20 FREE and Cheap Fun Summer Activities


Fun Summer Activities

Have you already heard it?  “I’m sooo bored!!”  I don’t believe there is a way to totally eradicate these words from our children’s vocabulary but here are 20 FREE and inexpensive Fun Summer Activities to help keep them entertained.

  • 1 – GEOCACHING is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices (smart phones)  and then share their experiences online.  Get started HERE.
  • 2 – FREE National Park Days – Here’s a tip – 264 of your 397 national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee.  Find a location near you HERE.


Sharps Tunnel, about 10 miles north of Marlinton © Karl Wirsing/Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

  • 3 – TrailLink.com – Find Trails near you for walking, hiking, biking, birding, fishing and more!

  • 4 – Just Add Water – Toy Wash, Bike Wash, Water Bomb Tag.  Head over HERE for 39 different outdoor water activities to keep your kids cool and busy!                                                                                                                  



  • 5 – Apple Camp – kids ages 8-12 will learn the ins and outs of iMovie and how to make a film in about the time it takes to watch one. The free workshop, held at the Apple Retail Store, spans three days and leads up to an Apple Camp Film Festival where campers debut their masterpieces.  Sign up HERE to be notified of when registration begins.


  • 7 – Teach your kid to cook – Sounds a little scary but I think this could be fun :)  This one will likely require a GREAT deal of patience so make sure to do it on a day when everyone has had a good night sleep.  This is a great way to teach kids about hygiene and food safety.  Use the opportunity to teach little ones about safety around the stove and safety with knives and scissors.  Let the older ones measure and weigh ingredients and learn the math of measurements.   I like CoolKidsCooking.com – great ideas, recipes and games!
  • 8 – Plant a Garden – I don’t mean till up your whole back yard, do what YOU can handle.  It may just be some herbs or a few veggies in a container.  Pick something that produces a lot – cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers (then you can make pickles!), radishes (these grow super fast and don’t need much room) or green beans.
  • 9 – Pick Your Own Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – Head over to PickYourOwn.org to find a local farm where you can pick anything from strawberries and blackberries to Walnuts and fresh eggs.   The price per pound on these items is typically much lower than what you find in the grocery store and it doesn’t get any more fresh than this.
  • 10 – Summer Camp Swap – If you have friends who have kids home for the Summer then pick one day a week and an activity and create a 1 day Summer camp.  Each week another parent takes all the kids and plans an activity.  This gives the kiddos time with their friends and gives you some free time!

summer movie programs 2014

  • 11 – Go to the Movies – Don’t forget about the Summer Movie Series!  Admission is usually just $1-2 and concessions are really cheap as well!  Find out more HERE!


  • 12 – Read a Book – There are several programs to encourage Summer reading.  Make sure to check with your local library and find national programs HERE!
  • 13 – Scrap-booking – This one may take a little extra effort to make it frugal :)  Take all those photos and little momentos you have been wanting to put into a special place for your kiddos and get it done this Summer!  You can choose to be as simple as using a decorated shoe box or go all out with a scrapbook.  You can always check the Dollar Spot at Target or your local craft stores and even The Dollar Tree for some crafty ad ons.    I will be posting Photo Deals all Summer that can help with this and if you decide to get into this as well then check RetailMeNot for craft store coupons so you can snag some of those adorable little scrap-booking kits for less!
  • 14 – Go Kayaking or Canoeing – This is always a TON of fun for our family.  You can find a local place on Paddling.net.  You can either find a place to launch your own canoe or kayak or find a place to rent one for the day.  Pack a lunch, throw on the sunscreen and set out for an afternoon adventure.


  • 15 – Make Silly Putty – This is the perfect boredom buster on a rainy day.  We have tried it 2 different ways (see the recipes here and here) and both have turned out great and provided literal hours of entertainment for my girls.  The supplies are super cheap as well so you can keep some extra on hand in case they want to make it again.
  • 16 – Backyard Camp Outs –  If you have a tent then you all ready to go.  The kids have all the fun of camping outside and you still have access to your house :) .  Even better, you can build a camp fire in your fire pit (or borrow one from your neighbor) and roast hot dogs and s’mores.
  • 17 -Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeders – You read that right :)  Take an empty TP roll, slap a little peanut butter on it, roll it in bird seed and you are DONE!  You can attach pipe cleaners to hang it or just put it right on a branch.
  • 18 – Star Gazing – You don’t even need a telescope for this any more!   If you have a smart phone or tablet you can download the FREE or paid version of Skyview and see all the stars, constellations, planets and even space trash just by pointing your device to the sky.  Obviously you have to stay up a little later for this but if you already camping out or trying to get the kids to settle down for the night then this is a great way to just lay back and relax.


  • 19 – Build a Fairy Garden – This is something that can keep you and your kiddos busy all Summer.  You can spend as much or as little as you want on this.  Go on nature walks and find little items that you can add to your garden, look around your house and add little items that your kids come across.  You can build these anywhere – indoors or outside in a shady spot.  If you need a little inspiration to get started your can just head over to Pinterest and find all you need!
  • 20 – Google it!  Every city has something special to offer and sometimes Google can be your best friend when you can’t find it on your own.   You can locate public pools, splash pads, museums offering free admission or children’s programs, fun activities at your local library or community center.   You can also just Google “Family Fun” and your city name and all sorts of things will come up.  You can also use it to find grade level appropriate free printables for math, reading, science and more.

Don’t forget that you can always find some great local deals on Living Social, Groupon and Half Off Depot.

There is no way to keep them entertained every single second but hopefully this list helps to curb a little of the boredom.  If you want to hang onto this list for later you can Pin it here.  You can also check out other crafts, recipes and projects that we have gotten into on The Best of Real Housewives Clip Coupons Pinterest Board here. 

Print Friendly