This summer everyone is trying to beat the sweltering heat on a budget. Yet, the kids are at home, and they want to be entertained. And entertainment is supposed to be expensive, right? Forget forking out costly theme park admission, splurging on summer evening sundaes and planning pricey road trips. As temperatures inflate and our wallets deflate, finding cheap summer fun activities is still easy. With a bit of creativity, families can still stick to a strict budget this summer, while school is out. Thankfully the natural (and free ambiance) offers lots of outdoor activities that cost dimes instead of dollars.
*Go camping. Instead of costly hotels or apartments near the beach or in the mountains, harmonize yourself with the natural habitat and spend a few nights pitching your tent at a local campsite. Take advantage of fun free sports, like swimming, boating, sailing, biking or fishing.
*Spend a day at the beach, if you live near one. The beach or lake is still admission-free, so make the most of the coast. If you can hike, bike, or roller blade there. Pack lunches and drinks in a cooler, so you don’t have to resort to overpriced slushies or sandwiches. If you don’t live near a beach, hit your local community pool during the week, or throw a potluck pool party at one of the families’ homes.
*Make popsicles or ice cream at home. Create cool, homemade treats. Let the young ones invite their friends and make healthy popsicles or ice cream, with fruit juice and ice, or fruit and low fat milk. Have home made desserts instead of fad laden sundaes.
*Look for free events in your city or town. Summer is jam packed full of fun festivities, so keep your eye out for free outdoor concerts, exhibits, parties, craft workshops, factory tours or anything else. You will learn, feel part of your local community and learn something new about your city or town.
*Get your kids together for a movie watching session in the evening. Instead of taking the young ones out to the movies, create a home theatre at your house with popcorn and dvds. Have each child swap dvds twice a week, so they can see different films minus the price.
*Visit an agritourism. Visiting an inexpensive ‘farm stay’ is a wonderful way to learn about local agricultural activities and gives kids a chance to be outdoors and do challenging but rewarding activities like fruit and berry picking, ranching, or bird watching.
*Create your own obstacle course to build up a sense of trust and teamwork among the young ones. Hike out to the hills or the woods in the wilderness. Create your own scavenger’s hunt or obstacle course, complete with physical challenges, like a ‘miniature amazing race.’