Affordable Summer Activities for Kids

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When the school calendar is down to one page, kids start getting antsy. The end of the school year is nigh and they can taste it. Before long, you’ll have a houseful of kids on your hands, begging to be entertained—the excitement of summer wears off shortly after the 4th of July. Have a few activities in your arsenal before the first kid even utters the first syllable of “I’m bored.” We’ve come up with a few cheap ways to keep the kids busy during the summer:

Go fishing. If your little one has never been fishing before, make this the summer that that all changes. Check out Take Me Fishing, a website that can point you to the best-stocked watering holes in your community. The website will also teach you and your children about the basics of fishing before you head out with your bait and tackle.

Have a campfire. In an era when video games and TV tend to keep children inactive and indoors, it’s important to make sure your kids get enough exercise and fresh air. The best way to do this is by making playing outside fun, so get the whole family involved. If you have a fire pit, build a real campfire and roast s’mores. If you don’t, recreate this faux campfire from Instructables outdoors and bring your already gooey s’mores to eat “fireside.”

Check out a concert in the park. Almost every town hosts a series of concerts in the park when the summer months roll in. Check out your township’s website for a schedule of upcoming events. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much free stuff is going on in your own backyard. Some communities also host movies in the park on massive screens, and the flicks are almost always family friendly.

Bowl together. You will have to put out a bit of dough for this activity, but it’s a good way to unwind in the AC after your kids have been playing in the hot summer sun all day. Plus, most bowling alleys offer specials for families, especially during typically slow weekday hours, so you might be able to score a deal. Bowling alleys usually have an arcade, too, for kids who aren’t very interested in learning to bowl.

Host a slumber party. The easiest way to keep kids entertained? Invite over some other kids. Volunteer to have the first slumber party of the summer at your house and get your youngsters involved in the planning. If you haven’t hosted a sleepover before, start small—maybe just invite some cousins. Have a few activities planned, but not too many. Part of the fun of a slumber party is just getting to hang out with your friends into the wee hours.

Make an obstacle course. Here’s another surefire way to get the kids outside and active. You don’t need to go crazy with props to set up a fun, engaging obstacle course. With stuff you already have on-hand—like hula hoops and jump ropes—and a little bit of creativity, you will be all set for summer fun.