10 free or cheap things to do this summer with the kids

Last weekend, we ended up going on a last-minute boat ride to see if we could be lucky enough to see some whales and dolphin. We are very fortunate to live incredibly close to the ocean so it’s a little easier to accomplish things like this.


But it got me thinking about the summer and weekends in general and local activities that we should try to do that normally we might put off thinking that we can do it at another time. It even comes back to activities that you can do with your little ones in your very own backyard or driveway.

I gave myself 2 minutes to brainstorm and came up with a list of ten free, really cheap or local ideas to try now or this summer with kids. Keep this handy for when the kids are out for break and you need quick, easy ideas. Add your own ideas in the comments too!

  1. Discover local attractions. Maybe you’re not by a beach/ocean but there’s a new park, farm/orchard or a historical landmark nearby. Make the most of what’s in your city or nearby…if you open your mind to this, you’ll see that there’s so much that’s literally in your own backyard! Perhaps you’re lucky enough to live close to San Diego whale watching trips?!
  2. Go to the airport and watch planes take off and land. Visit the fire station too.
  3. Make a giant hopscotch with chalk on your driveway
  4. Camp out in your backyard…or even put up a tent that can serve as a playhouse
  5. Plant a garden – I’ve been thinking about getting the boys to help me with a butterfly garden
  6. Make popsicles with fresh fruit juice (do this the night before if you don’t have the amazing Zoku) or use a plastic mold. Enjoy outside and when the kids get sick of eating them…you can get them to even draw with them on white paper. Sounds crazy, but super fun.
  7. Put on the music and have a dance party…all you need is a bluetooth speaker or your phone! Take a look on https://maxyourhometime.com/bluetooth-speakers/ if you’re in need of a cheap, reliable speaker! Get some glow bracelets and do this at night. Kids love it.
  8. Set up a fun water play situation….with just the garden hose or get some water balloons, water shooters, sprinklers.
  9. Speaking of sprinklers, get kids body paint (or try pudding!) and let the kids have at it. Then let them rinse off running through the sprinklers. Win – win!!
  10. Go on a nature walk…either at a park, in your neighborhood, nearby ocean/river and pick up things like leaves, rocks, sticks along the way. When you get home, make a collage of what you found.

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