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Frugal Summer Activities

This is my kids last full week of school! I’m kinda freaking out. What on earth am I going to do with two kids all day long? I did some thinking and came up with some frugal activities to keep us busy this summer. Please keep in mind that we live in Phoenix so playing outside is out of the question.

The Summer Movies: I don’t know if they do this in “normal” places, but here in Phoenix Harkins has a summer movie program. Every week for 10 weeks they play a different kids movie and for $7 per person you can get tickets for all 10 movies. So for $21 my kids and I can go to the movies once a week all summer long! You can’t beat it. To keep it frugal you have to bring your own snacks, which they allow. If you don’t have a summer movie program near you then you can always hit the dollar theater.

Swimming: One of the features of our subdivision is a community pool. We have to hit it early before the heat of the day, or after dinner, but it’s an hour or two of activity for the kiddos for absolutely free. If you don’t have access to a free pool most cities have a public pool you can take a dip in for pretty cheap, if you dare.

The Library: Our library has a summer reading program where the kids can earn prizes for reading. They also have all kinds of activities and programs for the little ones. Story time, educational guest speakers, and arts and crafts can all be found at the library for free. Oh, and books!

Chuck E. Cheese: If you skip the pizza Chuck E. Cheese, or Peter Piper Pizza, can be pretty cheap. There are always ways to score free tokens and it’s a good way to let the kids run around indoors. And you can hang out in a booth and read. Peter Piper even has free wifi!

McDonalds: If your kids are too little to be let loose in Chuck E. Cheese then Mickey D’s is a good alternative. Again, keep it frugal and skip the meals. Get yourself a coffee or soda and relax in the AC. You can enjoy the free wifi while your kids play in the play area.

Play Dates: Switch off with a friend and have some play dates. You either get to leave the house or have a friend over. Either way it’s a distraction from the summer boredom. And all it costs is the price of an extra snack.

Arts and Crafts: This can get pricy if you aren’t careful. Check out teaching websites for cheap ways to do some art with your kids. Those teachers are amazing at what they can get done for almost no money.

If you don’t live in the hot hot desert you have some extra options (lucky!)

The Park: Nothing beats taking your kids to the park in the summer. I’m so unbelievably jealous of you I can’t stand it. Enjoy! If you bring a picnic lunch I don’t even want to hear about it.

A Bike Ride: Grab your bikes and hit the turf. Maybe even ride down to the park! Great exercise and totally free. You could also go for a walk if your little ones aren’t riding bikes yet. Pick a theme and see how many things you can spy in your topic. The little ones love it.

Sprinklers in the backyard: Growing up in Massachusetts this was a favorite of mine. Throw on your kid’s suits and turn on the hose. These are some of my favorite summer memories.

A Slip and Slide: While you have the back yard hose on throw down some plastic sheeting and slip slide the summer away.

The Beach: If you are lucky enough to live by the beach, well, you don’t need me to tell you to head down there and have some frugal summer fun.

Ok, that’s what I got. What frugal fun do you plan to do this summer? Leave a comment, you might help out another frazzled parent!

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7 thoughts on “Frugal Summer Activities”

  1. Great ideas. My kids are all-over the beach during the summer break. Apart from Virginia Beach City charging $3 for parking, it’s free.

  2. Great ideas. My son would be happy just playing PS2 all day so he’s pretty cheap summer date. However, I like some variety. Swimming at a local pool costs about $5.00 per person but we only go a select few times per year otherwise we chill at home. We live in an condo complex with next to no amenities.

  3. @Hunter: No fair! I’d live at the beach if we had one.

    @C: I have a limit on the video games to 3 hours per day… pretty sad huh? My son would play that thing from the moment he opened his eyes until he passed out at night.

  4. Maggie@SquarePennies

    How about a good old-fashioned water balloon fight? In your heat the kids would dry off quickly before having to come indoors. We used to put up a badminton net in the yard for a badminton tournament or volleyball. It could be a good time to learn/improve tennis. The neighborhood kids would all play Release in the early evening. When we were kids we’d have all-day Monopoly games, but I’m not sure that can compete with video games nowdays. With limits on video games, board games might be more popular. We like Settlers of Catan which can also go for quite a few hours. It’s pretty much good for all ages & a bit addicting. At least it includes some basic economics lessons! lol
    Summertime can be a good time for crafts, hobbies, and learning new skills if you have the time to get them started. Then there is always Legos!

  5. @Maggie: a water balloon fight sounds fun! I’ve never heard of Settlers of Catan. I’ll have to look that up.

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