Things to Do

12 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids

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Family running to sea in summer

Running out of ideas to get the kids off their devices and out of the house this summer? We get it. It’s totally normal to worry that they’re missing out on time to just be, well, a kid.

But have no fear, because we’ve rounded up our top 12 cheap summer ideas to delight and entertain kids of all ages. Squash that summer boredom and tackle technology once and for all with our list of fun summer activities for kids that won’t break the bank. Screen time? Never heard of it!

Family in water park with splash

1

Head to a Water Park

Water parks are the epitome of summer fun. Going on a waterslide, surfing the waves and starting an all-out splash war with your family — what could be better? And we’ll bet that you won’t mind floating the lazy river with a cocktail either. The admission to the water park? Easily affordable thanks to our summer deals.

Find affordable water park deals near you.
Family camping in backyard during summer

2

Camp in the Backyard

An activity so cheap it’s free? Sign us up. All you need is a tent, a patch of grass and plenty of snacks for a fun evening under the stars. And you know why it beats going to a campground any day of the week? There’s a working toilet and comfy bed just minutes away. Don’t forget to build a mini fire pit for toasting s’mores — it’s essential.

See deals on camping supplies.
Kids having fun in art class

3

Sign Up For an Art Class

What’s better than filling a weeknight with a fun activity? Filling several weeknights with a fun activity. Why count down the days until the kids go back to school when you can sign your kid up for music lessons or an art class for a guaranteed activity each week. Then watch them build their skills into (ideally) a lifelong passion.

Find art classes near you.
Family having outdoor picnic during summer

4

Go on a Family Picnic

A picnic in the park is just one of those ideas so golden, it works every summer without fail. Yeah, we may not exactly be revolutionaries on this one, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Pack their favorite snacks and sandwich fillings, grab a blanket and pick up a few garden games for an afternoon of blissful fun in the sunshine.

See deals on picnic supplies.
Kids learning how to fight in martial arts class

5

Try a New Sport

Take advantage of the abundance of time and challenge their abundance of energy with a new sport or outdoor activity. Encourage your kid to try an organized sport like a soccer league or tennis class. That way they can learn new skills while they run around and meet new friends.

Find deals on youth sports near you.
Kid exploring scavenger hunt activity in summer

6

Set Up a Scavenger Hunt

Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned treasure hunt? Get creative by planting clues around the garden that lead to one epic prize. If you know other families in the area, you can always team up and expand the hunt to cover more ground (and kill more time). And if you want to expand your search area, there’s oftentimes great deals on specially curated scavenger hunts in your city.

See scavenger hunts near you.
Father holding kid and bird in zoo

7

Meet Animals at the Zoo

Unlike schools, zoos are open year-round – the animals don’t go on a break! Not only are zoos great fun, they’re also educational. Let your kids learn about nature and taking care of the environment, all while gushing at the adorable animals.

Explore deals at zoos near you.
Kids exploring children museum

8

Head to a Children’s Museum

How often do your kids get to go to a museum without the scheduling constraints of a field trip? Head to your local museum for a full day of fun for the whole family – trust us, this can quickly turn into one of their favorite summer memories. Watch their minds be totally blown as they discover the wonders of the world, and see new passions emerge as they try their hand at being a scientist/paleontologist/conservator/insert grown-up-sounding job title here.

Find children’s museums near you.
Kid with disability using gardening tool

9

Plant a Garden Together

Fair warning on this one – it requires a great deal of patience and determination — but it comes with a brilliant outcome: your own mini oasis! Kids will love getting their hands dirty in the soil, then watching their seedling blossom as the year progresses. Good news is, there are lots of flowers and herbs that still look beautiful with very little care and attention.

Deals on gardening supplies.
Teenager at open air cinema during summer

10

Attend an Outdoor Cinema Event

Theaters are for rainy days and winter months; outdoor cinemas are where it’s at for summer fun. Check your local area’s calendar to see if any open-air screenings are heading your way and see the magic of the movies underneath a canopy of stars.

See movie deals near you.
Kid getting face paint in kids festival in summer

11

Find a Nearby Carnival

There’s always some sort of community fair, festival or carnival happening in the summer where kids can play games, win prizes and just have a blast with their friends. These events are usually cheap, if not free, with all the hard work already done for you.

Finds deals on festivals near you.
Small kid with bowling ball

12

Have a Bowling Night

Get the whole group together for a little family rivalry at a good, old-fashioned bowling alley. With our sweet bowling deals, you can get more bang for your buck and rent out two lanes (one with bumpers) so that everyone can play to their skill level.

Discover bowling deals near you.
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