Just remember, budget-friendly isn’t synonymous with boring, and expensive doesn’t equal exciting. Here are budget-friendly summer ideas.

Ahhhh, summer! The kiddos are out of school, the bees are buzzing, and your house is alive with excitement. While summertime is a chance to sit back and unwind, it’s also a time for fun. The challenge, however, is not to break the bank and still create some awesome memories with your family. Entertainment doesn’t always have to be expensive. Here are some budget-friendly summer ideas that are guaranteed to get the big thumbs-up:

  1. Check with your local movie theater. Often times, they’ll run free movies on weekday mornings during the summer months. Bring your own popcorn and juice box, for the kids of course, and you’ve just hit the FREE jackpot!
  1. Chances are your local newspaper has a community calendar – check it out! Festivals, concerts in the park, movies on the lawn, craft fairs, and other events will be listed every week, and we bet many of them will include FREE admission.
  1. Budget-Friendly Summer ideas, First Financial Security, Inc. Top TenVisit your town’s Parks and Recreation Department website and consider enrolling your child in a recreational sports league, such as baseball, soccer, basketball and many others. Many of these leagues are inexpensive, provide exercise, entertainment and promote good sportsmanship and teamwork.
  1. Volunteer with your kids in your community. Organize a canned food drive for your local food bank, write letters to deployed soldiers, pick up litter in your neighborhood, visit a nursing home, or serve in a homeless shelter. There are opportunities for every age.
  1. Check out more than just books at your public library. Many of today’s libraries host story time and puppet shows, computer classes, exercise classes, arts and crafts, chess clubs and family movie nights.
  1. Head to the beach, the lake, or the neighborhood or community pool. Don’t have the whole day to spend? Have a water balloon fight, play in the sprinkler or make a slip and slide in the front yard. Serve some flavored ice pops and it’s an instant party.First Financial Security, Inc. offers 10 creative ideas for a budget-friendly summer
  1. Go to a minor league baseball game. The cost of admission is substantially less than the majors, and it’s fun for everyone! The kids love it because the mascots play silly games between innings and parents love it because it might actually count as a night out. If you get lucky, the kids can even run the bases after the game.
  1. Explore local nature trails, hike a mountain, snap a family picture in front of the waterfall and stop on the bank for a picnic. Exercise, lunch, and electronic-free family time? Sounds like heaven!
  1. Who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt? Organize one around your house or in your neighborhood and tell your kids to invite their BFFs. This could last all day. If you want to take it up a notch, try geocaching, which is a real world, treasure-hunting game where you search for hidden objects by using GPS coordinates posted online.
  1. Plan a camping trip. Whether you’re off the grid in a national forest or you pitch a tent in your backyard, camping lets you enjoy the great outdoors. It’s about sunsets and s’mores, campfires, ghost stories and family bonding. The secret here is to contain your excitement and avoid buying your own equipment. Borrow what you can from family and friends, unless of course, you expect to become an avid outdoor explorer in the future.

However you choose to spend your budget-friendly summer days, take time to enjoy every minute. Just remember, a budget-friendly summer isn’t synonymous with boring, and expensive doesn’t equal exciting. Spending time with family and friends, creating those memorable moments and investing in each other doesn’t require a big budget. Be creative, resourceful, and generous with your time and your attention, and you’ll have an unforgettable summer!