Forget clipping coupons! These fun family activities will give you the budget-friendly summer of your dreams.
Summer is the perfect time to create lasting memories with your family without breaking the bank. From outdoor adventures to creative projects, there are numerous fun and affordable activities that can keep everyone entertained. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, explore nature, or get creative indoors, these twenty budget-friendly family activities will make this summer one to remember.
And it’s so much easier than clipping coupons!
1. Picnic in the Park
Pack a delicious lunch or dinner, grab a blanket, and head to a local park for a picnic. Enjoy the fresh air, play some outdoor games, and relax with your family.
For the perfect picnic sandwich, check out The Happy Sandwich.
2. Outdoor Movie Night
Set up a backyard movie theater by hanging a white sheet and using a projector. Choose a family-friendly movie, make some popcorn, and enjoy a cozy movie night under the stars.
3. Nature Scavenger Hunt
Find a printable scavenger hunt online, or create your own list of items to find in nature, such as specific leaves, rocks, or flowers. And then take your family on a nature walk or hike and see who can find all the items first. Winner gets the first pick for movie night!
4. DIY Water Park
Transform your backyard into a mini water park with a slip and slide, sprinklers, and water balloons. (And you can even DIY all of your main attractions!) With water games and activities, these cool water features will help you beat the summer heat and have a blast.
5. Local Trails
Research nearby hiking or biking trails and plan a day of exploring nature as a family. It’s a great way to get exercise, enjoy the scenery, and spend quality time together.
6. Farmers Market
Discover the flavors of summer by visiting a local farmers market. Sample fresh produce, homemade treats, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. As a special treat, let your kids pick out their favorite fruits or vegetables to take home.
7. Fruit Picking
Visit a local farm or orchard where you can pick your own fruits or vegetables. It’s a fun way to teach kids about farming, enjoy the outdoors, and bring home delicious, fresh produce.
8. DIY Crafts
Set up a crafting station at home and let your creativity flow. Use recycled materials or inexpensive supplies to make jewelry, artwork, or other fun crafts. You can also find craft tutorials online for inspiration.
9. Beach Day
If you live near a beach or lake, plan a day trip with your family. Enjoy swimming, building sandcastles, playing beach games, and soaking up the sun. Don’t forget sunscreen and beach essentials!
10. Family Bike Ride
Take a bike ride together and explore your neighborhood or nearby bike paths. It’s an eco-friendly way to get around, and you can make stops along the way to enjoy a park, grab an ice cream cone, or simply enjoy the ride.
11. Family Bike Tour
Rather than taking an easy bike ride with no destination in mind, you can be more deliberate. Plan a bike tour around your town or city, exploring different neighborhoods or landmarks. Research interesting places to visit along the way and make it an educational adventure.
12. DIY Outdoor Obstacle Course
Create a backyard obstacle course using items you already have, such as hula hoops, cones, jump ropes, and pool noodles. Design a course that challenges your family’s agility and coordination. And if you want to make it a real challenge, try to do it blindfolded!
13. Family Camping
Plan a camping trip in a local campground or even in your own backyard. Set up a tent, make a bonfire, tell stories, roast marshmallows, and enjoy the magic of spending a night under the stars.
14. Community Events
Check out local community events, such as outdoor concerts, movie screenings, or festivals. Many towns organize free or low-cost activities during the summer, offering entertainment for the whole family.
15. Science Experiments
Conduct simple and exciting science experiments at home with your family. Look up easy experiments using household items like vinegar and baking soda, or create a homemade volcano.
For more educational activities, read our article “12 Educational Activities for a Summer That Kids Will Love.”
16. Outdoor Art
Grab some sidewalk chalk or washable paints and let your creativity shine outdoors. Create colorful sidewalk murals, paint rocks, or even decorate a small outdoor wall or fence with family artwork.
17. Family Book Club
Choose a book that appeals to all family members and read it together over the summer. Set aside specific times to discuss the book, share thoughts, and engage in fun activities related to the story.
You can make this summer one of books with reading goals for you and your family.
18. Mini Golf
Enjoy a round of mini-golf at a local course. Mini-golf is often affordable and provides a great opportunity for friendly competition and laughter. Even better if you make a mini golf course in your own backyard!
19. Outdoor Sports
Play a variety of outdoor sports together as a family. Whether it’s soccer, basketball, frisbee, or badminton, engage in friendly competition and enjoy some exercise while having fun.
20. Outdoor Yoga or Fitness Session
Find a shady spot in a park or your backyard and practice some yoga or exercise routines together as a family. Look for free online resources or apps that offer family-friendly workout sessions.
Books to Inspire Your Summer Activities
- Big Book of Family Games
- Extreme Garage Science for Kids
- Breaking the Grid
- Marcel’s Mouse Museum
- Let’s Make Yoga Magic
- Aguas Frescas & Paletas
Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.