12 Fun, Affordable Summer Activities to Enjoy with Your Family

12 Fun, Affordable Summer Activities to Enjoy with Your Family

Draven Jackson
Blogger | Teacher

Summer is all about having fun in the sun and enjoying the great weather. School’s out and it’s time for you and your kids to find new ways to enjoy the sunny days!

If you’re looking for fun summer activities that are affordable, exciting, and perfect for you and your little one, here are 12 ideas for ways that you can spend quality time with your kids and enjoy that amazing summer weather!

Backyard Camping

One of the top summer activities that kids love is backyard camping. It’s inexpensive and close to home – although, if you’re an avid nature-lover, camping at local campsites can also be a fun family experience!

But for those of us who still want to enjoy the outdoors while having all of the ease and accessibility of being near home, backyard camping is the perfect activity for you. You can set up a tent and sleeping bags, start a small fire, roast marshmallows, and tell spooky ghost stories with your family.

Backyard camping is the perfect way to get your kiddos outside and enjoying life in a new and exciting way!

Local Library Summer Reading Programs

For those parents looking for summer activities that will keep their kids active but still learning, many libraries hold annual summer reading programs. During these programs, they host events and hold challenges to help keep your kid active and learning!

Coming from a family of librarians myself, encouraging your child to participate in events at the library and keeping them reading during the summer is incredibly important to make sure they don’t lose a large majority of what they learned in school last year.

So read on and have fun!

Pools and Beaches

 12 Fun, Affordable Summer Activities to Enjoy with Your FamilyPools and beaches are one of the best summer activities for families who want to get outside, but still want to beat the heat. Not only are beaches usually free and open to the public, but they are also an integral part of the summer experience.

For those families that live too far from the beach to enjoy it as a daily experience, community centers often have pools that are open to visitors or members for a small fee. Make sure to get out this summer and have fun splashing around!

Treasure Hunts

Looking for fun summer activities that are a little different from what you do every year? Plan an exciting treasure hunt for your kids in your backyard or at the local park! Treasure hunts don’t have to be saved only for Easter and pirate-themed parties – you can have one any time of the year.

Pick up some small treats from your local dollar store and plant them around a large, natural area. Then have your kids and their friends try to find as many as they can! If you want to add a little more of a challenge, make it a scavenger hunt where they have to solve clues to find their treasure!

A treasure hunt will definitely become a quick family favorite – maybe even an annual summer event.

Hikes and Bike Rides

Another one of the best summer activities for enjoying the great outdoors is going on hikes and bike rides. These fun ways to get out of the house and enjoy the weather are also great ways to exercise and stay healthy!

Try and find new local areas to explore with your family!


Starting a garden is one of the most fun and interesting summer activities that will teach your kids about the value of patience and hard work. I remember helping my grandma in the garden when I was younger – it was hot and it took a lot of time, but the idea that my tiny seed would grow into a beautiful flower was all the motivation I needed to keep going.

You could start a family vegetable garden or design a beautiful flower garden that will be ready to bloom in a few weeks – whatever you decide, make it a family ordeal and get everyone involved!

Outdoor Movies and Drive-Ins

Outdoor movies are one of my absolute favorite summer activities. Often, community centers and city centers will host outdoor movie events that families can attend for free. Or, if you want to be a little more choosy about the movie, drive over to the local drive-in and buy cheap tickets to see more recent releases.

Bring a blanket and some snacks and enjoy watching a movie in a whole new setting!

Daily Sketch Journals

Another great way to keep your child’s mind active during summer and foster new hobbies through affordable summer activities is to start a daily sketch journal. When visiting a museum or a park, have them bring a sketchbook and draw something that catches their eye. Or, if you’re staying inside, let them be more creative about their sketch content.

The art doesn’t have to be good at first, but with time and practice, they will begin to evolve and see the amazing growth that they can achieve!

Family Writing Workshops

Much like with the daily sketch journals, another one of the best summer activities for keeping your kids’ minds active and thinking is a family writing workshop. Once a week, host a “Family Writing Workshop” where everyone in the family writes a short story or poem based on the same prompt. Then, take time to read your works together and talk about the interesting ways each person decided to tell their story.

If you need prompt ideas, check out our other blog posts “Creative Writing Prompts for Young Writers” and “More Creative Writing Prompts for Young Writers.”

Cooking with the Family

Are your kids interested in learning to cook and do you want more summer activities to encourage their newfound hobby? Start a weekly cooking night with the whole family! Decide together on fun new recipes to try and make sure everyone is participating in the cooking experience.

Whether you decide to make simple dinner meals or bake extravagant desserts, cooking together is a great way to bond and enjoy a new hobby as a family. Bonus points if you eat it outside on your porch while you enjoy some music and the stars!

Family Play

Another one of my favorite summer activities is putting on a family play! This is a great way not only to keep your children learning and challenging them academically, but it’s also just a lot of fun!

Decide on a play together – or, if you’re feeling adventurous, write one yourself – and give everyone a part to perform.

Practice, practice, practice, and then designate a specific night for family and family friends to come over and become the audience for your performance. It’s even better if you go all out with fun sets, props, and costumes!

Community Concerts

Another great way to enjoy the outdoors and find affordable summer activities that are fun for the whole family is to attend community concerts. Many community centers or local event organizers will plan small concerts that are free or cheap to attend.

Bring a blanket to sit on and some snacks and drinks, invite your friends, and enjoy some fun music in the park or local community space!

Do you have more ideas for summer activities that are affordable and fun for the whole family? Tell us in the comments!

Draven Jackson HeadshotAbout Draven Jackson

Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.

To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.


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