Summer is almost here, and pretty soon, chimes of “I’m bored” will be pouring from children’s mouths everywhere. For parents, this can mean spending a fortune trying to find ways to occupy their kids and put an end to summertime boredom. It doesn’t cost a fortune though, there are a ton of free and cheap things you can do with kids this summer to keep them entertained without breaking the bank.
1. Take a hike.
There are hiking in both national and state parks, as well as many local community parks. Get out and explore nature for free!
2. Fly a Kite.
Kites can be purchased cheaply from the dollar store or better yet, made by your kids, and they can keep children occupied for hours on a windy day.
4. Participate in Free Reading Programs
Barnes and Noble, local libraries and other sources provide free summer reading programs to kids. Sometimes they have events that the kids can attend or prizes they can earn too.
5. Go Rock Hounding.
Many parks across the country allow rock hounding. Rock hounding is the search for cool, unique or even valuable rocks. This is a free activity that can also provide some great mementos.
3. Go Geocaching.
If you have never been geocaching, you are missing out on a very inexpensive way to have fun almost anywhere you go. Geocaches are basically little treasure hunts that are hidden all over the globe. You can look at caches online at Geocaching.com or you can download their app for about $10, that leads you directly to where the caches are hidden.
7. Try Stargazing
Stargazing is another fun summer activity. Kids can stay up later and get a better glimpse of stars. If you live near a state or national park, looking into whether they have a stargazing program on certain nights, as many of them feature high powered telescopes that kids can view from for free.
8. Catch a Movie
Regular movies can be pricey, particularly for larger families, but many movie theaters across the country offer free or $1 movies one day a week. These are not new releases and are usually earlier in the day, but you can’t beat the price, and kids love the experience of going to the movie theater.
6. Camp Out
Camping is pretty inexpensive, particularly if you already own a camper or tent. If you don’t, try looking for a used tent or borrowing one from a friend or family member. Camping can be a very cheap summer vacation idea too, if you feel like driving a little ways from home.
9. Take a Ride
Most kids own bikes already, and the same goes for most adults. Hop on your bikes and go explore your community as a family. I provides a great opportunity to talk together and you’ll be surprised what you will notice traveling at a slower pace.
10. Enjoy Some Ice Cream
Few things say “summer” like ice cream. Some of my best memories with my boys and as a child myself have revolved around enjoying an ice cream cone with my loved ones.
Ice cream is very affordable, and keeping the freezer stocked is even easier with some help from Safeway and Unilever ice cream brands. Now through 6/3, you can visit your local Safeway or Safeway-owned stores like Vons, Pavillions, Tom Thumb, Randall’s, etc., and purchase any three Unilever brand novelty ice cream products like Good Humor, Popsicle, Klondike or Magnum ice cream for just $2.49 each!
If that great deal weren’t enough, you can now retweet to win a $50 Safeway Gift Card. Just retweet the tweet below announcing this awesome ice cream deal to others, and you could win! Giveaway open to US residents 18+ only, and ends 6/3/14 at 11:59 pm.
This summer I plan on making plenty of cheap or free memories with the boys, starting with my favorite treat, the Good Humor King Cone!
What is your favorite novelty ice cream to enjoy during the summer?