Girl Playing Hopscotch

Source: Flickr DarkElfPhoto

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 declares, “summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” While this may be true, many moms also know how long those summer days can feel when restless children stir about with an unending supply of energy. It can be absolutely exhausting to come up with activities for everyone if you don’t have a plan!

Here are 10 different options to banish summer boredom and keep within a budget.

5 Ways to Get Out of the House  

  1. Camps/classes – Did you know your local Lowes, Home Depot and even Apple stores offer free camps/workshops for kids during the summer? Other stores offering free events include Pottery Barn, Lego, Disney, and Michaels. Be sure to get on the email distribution lists so you can reserve your spot early.  And of course, many churches offer wonderful VBS camps for free in the summer.
  2. Movies – Although it may cost a small fortune to take your whole family to a new release, several theaters host either free or very cheap movie days for kids. Look for big chains like Carmike, Regal, and Cinemark, as well as your local theater for options.
  3.  Tours – Consider taking your kids on a tour of a local farm or factory this summer. Most offer these tours for free, and kids find it fascinating to get an inside peek at these industries.  Also free and fun: your local fire department, police station and post office. Kids love to see and hear the sirens in a safe environment. Another option, call a small business owner and ask if they would be willing to take 15 minutes to show your kids around their store. You might be surprised how many people love to do this for kids.
  4. Act like a tourist – Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for coupons and/or suggestions on local landmarks, attractions, and parks. Bonus tip: arms your kids with a notebook and ask them to take notes as if they are composing this information to share with other visitors.
  5. Get cultured – Summer is definitely the time to take advantage of the free days offered by local zoos, museums, outdoor concert series and/or library performances.  Grab your newspaper and look for parades, art shows, and other free festivities for the whole family to enjoy. You can also look for reduced tickets on concerts, sporting events, etc via sources like TicketLiquidators.

5 Ways to Enjoy Staying Home

  1. Scavenger Hunt – Most of us still enjoy the thrill of a good mystery. Why not treat your kids to a surprise treasure hunt through your own home and backyard? These can be as simple or elaborate as you desire. Want some inspiration? Check out this Pinterest site for ideas.
  2. Keep it in the Kitchen – Kids love to be in the kitchen. Have a mini bake-off with two different recipes or a taste test contest where kids experiment with adding different flavors to water.  Even little ones enjoy rolling out dough or decorating cookies.
  3.  Make a Movie/Play – Again, you can go big or little here depending on the ages of your kids.  Have them come up with a plot, costumes, scenes and props. You can help them organize a performance for neighbors, or just film it on your phone. This can be one hour of fun or a whole week if they get really into it.
  4. Make art – Did you know you could make your own play dough, goop and puppets? Use your recyclables for creative craft projects, and you can even melt old crayons in molds to make new ones.  Kids of all ages love to make their own supplies and try them out.
  5. Get out the Games – Invite a few kids over for a relay race, hopscotch marathon, or foursquare face off.  Have toddlers at home? Create a few game stations with bubbles, magnets on cookie sheets, and building blocks. Let them go through each station and explore.

Affordable fun is possible throughout the summer; it just takes a little extra planning and research. Hopefully, these 10 suggestions will kick start your summer without breaking the bank and provide memory making moments for your kids.


Avatar for Ayse Gider

Hi, I'm Ayse! I am a mom of three wonderful children and originally began working as a librarian. Now, I love to write! I am an avid coupon finder, deal expert, and lover of anything that can save money without compromising on quality.