Oh man, I’m so pumped that summer is right around the corner!
My little is nearly 2.5. So, this summer will likely be the funnest one yet. She’s at an age where she understands that playing, leaving the house and visiting attractions equals fun. So, the second she hears us mention an activity she’s more than game!
We’ve got quite a few things lined up this summer that we’re looking forward to. On our bucket list we’ve penciled in a visit to a local zoo, amusement park, water park and weekend firework displays.
For many families (mine included) summer can feel like a rat race to fit in as many fun things as possible am I right? Summer is so short and to maximize fun before it’s time to go back to school, it can often feel that you’re always on the go trying to squeeze in as much as you can!
Packing in so many activities, excursions and outings comes at a price tag though. We’ve been tucking away some extra money for months in anticipation of the summer costing us a little more on the activities front. This way, we’re going to dip into our summer fund to cover the costs of these extras we’re spending throughout the summer.
Although visiting theme parks, zoos and water parks can be pretty expensive, there are absolutely ways to save money and have a blast with your kids this summer. Saving money where you can throughout the summer months is a great way to stretch every penny of your summer fun budget by not busting the bank when you visit local attractions.
If you’ve got more than 1 little in tow, the costs of admission fees, food and other necessities can cost a small fortune if you’re not prepared. We visited a local zoo last year and a french fry cost over $7.00! Insane right?
So, today’s post is devoted entirely to strategies to help save money and have a blast with your kids this summer. Below you’ll find 3 tips that you can use to guarantee that you’ll have heaps of fun all summer long at a fraction of the cost. I look at it this way, if we can save a couple of dollars on every activity we do as a family, it stretches our budget further and equals more family fun in the long run.
Are you ready? Here’s how to save money and have a blast with your kids this summer! We’re doing it and you should to!
3 Tips To Save Money And Have A Blast With Your Kids This Summer
Look To Free Options When You Can
Although we’ve got a bunch of activities scheduled that will cost us money we are turning to filling in the gaps with free options. Having fun doesn’t have to always cost money. We’ve done some research and located cool free things we can do with our kiddo that wont cost more than a packed lunch.
The idea is that we’ll do one organized activity every month and schedule free options to fill in the gaps. A few cool free options you can look into depending on the age of your kiddo include:
- Visiting different outdoor parks and having a picnic. Did you know that there are websites devoted entirely to reviewing local parks? Do a quick google search for local parks in your area and you’d be surprised how many review sites you’ll find. If you pack a lunch and make a day of it your kiddo will have a blast and you wont have to spend any money!
- Scout free family friendly activities. Most communities offer a host of awesome free activities for kids in the summer. Whether it be family fun days, firework displays or corn roasts, most communities offer really cool free options for your family to enjoy at no cost. Kids can have fun anywhere they go, so free options are great because they’ll have a great time and it wont cost you a fortune.
- Drive to the beach. If you’re in driving distance of a body of water that has beach access then you should totally make a day of it. Pack a healthy and filling lunch and splash around and build sand castles. We live nowhere near the ocean but have quite a few lakes with beach access. Spending the day at the beach is a wonderful way to spend time with family without spending much money at all.
- Camp your backyard. Kids get super excited by the idea of camping. If you have a tent you can totally camp in your backyard for the night. Make smores, roast your dinner on an open campfire and have a blast with your kiddos in your backyard!
- Visit free museums. Many museums offer free admission on specific days during the summer months. Do a quick google search of local museums in your area and totally pencil in visits on days that they offer free access.
- Take advantage of free (or nearly free) outdoor movies. If you’ve got free outdoor movies in your community this is a great way to catch a movie under the stars with your kiddo for free. Pack delicious snacks and enjoy warm summer evenings outdoors under the stars!
When You’re Visiting a Site Always Plan Ahead
Although free activities are awesome there are also a bunch of really cool local attractions that make summer extra special am I right? Spending money on visiting local attractions doesn’t have to be crazy expensive if you plan ahead. Whether you’re visiting a zoo, water park or amusement park these tips will surely help you save money on family outings without sacrificing the fun!
- Always pack a lunch. Food at local attractions is always overpriced. It’s not generally all that healthy either. So, it’s probably a good idea to pack a hearty lunch and plenty of snacks to keep your family fed and happy while you’re out. We’ve invested in a good quality Roller Cooler which allows us to pack plenty of food and drinks to last us an entire day.
- Bring a survival kit. You never know what you’re going to need while your out so it’s always a great idea to plan ahead so you don’t have to spend extra money on things you might end up needing. Our summer survival kit that we haul with us just about everywhere we go includes: sunscreen, a sewing kit, band aids, antiseptic, Tylenol, Benadryl, cortisone cream and an umbrella. By having these items with us we an rest easy knowing that we’re well prepared and wont have to pay a premium for items at on-site shops.
- Visit attractions on off days. Weekends are probably the busiest and most expensive days to visit local attractions. So, if your schedule permits it really is worth bringing the kiddos during the week when rates are usually lower to save a little cash.
- Bundle visits if you can. In our area many local attractions team up to offer passes. These passes give you access to a few different attractions at a pretty solid savings. As a word of caution though, it’s important that you verify if the passes expire. Certain bundles are only valid for a week while others are valid for the entire summer. If you can score a bundled visit that is valid for an entire summer then you can space out your visits and save a good amount of money in the process.
Don’t Assume That Fun Always Has To Cost Money – Get Creative
There’s this huge misconception that having fun needs to cost money. Kids love to play. They love to spend time outdoors and although they probably do enjoy visiting local attractions they also really enjoy playing at home and taking part in activities that cost next to no money at all. Kids are generally quite easily entertained so spending a fortune to keep them busy isn’t really all that necessary.
Summer is about having fun and although it’s cool to take your kids to the zoo, amusement park or water park there are tons of really affordable at home activities you can do that your kids will absolutely love. If you’re up to it, invite a couple of your kiddos friends over and let them have a blast with these super cool DIY activities that are guaranteed to be a heap of fun.
- Water balloon fights. Kids love getting wet on hot summer days. There’s no better way to help kiddos cool off then giving them a ton of water balloons to have a backyard water balloon fight. Join in the fun and get wet too!
- DIY slip and slide. Who doesn’t love to get wet on a slip n slide when the weather is crazy hot? Check out this super cool and EASY tutorial from The Relaxed Homeschool to make your very own DIY Slip N Slide for a fraction of the cost of store bought ones.
- Introduce a game night. Make summer nights extra special by having a family board game night. Older kiddos love playing games with their parents. Take the game outdoors and enjoy delicious snacks while playing your favorite family board game.
- Go for family walks/bike rides. Head out on walks or bike rides to explore new areas. Kids love to be active so walking or biking is a great way to have fun and get in some very good for you exercise.
- Grow vegetables. Kids love to be helpers and including them in the process of growing vegetables is an awesome summer activity you can do with your child. Starting in the early spring include your kids in the process of planting vegetables and let them help you take care of your garden throughout the summer.
- Play with chalk paint. Kids love playing, doodling and writing with chalk. A small investment in chalk paint can provide them with hours of fun and creative expression. We purchased this kid and your kiddo loves creating masterpieces on our driveaway!
The options for DIY free fun summer activities for kids is truly endless. Get creative, have fun and most of all be safe this summer friends!
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I Want To Hear From You!
What family activities are YOU looking forward to this summer?