and it gives them an opportunity to meet new friends.  For the younger child, summer story times are a great way to spend a morning together.

Computer classes-This is a great opportunity for you and your children to increase your computer knowledge.  Free classes are offered for all ages and building your computer skills will benefit everyone.

Art classes- For the child/teen with a keen interest and talent in art there are different types of classes available, such as crafts, sewing and painting.

Writing classes- For the budding author, there are age appropriate classes.  Increasing your writing skills as well as your child’s, will give helpful feedback and encouragement to your writing skills.

Your public library also offers free movie rentals.  On those rainy afternoons, watching a good family movie will pass the time and a good comic will be a great way to laugh and have fun.

~The Great Outdoors

The opportunities for free fun enjoyment are right outside your front door.

Free sport camps-If you live near a college campus, often there are free camp clinics for various ages.  This gives your child a great opportunity to learn and sharpen their athletic skills.

Parks and recreation-Your local Parks and Recreation offer many summer activities for kids.  These programs are well supervised and a great experience for the kids. One activity offered is a community clean-up day.  This not only helps the community but also gives your child (and you) a good lesson in the importance of volunteering. 

Nature Hikes-Air up the tires on your bikes and pack a picnic lunch.  A nature hike is one of the best free activities you can experience.  Many Forest Preserves have bike paths and you will have an opportunity to observe animals in their natural habitat.  The fresh air and exercise will benefit everyone.

Free Day- There are many museums and zoos that offer a free day.  Although you may experience greater crowds during this time, this is a great way to take advantage of the local culture.

In these difficult economic days, finding free ways to entertain your kids during the summer months is easy.  Spend some time doing the research and don’t forget the fun you can have hanging out with friends.  Offer each child one day of the week to have a friend over and make his/her favorite foods and snacks.  You can find many ways to have fun in the summer and remember to take plenty of pictures of your outings so you can spend another rainy day, scrapbooking and recording all the fun memories, you have made.