15+ Free & Cheap Summer Activities for Kids

There are SO many Summer Activities for kids out there!

In the summer we like to keep busy, and by busy I mean TONS of summer activities! The way I figure the more time you spend not in the house the less you have to clean up. You know since you’re not home and out doing stuff. I am not that sit at home and do nothing all summer kind mom, I like to get up and get out of the house on a daily basis even if it’s just for one thing. I never realized how much I actually do with my kids during the summer until someone asked me how I survived the summers.


This is probably number one on our list for a good reason, to stay cool! Any day we go to the pool or the lake is a fun day all around. Beach days are amazing too but we live in Central Texas so that’s not a regular option for us. I do miss the beach though seeing as how I’m from San Diego California and grew up pretty much living there.

Taking your kiddos on a hike

In the summer, in our area, hiking is usually one of the morning summer activities. Mostly because it gets way too hot later on in the day to go. This activity can be done along with another one later on in the day. The kids love it, I love it since I’m getting in a little extra exercise and fresh air. Check out these tips for taking your kids with you on a hike.


I have signed my kids up for Kids Bowl Free for about five years now. It’s an awesome program that lets kids bowl two games every day of summer all summer long. We do not go every day but usually at least a couple times every week of summer.


if you know me, you know I love crafting! I think my kids get a little bit of that for me especially my daughter. Are usually take to Pinterest pick out a fun craft for the day and then we hang them up in our craft room.

$1 Movie Days

your local movie theater most likely has a summer movie program. The summer movie program has older movies, think Despicable Me and the Croods. It’s only one dollar per person! Even though you seen all the movies that are played, we still love to go just to get out of the house and be somewhere cool for a little while. We tend to go on Tuesdays since that’s half off popcorn day at our local movie theater.

Summer activities

Local Library

you would’ve thought that my kids had won the lottery getting their first library cards at our local library, they were so excited. The library is a great, cool place to have a little downtime while also getting out of the house. Best part it’s free! Our local library also likes to throw little events like story time and build with Legos which the kids always enjoy.

Another bonus library feature we love is with getting your library card we got the library app that lets you rent out e-books and our personal favorite audiobooks. My kids have loved listening to audiobooks on the way to and from school or anytime we’re driving around town, they’re always free to rent and it opens their eyes to a bigger variety of books.


Sleepovers I do sparingly, if we did them every day of summer break not only would I get burnt out but if you do them every day they’re not as special when they do come. They are nice though because usually whoever gets invited over keep your kids busy the whole time they’re there. No fighting or arguing just lots of fun.

Board Games

board games and card games are really big one in my house! The kids love some good sibling rivalry and the smack talk is strong.


Our local zoo is fairly cheap and takes about two hours to thoroughly look through the entire. We usually go a couple times a year and the kids still love it!

Play Dates

This one is seriously a win-win, you get to hang out with another adult while your kids get to play. Play dates or fun all around, a play date can be different depending on which friend and the kids you’re going out with and you could do any of these activities on this list in a play date.


We like to go out and explore a different playground in our local area every time we go out. The kids love the new adventure and it makes it a fresh new experience every time. By the end of summer you will know which one is your favorite go to playground.

Trampoline Park

we always have a ton of fun at the trampoline park. My favorite part is by the time we’re done the kids are tuckered out and ready to just chill and watch a movie at home, it burns so much energy and sometimes I even get in there and jump too.

Movie Nights/Drive In Movie

We love movie nights at our house! My kids are always down for any movie with Dwayne Johnson in it or any Marvel movie. Aside from just a movie night drive-in movies are absolutely the most fun. My first date with my husband was at a drive-in movie. This is something that my kids have yet to experience, but that’s going to change this summer we will definitely be going to the drive-in!


What kid doesn’t love camping? There’s just something about being outside, making s’mores and being eaten alive by mosquitoes that screams summer to me. These are memories your kids will never forget.

Play with Neighbor Kids

We got our house last year and this is exactly how I met all of my neighbors. I grabbed a lawnchair and went to go sit next to all my other neighbors that had lawn chairs out. All the kids play in the street while we’re all yelling car as one passes by. Tons of great memories and friends made for a lifetime.

Sprinkler Fun

There’s so many opportunities to have fun with a sprinkler. Straight up setting one on the ground, connecting it to a trampoline (our personal favorite) Or using it with a slip and slide.


Cardboard fort, trampoline fort, bunkbed fort sheet forts. Kids just love being in a house they made inside of an actual house.

Bike Rides

another one for us that depends on the weather outside, mid day it is entirely too hot to do anything of the sort so we generally go on bike rides as a family in the morning before it heats up or in the afternoon once it finally cools down.

Cook Together

Some adults can barely cook a decent meal, teaching your kids young gives them skills that will last them a lifetime while you create lasting memories with them.

Community Events

There’s so many different fun activities that go on in your community every day, a quick Google search or Facebook search will pull up lots of opportunities to have fun like local concerts, festivals and holiday events.

Have a Picnic

Having a picnic can be done along with any one of these summer activities as well, pack a lunch for the pool, for the zoo, to take to the playground. Not only will they save you money but who doesn’t love a good picnic! Just make sure you get yourself a decent waterproof picnic blanket, even in the summer grass tends to be wet from getting watered so often.

Start and Maintain a Garden

This is an area of life in which I do not excel at. That being said every year we attempt to grow a tomato plant summer down successfully but the kids still love watching it grow and being able to make their own spaghetti sauce at least once this summer. Gardening also teaches them responsibility for the plant, and I love seeing their eyes light up when they see their first tomato.

Home Depot Workshop

Home Depot workshops are so much fun! They’re always free and the kids get a chance to build something with our own two hands. My husband is a Carpenter so they enjoy being little mini carpenters and building projects to show their daddy.


There are so many opportunities to volunteer somewhere like an animal shelter or homeless shelter.

Add your summer activities to your calendar

Sometimes the simple act of adding something to your calendar or planner makes you more likely to do it. So add all these summer activities to build your best summer yet. Check out all these other things you can do with your iPhone calendar

Summer activities

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