Budget Friendly Family Fun

by Alyson Komyanek

flying kite

Pretty soon, school will be out for the summer and you’ll have the longest days of the year to entertain the family! Here are some fun and inexpensive ways to have fun with the whole family this summer…

Backyard campouts

It’s the only kind of camping I’m willing to try. If you have a tent and sleeping bags, a backyard campout and all the fun that comes with it, is free. It gives everyone a sense of what it’s like to camp, without really making the commitment. Plus if a storm rolls in or a fellow camper decides they’ve had enough, the safety and security of home is only a few feet away (and so is a clean bathroom and well stocked fridge). For a little added fun, buy some chocolate, marshmallows and gram crackers and make some delicious smores!


Tons of farms offer “Pick your Own” events throughout the summer. It’s both a healthy and fun time. Added bonus: it’s educational for the kids.

Set up a visit of a local fire or EMT house

Firemen love this kind of thing, and almost always welcome it. Just call ahead to make sure that your local first responders know you’re coming. This event is especially popular amongst little boys (or older ladies depending on how attractive those firefighters are).

Outdoor movies

It’s a fun and unique way to watch a movie in the summer. You’ll need to rent a projector, but that can be done for as little as $100. If you have a flat space (exterior wall, garage door, etc) you won’t even need a screen. Make your own popcorn, get out the lawn chairs and invite the neighbors over for a fun screening under the stars.

Kite Flying

Why is this such a lost art? I can’t tell you the last time I saw someone flying a kite. Kites are cheap….go fly one!

Free Museum Days

It takes a little bit of work, but museums often have free days or specials where admission prices go down significantly. See if another family would like to tag along and split the cost of parking. Also be sure to pack lunch so you’re not paying for the overpriced museum dining.

Local Fairs

Although the ride ticket prices can get a little out of hand, the price of admission is often pretty reasonable. Just limit the kids’ choices when it comes to rides or games, and eat dinner beforehand so no one is hungry for chicken fingers and fries; splurge on the funnel cake instead!

Head to the beach

Grab the family, pack lunches and snacks and spend the day relaxing in the sun. At the end of the day, head home instead of walking the boardwalk where you’ll be tempted to spend on snacks and arcade games.

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