With Independence Day today, I realized that summer is well on its way. People around here are complaining about the heat, the humidity and summer in general. Most people I know have gotten lazy and languid. The kids are out of school (if they were in school) and families think that summer fun is all about travel and spending money.
Well, there is ample amount of summer fun that is essentially free.
I am frugal. Which is a polite way of saying cheap as hell. I don’t like to spend money and will go out of my way to look for deals. I have always found activities that are free or basically free to be entertaining. It is all about doing things together as a family. Everyone: mom, dad, kids (or whatever your family unit is). So, I shall share some of my favorites with you.
1. Library Reading Time – As a child I spent probably 3 days a week at the library. The reason for this was Library reading and play time. My local library had story time for kids that came with activities. There were other kids, books and crafts. Sometimes there were games as well. To find out when these are in your area, just check your library website. For an added bonus you can have the kids participate in the Summer Reading Challenge. This will bring the reading fun home. You can have family reading time in the evening where you read together from a book.
2. Free Museums and Exhibits - I will be the first one to admit it. I love museums and historical society exhibits. There are a number of free museums around in almost every city. You just have to look for them. As a family activity goes, this one is great- they are educational and fun. Since it is free, you don’t have to worry about leaving early when the kids get bored. In my area there are a number of historical society museums and a natural science museum. Just do an internet search or ask around; they shouldn’t be hard to find.
3. Washing the Car – Yeah, I know; this one is odd. But as a family activity it can be a lot of fun. It involves a hose, soapy water and towels. How could this not be fun? Go into this one expecting to do most of the work. It is generally best to do early in the morning or late in the afternoon. So what if your kid only washes one tire? They got to play with the hose!
4. Picnic – I love a good picnic. Most people avoid them in the summer because it tends to be hot. Just plan on evening picnics or even a breakfast picnic. You already have to feed everyone, so just take foods that are picnic friendly. One of the things we take on picnics most often is actually quiche. It travels well and can be eaten with your hands like a slice of pie. Works for any time of the day as well.
5. Farmer’s Market – Every Thursday evening, the local farmer’s market gathers in my area. There is usually music, a few activities and all the local farm food. You don’t actually have to buy anything at these- think of it as a community gathering more so than a market. You get music, maybe some dancing and you get to socialize with like minded farmer’s market sort of people.
6. Inside Camping – There are things you can do during the day at the peek of the heat that are fun too. One of the things I liked to do as a kid was “camping”. We would set up the tent inside and have a camping trip. We would set up everything just like we were outside (even with a fire ring, just no real fire). Then we would camp as a family with songs and smores and all the general camping things.
7. Family Bike Ride – This one should be obvious. Going on a ride as a family gets everyone out of the house and together. Kid can’t ride yet? That is what they make the baby seats for.
So, there are some activities you can do that essentially cost nothing. I have lots more, but those will be for another post sometime in the future.
What are your summer go to activities? Which ones are free?