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13 Free and Fun Summer Activities

The days are getting longer, and warmer. Summer is here! And if you don’t want a bummer summer, have I got some activities for you! 

Save that money, make those memories

With kids in the house, you know that if you don’t have some fun adventures planned, you’re going to have to hear “I’m bored” all summer long. Or maybe you realize you don’t want to spend your summer binge-watching shows that will wait for you! So now what? Where do you begin your summer fun? Here are 13 free ways to get out of your house and make some memories!

13 FREE activities to plan this summer.

1. Go on a hike

Beginner or advanced, you can find a trail that suits your abilities. Check with local social media groups, or a nature center in your area. Make it a challenge by seeing how many trails you can finish before the summer ends!

2. Geocaching

This is a whole community of its own. If you are unfamiliar with geocaching, you use GPS and other navigational techniques to track objects or geocaches. There are probably several near you that you don’t even know about! Discover new things about your community and connect with other geocaching fans. If you get into it, you can travel the world chasing geocaches! 

3. Visit a farmer’s market

Find where the best farmer’s markets or swap meets are in your area and check them out! Gone are the days of just boring fruits and vegetables stands. Farmers’ markets offer so much more! You’ll find entertainment, kid-friendly activities, artisan crafts, and ready-to-eat food! Oh, and fruits and vegetables! Support your local and small businesses and get the freshest foods possible. 

4. Play a lawn game

Who said summer fun meant leaving your house? From horseshoes to bocce ball, the outdoor fun is endless. But how about 20 games in one?! Check out Swooc. Nothing says summer is here like pulling out a giant bucket of dice! Between Lawn Yatzee, Farkle, Pig, Beat That, Ship-Captain-Crew, the games are ever changing, and fun for all ages. 

5. Service projects/community projects

Having fun while doing good for others is probably one of the best ways to make memories this year. Look into local nonprofits to volunteer for various events. Build a house with a Habitat chapter in your area. Sign up for a community clean-up event. There’s sure to be lots of opportunities that will fit your summer plans!

6. Camping

Feel like roughing it? If you don’t have camping gear of your own, see if you can borrow it from your friends. Many campgrounds are free to local residents. Call your local parks and recreation office to see what is available. If you can't find a free place to spend the night, consider a backyard campout!

7. Picnic

Food tastes better outside, am I right? From a simple lunch of chips and sandwiches, to a big BBQ cookoff, a picnic is a great way to enjoy the summer. Invite your neighbors over to a B.Y.O.M (bring your own meat) cookout. While everyone is over, pull out the lawn games and have a tournament! No fuss, just food and fun!

8. Beach Day

Whether you live by the ocean or a lake, pack up the car and head out for a water fun day. Bring a cooler of food and drinks so you aren’t spending money eating out. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

9. Watch an outdoor movie

More and more places are offering monthly “movie in the park” nights for free or minimal costs. These movies are usually very family-friendly. Drive up in your car, or bring the lawn chairs and blankets. The best places to check are local community groups, HOA groups, and even some shopping centers host it in their parking lots.

10. Go on a family walk

This one is easy. Go out the front door and start walking! Walking is great exercise. Take the family dog and head out for a sunset walk. I’m sure you’ll run into a lot of neighbors doing the same thing. Walks are a great time to talk and catch up. Come home and end the night with some ice cream on the porch! 

11. Go on a bike ride

Great exercise AND a great way to be outside. You can bike around your neighborhood or find some trails dedicated to bike riders. Join a local bike club and go on the weekly or monthly adventures that they have planned. 

12. Plant a garden

Spending more time home this summer? Think about planting your own garden. Vegetable or flower, gardening is a relaxing, fulfilling hobby the whole family can be a part of. Plan a day to go to your local nursery, pick out your plants, and get that green thumb in the dirt!

13. Water Fun

Water balloons, slip-n-slides, water guns: let the battle begin. Even if you only have a hose sprinkler, getting in the backyard and getting wet is a great way to cool off this summer!

Get out and enjoy the summer!

Summers and the outdoors are a perfect match, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend big bucks. Take the challenge and try to do one or all thirteen of these activities with your family or friends. Choose a different one each week and you will have one awesome summer!

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What's your favorite frugal way to enjoy the outdoors during summer? Let me know in the comments below!


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