10 Affordable Summer Activities for Families

Crafts and Games, Family, Featured Article

1. Head to the nearest drive-in and see a movie. Drive-in movies are always fun! Bring a blanket and pillow, and wear your pjs while watching the movie from the comfort of your car. Prices usually range from $3-$8 for children, a fraction of the prices at a cinema. Two films are reserved for one screen giving you a “two for the price of one” deal! Drive-in theaters give you the option of choosing which films you want to see, allowing your family to see two appropriate films for kids. Visit drive-ins.com to find one near you!

2. Play some miniature golf. Have a competition with your family at the nearest mini golf course. Admission to play ranges from $5 to $8, depending on how many holes you wish to play. See who can shoot the most hole-in-ones, accumulate the lowest score possible to win or choose the best shot of the night! Miniature golf courses provide a variety of difficult terrains to play on, which intensifies game play. Avoid water hazards, hills and valleys all while trying to put the ball in the cup! Miniature golf courses also have family fun centers where kids can earn tickets and prizes, perfect for post-golf entertainment.

RELATED: 15 Fun Memorial Day Weekend Family Activities

3. Go bowling. If miniature golf isn’t your style, check out a bowling alley! Visit KidsBowlFree.com, register, and you’ll score two free games for your children every time they bowl during the entire summer! Compete to see who earns the most strikes, spares or overall best score. If your kids need assistance when they play, ask an employee to raise lane bumpers to prevent any gutter balls!

4. Have an entire family BBQ. Why not invite the entire family over and enjoy a nice BBQ? Cook up some burgers and dogs as well as a variety of fruits, vegetables, chips and refreshments to complete the menu. The kids can play in the pool or run through a sprinkler while they wait for food. If you have a large family, cut costs by making it a potluck. Boardwalk Savers provides helpful information that will aid you when deciding what to purchase.

5. Enjoy a mellow picnic in the park. Time spent with your immediate family is important, and a picnic at your favorite park is always fun. While there, toss a Frisbee with your kids, lie on the grass and watch the clouds roll by, and of course enjoy a home-packed lunch. Hours of free fun guaranteed at your nearest park!

RELATED: Need more ideas for warm-weather fun? Check out our Pinterest board of ideas!

6. Get soaked during a water balloon fight. During the dog days of summer, add some fun with a water balloon fight! At about $1 per bag, you’ll get 100 water balloons for combat. Stock up on extra balloons for an epic battle! Simulate games such as capture the flag, defend your base or have a free for all! A grand water balloon fight is exciting for all ages. So no matter which game you decide to play, it will provide fun for the entire family.

7. Enjoy family game night. Designate one night a week for family game night. Grab your favorite board game, set it up and see who the champion of the night shall be! Toys R Us has a wide range of board games ranging from $10-$30. If you don’t have any board games, try charades, 21 questions or an active game of flashlight freeze tag when the sun goes down! If you have a tablet, play app versions of classic games as well.

8. Play some wiffle ball in the cul-de-sac. Grab some chalk, draw up a field in the cul-de-sac, create your teams, and enjoy hours of fun. If you need a wiffle ball bat or balls, head to DicksSportingGoods.com to purchase a set for $5.99; individual balls are available for a lesser cost. The rules are very similar to baseball, but differ slightly. You pitch to your own team, have three chances to hit the ball and play to two outs instead of three. You can play as many innings as you like, or to a certain amount of runs.

9. Join the Y. The YMCA is a great destination for summer fun! In order to experience all the Y has to offer, your family can apply online or at your nearest center for free! Once you’re members, your family can enjoy the gymnasium, swimming pool and other facilities. The Y also offers many programs that promote healthy lifestyles, strengthen families, develop leadership qualities in youth, improve the community and increase understanding among people.

10. Go pitch a tent. Designate a weekend for a camping trip! Whether you decide to use a tent, cabin or RV, camping provides tons of entertainment for the entire family. Bring your bikes to ride through trails and explore new areas, or leave the bikes and hike the trails instead. At the nearest lake spend some time fishing for the catch of the day. Or kayak or canoe across the lake to test your strength. At night, spend some time around the camp fire cooking up s’mores, singing songs or telling spooky ghost stories. Camping site prices range from about $20-$40 per night depending on your desired camping arrangements.


How do you enjoy summertime with your family on the cheap? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

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