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How To Keep Kids Busy During Summer On a Budget

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Summer is rapidly approaching and you might be wondering how you can keep kids busy this summer on a budget! It can seem tough to entertain kids all summer long, especially if you’re tight on funds. In this post, we’ll share some great budget-friendly ideas for kids to explore and enjoy this summer! 

1. Check your local parks for movies and concerts.

Local parks will often host free or low cost events during summer that are great for families. Check places like Facebook pages, your local town’s website, or even your local news! These are often widely promoted so space can be limited – definitely book as soon as you can once you find an event you’re interested in! Summer on a budget can be tough to navigate, but there are many free family-friendly events such as these.

Summer movie night to keep kids busy

2. Try geocaching!

Geocaching is a more recently popular activity that is great for families and solo adults alike! This is a great free way to keep the kids busy on a summer budget. Not only does it get you outdoors, but it’s also great for those little explorers who love to go on adventures. Geocaching can take you to some amazing places, and reaching your destination can be so exciting for little ones! 

How To Keep Kids Busy During Summer On a Budget

3. Water play.

There are a ton of good options to keep the kids busy with water play throughout the summer. Check your local parks for splash pads and what hours they’re accessible. Pro tip: it’s a good idea to check the weather before exploring this option as well! If local splash pads aren’t an option, consider making your own water park at home! If you have a slip and slide, this is a great time to break it out! If not, try tarps, pool noodles, sprinklers, hoses, etc. and to make your own water park. Local community pools are another great low cost option. This is a great way to both keep kids busy and get them outdoors during the summer. 

Water fun!

4. Discover local farms.

Local farms can be a great way to keep the kids busy during summer on a budget! In addition to getting some outside time in, you can also get some great locally grown food to stock the house with. Whether you’re just going to do a pick your own, or you find a farm with other activities, it’s a great addition to any summer plans! Farmer’s markets are a great alternative if you can’t find any local farms to attend in person as well.

How To Keep Kids Busy During Summer On a Budget

5. National parks.

National parks are such an incredibly fun way to get out of the house and keep the kids busy during summer on a budget! National parks sometimes offer fee-free weekends and guided tours and walks. Check your local national parks to see what they offer and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to stick to your summer budget by visiting! Military servicemembers typically receive deeply discounted or free entry to national parks as well, so this can be a great option for military families as well. 

Visit a national park

6. Minor league games! 

If you’re a sports-loving family, minor league games are a great affordable option for summer entertainment for the kids! Many times, you can find discounted tickets on top of the already low prices. These make for a great day trip for the whole family. Another thing to look out for while searching for tickets is student pricing. Some teams offer deeply discounted tickets for local students. 

How To Keep Kids Busy During Summer On a Budget

7. Free bowling!

Kids Bowl Free is a great program that offers frequent free bowling games for kids all summer long! In addition to that, your local bowling alley may also offer fun events and discounted prices for kids during the summer so it’s always a good idea to check with your local spots! 

Free bowling

8. Library programs.

Local libraries are a wonderful source of free or low cost entertainment. Check your local library’s website or Facebook page to check in and see what’s going on for the week. Many of these events don’t even require a library card to attend! You can find classes, workshops, and more! 

How To Keep Kids Busy During Summer On a Budget

9. Local craft workshops.

Places like Home Depot and Lowes are well known for their kids craft events! They typically run once a month at a minimum and sometimes more frequently depending on your area. Additionally, places like Michaels offer crafting classes for all ages and are a great way to get your kids involved in crafts and keep them busy over the summer! 

How To Keep Kids Busy During Summer On a Budget

Overall, there are lots of affordable options for keeping the kids busy during summer! What are your favorite budget-friendly activities to keep busy during the summer? Share in the comments below!

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Jessica Beard

Monday 24th of April 2023

All of these ideas are wonderful! We love exploring our local parks and farms!


Monday 24th of April 2023

I love going to national parks.


Monday 17th of April 2023

I so love these ideas and some I had not thought of so thanks for sharing.

Amy D

Thursday 13th of April 2023

These are all such great ideas! My daughters love walking on trails, and I just was looking into geocaching this past week. That is something we certainly want to try this summer. We also love going to splash pads, doing crafts and there are many activities at the library for us.

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