Summertime is typically packed with cookouts, family get-togethers and a lot of free time for the kids. Here are seven budget-friendly activities to do as a family that can help you save on summer fun.

Summer is the best time of the year when you’re a kid, isn’t it? Their days revolve around riding bikes, swimming at the neighborhood pool and the familiar sound of the ice cream truck. Best of all–no homework!

Mother and Daughter Bowling

But, two months of down time can get a little–dare we say–monotonous, so why not mix it up with a few budget-friendly activities? Here’s a list of some frugal summer fun that will earn you big entertainment points with your kids:

  1. Nailed it! Check out some of your local big chain stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot for their FREE kids’ weekly wood project workshops. They provide a great environment that successfully mixes skill building, creativity, and safety for future DIYers. Kids get to bring home a really cool project, too!
  2. Just a Buck. Many of the larger movie theater chains offer a summer program of weekly $1 family-friendly movies. Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express 2017 includes Kung Fu Panda 3, The Boxtrolls, The Secret Life of Pets, and Sing, to name a few. Stop at the Dollar Store or the grocery store for some movie-themed snacks and you’ve got a fun and inexpensive morning out!
  3. Take a Hike! Not all hiking trails are designed for experienced adventurers. Download the All Trails app and wherever you are, you’ll be able to find the perfect hike, bike ride, or trail run by length, rating, and difficulty level. Filter by dog or kid-friendly trails, or find trails with great views. Organize a nature scavenger hunt, bring a bird watching book, pack a picnic, and make a day of it.
  4. What’s Your Superpower? Have a friend that’s a good baker, painter, or movie-taker? Make plans to swap days and kids. The kids will love it because they’ll have fun with their friends and maybe learn or experience something new. You’ll enjoy it because you’ll have some free time to run errands, get some work done, or get a manicure!
  5. An Apple a Day. Have a child that’s interested in technology? Look into Apple Camp. Kids ages 8 to 12 can expand their digital creativity through hands-on projects with experts at Apple. Campers choose one of three tracks, then spend 90 minutes a day for three days at a local Apple Store focused on the subject of their choice…for FREE.
  6. Berry Sweet! The best time to go blueberry picking is late June through July. A bit hotter and a little more work than strawberry or apple picking, but the kids will love eating those delicious fresh berries…as soon as they get in the car!
  7. A Perfect Strike. Bowling is always a fun time for families. Register your kids at Kids Bowl Free, to participate in a nationwide program where kids get to bowl two games for free every day during the summer at their local bowling alley. It’s a great way to get families to spend time together and stay active during the summer months.

Young girl picks blueberries

Whatever your summer plans are, go out and enjoy yourself. Just know that all fun doesn’t have to break the bank. There are tons of things you can do that will create lasting memories and still allow you to stay within budget. Be creative and resourceful and you’ll have the best summer yet!