Summer Fun with The Kids on the Cheap!

Summer is officially here, yay! With the kids out of school and the sun shining, the days are begging to be filled with fun times. As mom, you are your little ones’ social and entertainment director, and you’re also the one watching the bottom line. Summer fun on a budget? No problem! Try some of these ideas to get you started on a season to remember.

  • Hit the movies: Score! Once again Regal Cinemas is offering kids’ flicks for a $1 per person on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings beginning June 26th. The movies include recent hits like The Lego Ninjago Movie, Minions, and Paddington 2. Visit Regal Cinemas to find the schedule and theater closest to you.
  • Pitch a tent: Camping and kids go together like toasted marshmallows and graham crackers. If you’ve never tried it, you should, even just for a night. Borrow gear from friends if necessary, load up a cooler with picnic-type foods, and head out into the wilderness for some fresh air and relaxing car camping. Or you could always just set up in the backyard! Before you go, check out our tips for camping with toddlers.
  • Get wet: Some kids live in their swimsuits all summer, for good reason: it’s always time to splash when you’re a kid, especially when the sun is blazing high in the sky (sunscreen, please!). Between the local pool, splash parks, and the beach, you’re sure to find a bonanza of summer swimming holes in your area.
  • Feel festive: Fairs and festivals have the advantage of appealing to both parents and kids because of their many food and entertainment offerings. Load baby into a carrier (strollers can be tricky in crowded spots), pull on some comfortable shoes, and you’re set! Since they’re outdoors, festivals can be fun even with the tiniest of tots, because no one cares about noise or otherwise being disturbed.
  • Get picking: Pile into the car and head out into the country to pick some fruit. Kids excel at berry picking: they are especially good at the “one-for-me, one-for-the-bucket” philosophy. The price per pound is less than the going supermarket rate, so you can pick a lot and freeze them for using in smoothies, pancakes, or whatever. Consider heading to an organic farm if you’re concerned about your littles eating unwashed berries off the bush. And don’t forget to bring a picnic!
  • Foster the literary love: Your local (air conditioned!) library is a great place to take your kids this summer. Not only is it free to browse and check out books, but some libraries have even begun adding toys and tablets for kids to try when they’re bored of books. Plus, summer reading programs are in full swing, and it’s never, ever too early to start reading to a baby!
  • Buy a pass: Consider investing in a membership to the zoo, kids’ museum, or nearby waterpark, depending on where your littles’ interests lie. Although memberships can be a little costly upfront, they’ll pay for themselves if you put them to good use. You might also be able to split a membership with another family.

What budget-friendly activities will you be doing with your kids this summer?