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53 Summer Activities for Kids That Won’t Break the Bank


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School is out and summer is here! This is the season to relax and enjoy some time with no homework or tests, but what should you do with all this new free time? These summer activities for kids will keep everyone in the family busy and having a good time, and they can be enjoyed alone or with friends.

We’ve gathered 53 of our favorite activities for summer that are easy on your wallet. From learning to cook to having a backyard movie night, these ideas are sure to provide hours of fun all summer long.

Outdoor Activities

Get some fresh air with these outdoor activities for summer. These activities are great to enjoy alone or with others, and before you know it, hours will have gone by in a blur of fun


1. Draw a Chalk Mural: Grab some chalk and head to your driveway or sidewalk to draw a beautiful picture. Your friends and neighbors will admire your mural for days to come, and when it disappears, you can create a new one. Try our chalk stencils to help get you started (see the printable stencils below)!

2. Camp in the Backyard: Pitch a tent in your backyard and grab your sleeping bag and pillow for a night of camping. You can tell ghost stories and gaze at the stars, all while being close to the comfort of your own home. These REI coupons can help you save on any camping gear you may need.

3. Ride a Bike: For a classic summertime activity, go for a bike ride around your neighborhood or to a local park. You’ll get some exercise in while also enjoying the fresh summer air.

4. Play Flashlight Tag: Once the sun goes down, head out to your yard for a friendly game of flashlight tag. Whoever is “it” will have a flashlight, and the other players will have to avoid getting the light shone on them. If the light catches you, you’re out!

5. Run Through the Sprinkler: Who doesn’t love running through the sprinklers on a hot summer day? Set them up in your backyard and get ready for an afternoon of cool fun. Invite your friends over for even more fun!

6. Organize a Scavenger Hunt: Have an afternoon adventure with a DIY scavenger hunt. An adult can help create the clues, then you’ll have hours of fun searching for the treasure or prize.

7. Go for a Nature Hike: Check out a local park or nature area and go for an afternoon hike. This is a great way to get active and also see some wildlife that you may not be able to see at home. If you need any hiking gear or supplies, use these Cabela’s coupons.

8. Play at a Local Playground: Head to a local park or playground and have some fun on the slide or swings. Take a friend with you for a fun afternoon outing.

9. Fly a Kite: On the next windy day, take a kite out to an open field and let it soar. It’ll be lots of fun to see how high you can get your kite to fly, and how long it’ll stay up in the sky.

10. Catch Fireflies: Fireflies are a hallmark of summer nights, so the next time the sun goes down, head out into your yard and catch some. You can watch them light up in your hands, but be sure to gently let them go when you’re done admiring them.

11. Host a Lemonade Stand: Lemonade is one of the best ways to cool down when it’s hot outside, so try hosting your own lemonade stand to help your friends and neighbors feel refreshed. Whether you purchase the lemonade or make your own, your efforts will be appreciated by your neighborhood.

12. Create an Obstacle Course: For a fun activity that’ll also keep you active, set up your own obstacle course in your yard. You can use items like cardboard boxes or yard toys as obstacles, then have your friends over to test out the course with you.

13. Have a Pool Day: One of the nicest parts of summer is taking a swim, so put on your sunscreen and head out! You can try out a community pool if you (or a friend) don’t have one. You’ll have fun for hours splashing around.

14. Play a Sport: Summer is a great time to get outdoors and play a sport. You can play one you already know you enjoy, or take some time to learn a new one and see how you like it. Try these Nike coupons to stock up on any sporting goods you may need.


Arts & Crafts

For some creative summer fun for kids, try these arts and crafts activities. These are great for getting the imagination going, and they can make for hours of fun. Let’s get crafting!


15. Paint or Draw a Picture: Gather some art supplies, like colored pencils or watercolors, and create a picture. You can draw or paint your favorite animal or a place you like, and then hang your picture up to admire. Use these Michaels coupons to save money on art supplies!

16. Make Popsicles: Make a sweet treat to enjoy on a hot summer day. You can easily make popsicles by freezing your favorite juice in an ice mold, or you can get an adult’s help and use a popsicle recipe that has a few more ingredients and steps.

17. Make a DIY Bird Feeder: For a fun craft that local wildlife can enjoy, try making your own bird feeder. Using fruits, seeds, twine and some other supplies, you can have an easy-to-make bird feeder that birds will be flocking to in no time.

18. Make Your Own Puppets: Use toilet paper rolls, socks or other household items to create fun puppets. You can decorate them with googly eyes, pipe cleaners or rhinestones, then have a puppet show for your friends and family to enjoy!

19. Paint or Decorate Rocks: Collect some rocks from your yard and decorate them with paint, markers or other craft supplies. You can make a pet rock, paper weight or another decoration, then put your creations on display.

20. Make Slime: Slime is as fun to make as it is to play with. Make your own slime with an easy recipe, then spend hours squishing and molding it.

21. Make Water Balloons: On the next hot, sunny day, grab some balloons and fill them up with water. Then you can have a fun water balloon fight in your yard to cool down.

22. Have a Paper Airplane Contest: Gather your friends or siblings and make your own paper airplane. Then you can test them out and see whose airplane flies the farthest. After the first round, you can make adjustments to your design to see if you can get your paper airplane to fly even farther the next time.


Educational Activities

Who said learning can’t be fun? These activities are educational but will also create some summer fun for kids. Put your thinking cap on and get ready to have a good time!


23. Stargaze in the Backyard: Grab a telescope and head to your backyard once the sun goes down. You can gaze at the stars and learn all about different constellations and their stories, and you may even see a shooting star or satellite pass by. Use this stargazing chart to help you spot some constellations!

24. Read New Books: For a good rainy day (or any day) activity, read a new book or two. You’ll be transported to new lands and fall in love with new characters. Use these Book Outlet coupons to save on your new favorite book.

25. Visit the Library: If you’d rather borrow new books, then head to your local library and see what they have to offer. You can check out magazines and movies, too, and you may want to check if they have any special summertime programs for kids.

26. Do a Science Experiment: Using household items, you can have some serious fun with science. Try out experiments like making a tornado in a bottle or creating an at-home volcano. These are sure to be a smash hit!

27. Visit the Local Fire Station: Check out what your hometown heroes are doing with a visit to your local fire station. Fire stations often have open houses or other programs for children to attend, so ask if yours is hosting any events soon.

28. Volunteer: Spend some of your free time by giving back. There are tons of opportunities to volunteer that kids can participate in, such as reading to shelter animals or participating in a community cleanup effort. What better way to spend a day than by lending a helping hand for good causes?

29. Tour Your Hometown: Get in touch with your adventurous side by visiting a spot or area in town that you haven’t been to before. You can learn about the history of your town or discover a place to have a !


Family Activities

30. Have a Picnic: Pack some of your favorite snacks and head to a local park for a picnic. This is an activity the whole family can enjoy, and you can add to the fun by together while you’re out!

31. Plant a Garden: Put your green thumb to the test by planting a garden in your yard. You can plant flowers, vegetables and even trees if you’d like, or create a . Try these Lowe’s coupons to save money on your gardening supplies.

32. Learn to Cook: Why not learn a new skill this summer? With an adult’s help, you can learn to cook some of your favorite foods like pasta or cookies. Then you can have your friends and family try them out and enjoy your creations.

33. Have an Outside Movie Night: Bring the magic of the movies straight to your home by having an in your backyard. Set up a projector, grab your favorite snacks and pick a family-favorite movie to enjoy together under the stars. Save money on your projector with these Amazon coupons!

34. Rent a Pedal Boat: For a unique summer activity that everyone can enjoy, head to a lake and rent a pedal boat for an hour or two. You can take in the sights and see some wildlife as you make your way around the lake.

35. See a Movie at a Drive-In: For a fun take on a movie night, check out a local drive-in theater. It’ll be a fun experience to watch a movie from inside your car while playing the audio from the radio.

36. Visit a Petting Zoo: Visit some adorable animals and interact with them at a petting zoo. You may even be able to feed them while you’re there.

37. Go Berry Picking: Find a farm or berry patch nearby and pick some berries for a relaxing afternoon. Depending on where you live, you may be able to pick blueberries, strawberries or other fruits. Take the fruit home and enjoy it later!

38. Go Fishing: A classic pastime, fishing is a great way to spend a day. Head to a nearby river or lake and see who can catch the most fish, or see who catches the largest one. Use these Bass Pro Shops coupons if you’re in need of any fishing supplies before you hit the lake.

49. Go to a Farmers Market: Farmers markets are a great way to find local produce, and you can often find locally made products like candles or home decor. Spend an afternoon at a farmers market and see how many unique items you can find.

40. Have a Zoo Day: Who doesn’t love elephants, big cats and other exotic animals? Check out your local zoo and see all the interesting animals they have. You may also want to see if your zoo hosts any special programs for kids before you go.

41. Play Mini Golf: For a day full of friendly competition, play a round or two of mini golf. You can check out different courses near you and see if any of them host glow golf after dark.

42. Visit a Local Fair: Summertime plays host to countless fairs, so why not visit one? You’ll have a great time with the activities, and there will likely be delicious fair food like funnel cake and popcorn. Be sure to take the whole family to enjoy this day out!

43. Make S’mores: Nothing says summer quite like s’mores. Safely roast the marshmallows and enjoy a tasty classic treat. Save money on your s’mores ingredients with these Target coupons!

Indoor Activities

44. Build a Pillow Fort: Gather all the pillows and blankets you can and build a pillow fort. These are great for watching a movie or reading in, and they’re cozy spots to hang out with friends. You can also take your fort down and try out a new design for hours of fun! Use these Bed Bath & Beyond coupons to stock up on any pillows or blankets you need to make your fort.

45. Complete a Puzzle: Puzzles are a fun way to get your mind working. Pick one out of a photo you enjoy, then spend the afternoon putting it together. You can even ask a friend or family member to get involved and help you finish it.

46. Write a Story: Get in touch with your creative side and write a story. You can write a standalone story or get started on an entire series, and you can even illustrate your story by drawing pictures to go along with it.

47. Have a Fashion Show: If you’ve always dreamed of being a model, then invite your friends over and put together some fun outfits. Then walk the catwalk and show off your new ensembles. Use these Kohl’s coupons if you’re in need of some new outfits or accessories!

48. Have a Game Night: Who doesn’t love a good board game? Grab some of your favorites and have a game night with your friends or family. You can also put together some yummy snacks to keep you going for hours.

49. Create + Perform a Play: If the stage calls to you, try writing your own play for you and your friends to act out. You can even dress up in fun costumes to help you get in the spirit. Have your family watch your play for an afternoon of fun!

50. Have a Karaoke Night: Turn on your favorite songs and sing along for a fun night of karaoke with your friends or family. You can take turns picking the songs and play a lyrics video on YouTube so you can follow the words. It’ll be tons of fun pretending to be a popstar for a night.

51. Make a Time Capsule: For a unique activity that’ll bring joy to others, make a time capsule. Get a box and some items from the current year, such as a movie stub, newspaper clipping or a photo you like from a magazine. Put all your items in the box, then bury it somewhere where others can find it years from now. Whoever finds it will have fun looking at items from the past.

52. Play Hide-and-Seek: A tried and true favorite, play a round or two of hide-and-seek with your friends. Take turns for who gets to be “it” and have fun with finding creative hiding spots.

53. Visit a Friend: Spend a few hours away from home by visiting a friend. You may even want to try one of these fun activities while you’re at their house!

There’s nothing wrong with having a lazy summer day every now and then, but for those times when you want to do something fun, these activities can help you pass the time and enjoy yourself. If you find yourself looking for new yard toys or supplies to help you try some of these ideas, these can help you score a deal. So put your sunscreen on and get started on these activities — summer won’t last forever!

We hope that you found this blog helpful. Our content is not intended to provide educational, health, legal, tax, or financial advice. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional. Capital One Shopping does not endorse or guarantee any information or recommendations listed above.

Sources: The Best Ideas for Kids | Blissful Domestication | We Are Teachers