Free or Practically Free Things To Do In The Summer

Sometimes summertime can by synonymous with boredom. 'Round here we really try to keep that from happening to often.

Three Kids + Boredom = Nitpicking = Unhinged Mother = Noon Bedtime

Here are some of the things we are doing this summer that are free or really inexpensive.

  • Signed the kids up for the Summer Playground Program in our town. It's a supervised program where the kids can come play at the park and participate in activities like flag football and even art projects. All that was required was registration, it's free! There are field trips that require payment, but at very little cost. Our kids will go on a canoe trip for $10 each and play mini golf for $5 each. Can't beat that. 
      • We found all this information through our city's parks and recreation website.
  • We joined our local library's summer reading program. The kids log their hours reading in order to win prizes. Our library is also doing some great activies this summer like
    • Game Nights: One Thursday a month children can participate in a game night. My son is not old enough for this, but the girls will have a good time.
    • Flip, Jot and Flick: Children are encouraged to read a book, write a creative story about that book and then watch the movie version. This is in cooperation with our downtown theater. The stories are entered into a contest with the winner receiving the DVD a movie poster and their photo in the paper. I am super excited about this one!
    • And so much more.
      • Again, this was all on our local library's website. 
  • The Library Theater is our movie theater downtown. It is only three blocks from our house. It's very old and ornate. A fun place to watch free movies! Partnered with the library, they will show three free movies this summer. The movies will be Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Cat in the Hat and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
      • We don't have a Regal Cinemas near us but they participate in $1 Summer Movie Program for children. Might be worth it to see if your local theater does something similar.
  • We have a state park just 10 miles from our house. There are no entrance fees for daily visits. We go here to swim for the day and bring a packed lunch.
  • We are trying our hand at geocaching this year. All you need is a GPS. The Sailor's iPod can be used for one, but only where we have WiFi access. Hmm... we will have to see if this works.
      • We learned about this program from our local outfitter supply store. 
  • Our son will have Cub Scout day camp this year and thanks to our hard work last fall selling popcorn, he will go for free.
  • Pick your own farms. Last year we went nuts for pick your own strawberries and picked four quarts. We had strawberry pie, strawberry-banana smoothies, strawberry spinach salad and chocolate covered strawberries. We paid $2 a quart for the strawberries.
      • Here's a convenient site that has Pick Your Own Farms listed by state. Man, I love the internet!
Don't forget about the newspaper, they always list events going on in our town. We even found out about a few more opportunities like volunteering for the river clean up and the weekly Music In The Park concerts this way. 
    What are activities that your family participates in during the summer?