40 Low or No Cost Family Summer Activities

School’s out for SUMMER!

Hopefully, those words excite you rather than stress you out.  But, for us full time,working, parents, it often means a bit of added stress, as well as extra expense. 

Don’t you worry though because you don’t have to spend money to create amazing memories with your children.  Make yourself and your children learn to appreciate and enjoy life’s simple things.  You will be amazed that when you just stop and breathe in the fresh air on a nature hike or a day at the beach how refreshing that is for the heart and soul of your whole family.  Kids, and parents need these summer months to unwind and relax from the school schedules and planned events that often occupy our ever so busy family calendars. 

So, this summer, think SIMPLE and breathe in these amazing summer months with your kids with a few special activities like these. 


40 Low or No Cost Summer Activities To Do With Your Family This Summer:

  1. Head to the beach: take a road trip to a beach spot and bask in the beauty, while cooling off in the ocean or lake and building sandcastles in the sand. Don’t worry if you don’t have a beach nearby because you can create your own special beach day with a little sand, water and any spot that is special to your family. Imaginations are a wonderful gift.
  2. Make homemade popsicles: we enjoy taking our Wacky Apple juice cups and popping a popsicle stick in the top and freezing for a homemade refreshing treat.
  3. Stargaze: Seriously, when was the last time you just laid a blanket on your porch or in your yard at night and looked up at the stars?
  4. Try a new sport: don’t be scared to step out of your comfort zone and learn a new sport with your kids.  Tennis, golf, archery, rock climbing, or whatever it may be, enjoy it!
  5. Go Fishing: dig for worms and then head to your local pond, lake or river for some classic fishing fun.
  6. Ride Bikes: trek for miles on a biking exploration.
  7. Create a fairy or gnome garden: pick a spot in your yard or home and gather rocks, sticks, leaves, flowers and any other of natures “goods” and create a special spot for your fairies and gnomes.
  8. Bake a special cake or treat: let the kids choose a special cake, pie or treat that they want to make and let them be bakers for the day.
  9. Go on a Picnic: pack up a meal and head to a favorite outdoor spot to enjoy it.
  10. Go on a Park Hop: map out all of the parks within a 1-30 mile radius and enjoy hitting them all in one day.
  11. Have a Water War: get out buckets, water balloons, squirt guns, hoses and the sprinkler and let the battle begin.
  12. Spend the day with a special friend or relative: we all know that we don’t spend enough time with the ones we love amidst our busy schedule so carve out a day to spend talking and catching up with a special person in your life.
  13. Go Hiking: hop into your “comfy” sneaker and get out in nature! Whether it be your mountain trails, or your neighborhood sidewalks, just get moving and make it FUN.
  14. Read a Book: sit under your favorite tree and snuggle up to a good book.
  15. Take a spontaneous Road Trip: pack up the car with some snacks and hit the road.  Often times the unplanned adventures lead to the most amazing memories.
  16. Volunteer at a local animal shelter or Food bank: there is no better feeling than doing a kind deed or helping someone in need.
  17. Organize a Garage Sale:  this is a great way for your kids to learn about business and selling things they dont use anymore.  Purge those unwanted toys and clothes and make room for a little profit that could be used for another fun family adventure.
  18. Put on a Play: get out the dress up clothes and create a fairy tale play to unleash a little artisitic side.
  19. Have a Game night: grab your favorite game, deck of cards, marbles, or dominos and enjoy a rainy afternoon playing games indoors.
  20. Plant a Garden: save the seeds from fresh fruits and vegetables, like peppers and watermelon or purchase a few plants from your local greenhouse and enjoy tending to them and watching them grow.  Lettuce and greens are always fun for the kids to cut and eat in a fresh salad (that they made of course).
  21. Catch Lightening Bugs:  drill small holes in one of our Wacky Apple glass jars and create a “home” for your lightening bugs. Don’t keep them in there too long but DO enjoy observing them while they are in there.
  22. Throw a party: I know what you are thinking, “parties are expensive!” No, no, no…they defintely don’t have to be. Again, think simple,  Create simple decorations, like fresh flowers from yours or a neighbors garden, and homemade laterns.  Use your own glass dishes, and have everyone bring a dish to pass. 
  23. Go Camping: dust off your tent or borrow a friends and head to your local campground, beach spot, mountain location, or even in your backyard and enjoy sleeping under the stars.
  24. Make homemade bubbles: its as easy as using a little dish soap and water and finding your perfect bubble blowing wand!
  25. Play in the Rain: next time it rains, don’t head inside! Dance, splash, run, laugh and enjoy the moment.
  26. Have a Photo Session: take a whole bunch of silly pictures or let your kids get creative with the camera.  Print out your favorites to go in a summer book.
  27. Have a homemade Pizza Night: with a little yeast, flour and salt, making your own dough is easy peesy and everyone in your family can create their own special pizza.
  28. Do Chalk Art: buy a box of sidewalk chalk and work together to create your outdoor masterpiece.
  29. Create a homemade Matchbox Car track: use old cardboard boxes, toilet paper tubes, papertowel tubes and even wacky apple juice and sauce cups to come up with a cool race car track for your toy cars.
  30. Do Splatter Art: take an old white sheet, buy one for cheap or check a local thrift store and create a work of art using paint and different items like shoe laces, large brushes, leaves, flowers, or even your hands and feet as your way of painting onto your blank canvas.
  31. Set up a Lemonade Stand: every kid needs to try their hand with the traditional and classic lemonade stand.  Enjoy making the lemonade together and coming up with your business and marketing strategy.
  32. Host your very own Olympic Games: set up different stations for the kids to try sports like a short race around the block or down the street for track, a javilon throw (with a foam noodle throw a hula hoop), a golf swing station (with whiffle golf balls), a small soccer game, and whatever else you can think of. It’s always fun to do an opening and closing ceremony and handing out homemade medals is a must.
  33. Have a Dance Party: this one is EASY! Just crank up the tunes and get shakin’. You could also try the Just Dance you tube videos.
  34. Create Science Experiments: make baking soda and vinegar Volcanos, do a mentos and diet coke explosion and make homemade slime.
  35. Have a Lego Creation Day: if your kids love legos, sit down and make a crazy creation with them. The possibilities are endless here.
  36. U Pick Fruit and Vegetables: check listings for farms in your area that let you come and pick your own fruit like blueberries, strawberries, apples, peaches, etc. If there is not one in your area, head to a local farmers market or ask to tour a local farm or ranch.
  37. Kids Pick and Make the Meal night: this is so fun for the older kids! Have your child(ren) be in charge of creating a dinner or meal and serve it in a special way.
  38. Make a Fort: whether you choose to make this indoors or out, enjoy getting creative with sheets, pillows, blankets, tarps, etc to create a fort to spend the day in or to keep up for the summer.
  39. Have a Summer Bonfire: carefully of course. A fire pit is always the best option if possible.  Roast marshmallows, sing songs, and tell stories around the fire.
  40. Make Homemade Crayons: gather your old and broken crayons and melt them in mini muffin tins to create new and multicolored crayons. 

Our list could go on and on! Whatever you choose to do with your family, realize that any time spent with family is a gift and treasure and should be made the most of,  It’s easy to get caught up in the to-do list and the craziness of life, but we urge you to S-L-O-W down this summer and enjoy those little and wonderful things with your family. 

*Please also feel free to SHARE this list with other parents who may benefit from some simple, fun and low or no cost activities. We also would LOVE to hear more activities that your family enjoys doing so we can expand this list to 50, 75, 100+ ideas. Please share them here in the comments of this blog, or on one of our social media platforms. Follow Wacky Apple on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. *

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