Summer activities don’t have to cost a lot of money. Be sure to check your local magazine and paper as well as Groupon for special deals on events in your area. Here are 12 ideas to get you brainstorming on creating a summer full of fun activities for you and your family.
1. Head to the local pool
You don’t have to own a pool to enjoy one. Visit the public pool with the kids or get a day pass to the YMCA. If your kids or you haven’t learned to swim, summer time is a great opportunity to take lessons.
2. Go bowling
Divide into teams and see who has the better skill. Bowling is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Bowling alleys also feature classic stand-up arcade games. After you bowl, challenge each other to a foosball match or a game of Ms. Pac-Man.
3. Go to the movies
Check your local movie theatre to see if they offer special deals on movies. Usually these are shown in the morning and can be as little as a $1. It is a great way to see a new or their favorite movie without paying full price. Bring your own popcorn with you in snack bags to save money.
4. Visit your local park
Large city parks have a variety of activities for families in the summer time. Take your rollerblades and bikes and get a bit of exercise. For a small fee, you can ride in paddle boats and enjoy the lake. Young kids may want to spend time at the playground. To save money, bring snacks and drinks.
5. Play a few rounds of miniature golf
Even those who don’t enjoy regular golf games can find that they have fun with the challenge of a mini golf course. The entire family can participate, from the youngest to the oldest.
6. Head to the zoo
Even older kids may enjoy seeing different kinds of animals. Don’t miss the petting zoo where you can actually touch and feed the animals.
7. Take a class
Do you have a hobby that you have always had an interest in but never quite found the time to pursue? Summer may be the perfect moment to seek out that painting class, bird watching, dance class or writing workshop. Teens and adolescents may like the idea of learning a new skill. Check out the local community college for class listings.
8. Take a road trip to a nearby beach
If the closest beach is two hours away, then you are in perfect distance for a day trip. Grab the bathing suits, towels, umbrellas and sunscreen and hit the ocean. This is getting away without spending a lot of money or going too far.
9. Visit nearby tourist attractions
An example is Asheville, North Carolina, where people from all over come to visit the Biltmore Mansion. It is the largest private residence in the United States. Turned into a museum, groups can take tours through many of its over 200 rooms and experience how the rich lived before income tax was instituted.
10. Visit a science museum
Kids can get hands-on experience with the exhibits. Also, many science museums hold special activity days throughout the summer showcasing special exhibits. Allow your kids to participate if they want to.
11. Create a scrapbook
Do you have a lot of family photos lying around? Pull them together and create memory books. You can purchase scrapbook pages and embellishments for less at dollar stores and party shops.
12. Make your own ice cream for dessert
Invest in an old-fashioned ice cream maker, rock salt, sugar and other natural ingredients. Let each person create their favorite ice cream flavor.