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11 Cheap (or Free) Summer Activities for Kids

After a few summers at home with the kids, I know it doesn’t take too long before you run out of things to do the kids and they’re screaming “We’re BORED.” And while theme parks and zoos are fun, they cost money, and aren’t an everyday activity. Knowing that you might find yourself in the same boat, I thought I’d save you some trouble. Our RealityMoms are a smart bunch—and they collaborated to give you a great list of potential summer activities!

We hit up the local library weekly. The kids love it. Plus, the library offers a steady schedule of free, family-oriented events. ~ Erica Gomez, Erica Blogs

We love drawing with chalk all over the deck. (Slacker Mom has some hacks too.) ~ Jennifer Weedon Palazzo, MomCaveTV

My kids enjoy playing in the kiddie pool or with the homemade water table. ~ Lauren Forsythe, My Favorite Job Title is Mom

This is clearly not for everyone, but we love watching the bats and fireflies come out in the evening. My kids look forward to—and ask—when the bats come back in the spring after hibernation. ~ Shannon Brescher Shea, We’ll Eat You Up We Love You So

We go primitive camping multiple times each summer. We started when our daughter was two and she loves it! Can’t wait to teach her how to pee in the woods this year—that’s going to take it next level. ~ Katrina High, Living the High Life

We just took the boys hiking yesterday in Rocky Mountain National Park. I was actually thinking last night about what a nice, free day it was! Doesn’t have to be a national park as those cost money, but hiking is always a nice freebie activity. ~ Jessica Tyler, I Dream of Naptime

We go for bike rides to different parks and playgrounds around the area. I usually pack some snacks so we can have a picnic, too. ~ Writer Elizabeth Joyce

We go to the local natural history museum several times over the summer. There is a great children’s room with hands-on activities, it’s free, and it’s a nice indoor space when afternoon rain showers come through. We also go to our theater’s Summer Movie events every week. They play popular animated movies for only $1! ~ Dana Kamp, 39ish Life

We like to go to local and state parks for walks and the playgrounds. You can make it an adventure to see how many different and new parks you can check out during the summer months! ~ Mia Carella, This Mom With a Blog

We go to the waterfront and hang out. We bring a volleyball and frisbee. Walk out on the pedestrian bridge and watch the clouds and boats go by. ~ Joy Hedding, Evil Joy Speaks

Swimming, swimming, swimming. ~ Sharon Silver, Proactive Parenting

What free or cheap activities have you planned out this summer?

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