School is out, and long, sunny days are here again. Besides lounging in the sun pool-side in your new favorite swimsuit on your days off, what is there to do this summer? It seems everyone is on a budget these days, so we compiled this list of fun summer activities that can be exciting and engaging without breaking the bank.
If you have some time to kill this summer and want to spend that time being productive, why not take the time to learn a new skill? Take a pottery class at a local community center or learn how to play an instrument with online tutorials.
Make Popsicles or Homemade Ice Cream
This summer activity is an especially fun one for the kids. Make your own healthy popsicles with pureed fruits, veggies, and juices. All you need is a couple of popsicle molds and your favorite fruit juice. You could also invest in an ice cream maker and churn your own homemade ice cream. Get creative with flavors and textures!
Supporting your local library is a wonderful summer activity for the whole family. Get everyone their own library cards and make a whole day of it. Browse seemingly endless rows of books and movies while basking in the AC — just don’t forget your cardigan sweater! The best part? It’s free! Most libraries frequently have free summer events for the little ones as well.
Sometimes it’s just too hot out. Or maybe it’s a rainy kind of summer day. Whatever your reasons for wanting an indoor summer day, making a movie day out of it are a great summer activity for the whole family. Create a pillow fort, curl up with your coziest pillows and throw blankets and throw on your favorite films for the day.
Maybe this isn’t everyone’s idea of super fun, but cleaning out storage spaces and perhaps even having a summer yard sale to make a couple of extra bucks can be enjoyable and cathartic. Invest in some storage baskets and use this opportunity to get super-organized once you’ve cleared your clutter.
Depending on where you live, you can choose to start a garden at the very beginning of summer for a late summer harvest or at the end of summer for a fall/winter harvest. Starting a garden can be relaxing and rewarding. Use your new library card to check out books on gardening in your area to learn what will work best for you. Check with local grocery stores, co-ops, and farmers’ markets to see if there’s a free seed exchange in your area.
Whether your local park is simply a swing set on grass or contains acres of land to explore, we think a trip to the park and time spent outside is always worth it.
Many zoos and museums offer free or discounted days in the summer for students and youngsters. Pack the kid’s lunchboxes to avoid spending on expensive food court snacks.
Throw on those cute new yoga pants. Most gyms and fitness centers offer a free or discounted trial period before you commit, and a lazy summer day is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of this. This allows you to try their facility or classes at least once for free to see if you like it. Take this time to finally take that yoga or pilates class!
Find a local organization and offer your time off to help those in need. From planting trees to working at a free grocery to coaching a youth sports team, everyone can find a fun and fulfilling way to give back to their community this summer.
Play Tourist in Your Own Town
Have you ever taken the time to view your hometown from the eyes of a visitor? You may be surprised how much of your local area is unfamiliar to you. Learn about local history or visit local attractions.
Grab a backpack, pack it with water, snacks, a compass, and your map, and get outside. Do some research to find the best hiking spots near you and start exploring.
If it happens to be within driving distance, heading to the beach for the day is just about the most classic way to spend your summer day off. Grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and a beach towel and head to the shore.
Pack up your lunch and head to the park, or make camp in your backyard.
Create a Treasure Hunt or Scavenger Hunt for the Kids
Have a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt to keep the kids busy on a dull summer afternoon. You also could plan ahead and make it an Easter egg hunt-style treasure-finding adventure by planting treats or toys around the yard.
Support your local state park, or visit a national park this summer. These parks are a wonderful way to safely enjoy the fresh air and nature.