Affordable Summer Activities – My Top 5 Summer Sanity Tips


This is the fourth post in My Top 5 Summer Sanity Tips!  Did you catch last week’s post on road trip tips?

Now that summer is well underway the kids seem to be getting a little bored and I need to start thinking of some fun outings we can do that are fun and won't break the bank.  My mission was to find places that are affordable and fun that all parents can go to!  There is nothing worse than the kids bugging you all day to do something fun and not be boring and normal.

Affordable Summer Activities

5 Affordable Summer Activities

1. Day Camps

Day camps are not always the most affordable option, however with a little research you might find one that fits your budget. A lot of day camps have scholarships and financial help. You can also check your local YMCA or recreation center for summer day camp. The local YMCA and recreation center seems to be a more affordable option most of the time.

Some schools are now offering summer programs as well, sometimes even free!  We have a child development center in the area and as long as you pre-register they have free enrolment for all kids!!  My only issue is with a three year old not fully potty trained not many programs are willing to take him but at least his sister can get a break for awhile!

2. Camping

Camping can be as expensive or as affordable as you make it. You don't need to pack a bunch of fancy food or buy expensive gear. Pack up the tent, ice chest, blankets or sleeping bags and your set! Look through your pantry and freezer to see what you already have on hand.  Some of our favorite meals while camping are taco salad, smores, and of course hot dogs and hamburgers!!  The best part is there isn't much prep involved in these meals all you have to do is put the food in the cooler and away you go!

If the cost of going camping doesn't fit into your budget, try a backyard campout. It really doesn't get more affordable than camping in your own backyard! Be sure to leave all the electronics in the house, this is family bonding time.  We turn our trampoline into a HUGE tent and cover it with tarps and sleep underneath it and have a lot of family fun!  I picked up some sparklers at the dollar store, made smores in the microwave and the experience was just like we were actually camping!

3. Museums

Spending a day at a local museum is a great way to get out and do something affordable. Before you go to a museum check their website to see if they offer discount days or special summer promotions. Checking the website first might save you a little money.  I also check the rules for food, if you can pack your own meal for lunch it will save you a TON of money compared to purchasing it at the museum.  I also check Groupon to see if there are any deals going on locally that can help me save money!

Going to a museum during the summer is also a great way to get a little learning in and stay cool!

4. Enjoy Nature

If the kids are bored get them out of the house and enjoying nature. Go to a local swimming hole, go hiking or ride bikes. It doesn't really matter what activity you do as long as you are out doing something. The kids will really enjoy getting in some fresh air and having the freedom to run around and be kids!  The best part about that is they are tired by the end of the day so you can kick back and enjoy a nice quiet house!

If you're stuck on ideas of what to do to get out and explore check out geocaching!

If you are planning any outdoor activities and exploring in the summer make sure you pack enough water and some snacks to last a few hours.  Don't forget to slap on that sunscreen, you can never be too careful!  There is nothing worse than being hungry, dehydrated and having heat exhaustion.  I would rather carry a heavy pack and be prepared then deal with the grumpy kids later.

5. Concerts in the Park

Does your area have free concerts in the park or maybe even a movie? If you're not informed on the latest events make sure to ask your local Chamber of Commerce. These are very affordable options to get out and enjoy summer. If your local area doesn't have free concerts or movies ask about other free activities. Almost every town has something free going on like Farmers Markets or the drama club practicing before a big show.

If you are willing to drive a short distance, for me it is around 30 minutes, there might be close communities that offer these activities and it will give you a new experience!  I love exploring new places and finding the hot spots to visit.  My tip is to stop at the local coffee shop (not a chain but LOCAL) and ask the server what the best things to see or do in town are.  You would be surprised at what locals are willing to share if you just ask.


That pretty much sums up my affordable summer activities.  As fourth post in the series of My Top 5 Summer Sanity Tips I hope in some way I’m helping you keep your sanity this summer!  Keep an eye out for more fun articles to come all summer long!  Remember to keep things simple because we need our sanity this summer to it should be about rest and relaxation.  As a quick reminder my top 5 tips are:

  1. Day Camps
  2. Camping
  3. Museums
  4. Enjoy Nature
  5. Concerts In The Park

I would love to hear some of your summer sanity tips for saving money and doing affordable local activities!

Do you try to stick to a budget during an outing or do you splurge and make the most of it?

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