It’s such an exciting time! No matter how young or old your kids are, summer just seems full of endless possibilities. And endless opportunities for summer activities…give me all the activities!!
School is out, vacations are happening and schedules are way more lax than usual.
That’s why it’s super important to have plenty of cheap, simple fun summer activities for kids near me on hand.
Because even though it’s an exciting time of year and there are so many possibilities. The big quantities of unfilled time can be daunting.
Sometimes leaving you wondering “how do I entertain my kids in the summer?” Well, I got you boo boo.
I’ve put together a list of summer activities for kids of all ages. Ranging from summer activities for toddler, preschool, kindergarten and on up!
Add these activities to your summer bucket list to keep your kids entertained and happy.
I’m including summer activities you can do at home, on outings and inside.
Because variety is the spice (and sanity) of life.
And a little side note…If you’re needing more structure in your summer days check out our Toddler Schedules. It has helped keep sanity and structure in our day.
Some affiliate links are included at no cost to you.
Cheap & Easy Summer Activities for Kids Near Me
Activities to do during summer vacation don’t have to be extravagant. I’ve found that the little things are usually the ones that make the biggest impact(and fun).
Summer Activities for Kids At Home
I wanted to start with easy activities for kids you can do at home. You’ve probably heard of most of these at some point in your life. But, sometimes we just need a quick reminder. Mom brain anyone?!
I first saw these big bubbles when we went to the fair. It’s perfect because it has the awe factor of bubbles and then ups the anti with the gigantic size!
You can make the bubbles for your kids if they’re younger or if their a bit older they can do it themselves.
Outdoor Sensory Table
This can be as complicated or as basic as you’d like it to be. An added bonus is that it doesn’t really matter how messy it is because you’re outside.
We have used flour and construction trucks to create a little outdoor construction zone.
Here are 10 more sensory bin options you can try this summer!
BUT my favorite way to create a summer sensory bin is to add water beads and bubbles to a water table! And I like to throw in some toy fish and tongs/shovel for a little fine motor skill practice.
I promise this is so easy to make and so much fun for your kids!
Bath Paint Outside
You know the bath paint that your kids can use in the bathtub? That same paint can be used outside on a Rubbermaid lid or blow up pool.
Just a little thing like switching up their canvas can add loads of entertainment.
Good ‘ole sprinklers. These bring back memories from my childhood! I especially love this Melissa & Doug Sprinkler. It’s super cute and I love all things Melissa & Doug!
Set it up and let your kids run back and forth. We used to put it under our trampoline so the water would squirt through. But, be warned, it gets very slippery!
Outdoor Pool Pouring Station
I like to utilize our outdoor pool that you don’t have to blow up!
Kids can get bored doing the same activity. So, the best way to eliminate boredom is to mix up that same ‘ole activity.
The perfect example is this easy pouring station. You just use your outdoor pool and add in some cups, spoons, bowls or whatever container you think your child will enjoy.
Then let them transfer water back and forth between all the containers.
Adding a play sink like this that actually has running water is also so much fun! Plus, it comes with the cups and plates you’d need for transferring the water.
I know, bugs are gross! But, your kids most likely love them. Encouraging bug exploration is a great way to foster the creativity and curiosity that is within your child.
Find an old rubbermaid container and punch holes in the lid.
Or, here is a critter case if you want a fancier option.
Then take your kids on a bug hunt where they can collect different bugs they find. If you want to take it a step further you can then Google the bugs to discover what they are. You can also count legs, arms, eyes and talk about wether they fly or crawl.
There are tons of ways to extend this activity.
Chalk Art – letters, numbers, names, shapes
Another educational activity you can do outdoors is simple chalk art.
I like to write the alphabet then ask my son to jump on a certain letter. We do the same things with numbers, shapes and names of people in our family.
You can mix it up by asking them to sit, stomp, high five, karate kick or doing jumping jacks on the object you want them to find.
*and just a little side note…for those rainy summer days I have a list of simple indoor toddler activities that will keep your kiddos entertained while inside this Summer*
Bring some old sheets, blankets and towels outside. Tell your kids that they get to make a fort.
You may need to get the ball rolling by giving them ideas or they may just take the material and run!
If you need to help them show them how they can use the lawn furniture to drape the sheets to create a roof or walls.
Or, an Air Fort is an easier option. We got this as a Christmas gift and it’s so stinking cool!
All you do is turn on a box fan and it blows up the Air Fort for you. You get an fort in seconds and the kids can run in and out!
This activity has the potential to take thirty minutes to an hour! Get your self a lemonade and do some sun bathing!
Bubble Water Table
The bubble water table has saved us on many hot days. Instead of just putting water in your water table you add some dish soap first. Then turn on the hose and get the bubbles going!
Before long the bubbles will be overflowing. This adds a whole new texture and dimension to their normal water play.
If you don’t have a water table, no worries. Just use a blow up pool or a big container. Both will work perfectly!
We are fans of camping but when you have kids backyard camping is the way to go.
Because having a bathroom and snacks near by are always a good thing!
If you have a tent pop that sucker up and tell your children that they get to go camping in the backyard!
You can also tell them that they need to gather all the materials for camping like water, food, sleeping bags and whatever else they thing necessary.
This little tent play set has everything that your child will need for their outdoor camping adventure. Plus, the tent literally pops right up!
This type of play encourages responsibility and creativity!
This is one we do all the time and it’s always a win!
You’re going to eat lunch anyways but now you can spice it up by throwing in a picnic blanket and eating outside.
You can literally do this in your backyard or pack everyone up and head to a local park.
I keep a picnic blanket like this in our car at all times. It has come in handy on more occasions than I can count!
Make Ice Cream
Who doesn’t love ice cream during the hot summer months?! Now you can involve your kids and make your own ice cream!
This Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is so easy and can be made in 5 minutes. Plus, you don’t need an ice cream maker to do it!
But, if you’d like an ice cream maker this is an awesome one! You can make more and save some for later!
Ballon Tennis with Swim Noodles
I’m all about easy and cheap. That’s why this activity is the best!
Blow up a ballon, cut a swim noodle in half.
Then have the kids hit the balloon back and forth with the noodles.
So much fun and so little time and money spent.
I’m sure a Gladiator pool noodle battle will break out at some point, so just prepare yourself.
Fly Kites (make or buy)
We’re all about making kites around here. They rarely fly but it’s still fun to drag them across the back yard and pretend (haha).
If you want to get more serious about making a kite. Here are is a video on how to make legit kite in 2 minutes.
But, if you don’t have time and would rather buy a kite. Here are some great options on Amazon!
Simple Fun Summer Activity Outings Outside
Sometimes you just need to get out of the house for some summer activities for kids. In this section I’ll include kid activities that you can do on outings outside.
Where we live there is a local splash pad that is free to the community. Hopefully you have one of those too! But, if not, the YMCA usually has some sort of splash pad option.
Hiking has been a great outlet for us. It’s a great way to get out of the house. Get some fresh air and just change the scenery.
It’s also a great way to expel some energy and get excercise.
With a little Google research I’m sure you could find a hiking trail near you.
A rather obvious option but still worth talking about. The pool can be a great outlet for the whole family.
We plan to get a peddle jumper like this for this summer season so I don’t have to stress every second that we are at the pool.
I included this in that “at home” section, but a picnic is also perfect for an outing. You can visit a local park or just an empty field.
Below you can easily PIN your Summer Bucket List so you have all the activities right at your finger tips!
If you’re looking for a place with free admission look no further. Your local park is always a good, free place to go.
But, do make sure your child has a water bottle and stays hydrated. Summer days can get incredibly hot!
You can use this find your park finder to find new locations near you that you may not even discovered yet!
It’s amazing how much is close to us that we don’t even know about.
Simple Fun Summer Activities for Kids Inside
Then some summer days it’s just too hot to be outside. That’s why I wanted to share some easy indoor summer activities that will keep you cool and won’t break your budget.
The Library is always a good free option.
There’s usually a small play table in the kid area plus some computers if you want technology time.
Check your local Library for read-a-loud times. That’s always a great way to have free summer fun!
Plus, checking out free books is a great way to take some more entertainment home!
Most libraries offer summer reading programs that could help your child keep their love for reading alive even during the summer months.
Your local YMCA or community center will likely have an indoor pool for days you are needing a break from the sun!
Also, there is usually a daily rate so you don’t have to be a member to swim.
AMC is offering a Summer Movie Camp (of sorts). It included a kid friendly move plus a KidsPack for $4 every Wednesday.
Your local children’s science museum is good way to give variety to your schedule. When you’ve gone to the pool a million times and you can’t do another outdoor activity. Let the museum take over.
There are so many educational outlets to museums. And did I mention you won’t be outside.
I have listed a slew of simple indoor activities that are easy, educational and indoors. You can do them at home with very little prep.
Visit the Pet Store
I know it’s basic, but it’s also fun! It’s like a free version of the zoo.
We have seen mice, lizards, parrots, snakes, cats and more. It’ll give you at least 20 minutes of indoor entertainment.
I love this option! When the summer heat gets to everyone it’s time to take the focus off of their discomfort and focus on how they can be kind to others.
These activity cards are full of ideas on how to get your kids thinking about being kind to others.
Lowe’s or Home Depot
Along the same lines as the Pet Store. Any adventure is what you make it. We have a blast at these stores testing out the riding lawn mowers and seeing if the blinds function properly.
And Home Depot offers FREE DIY Kits from 9am to 12pm on the first Saturday of every month!
If you’re looking for free summer activities this is a great one to add to your list!
The kits are available on a first come first serve basis, so try to get there as early as you can.
Summer Activities for Kids Near Me
If you’re looking for summer activities near you. Any of these would be a great option to add to your Summer Bucket list!
There is a camp program offered by the YMCA and many churches offer summer camps as well. So, be sure to look into your area. This is a fun way for your kids to have a great time and make new friends.
Summer months are such a great time to visit your local water park!
Water Country USAis a great option if you are wanting to visit a water park this summer.
Water parks have fun things to do for little kids and older kids. A great place to go if you have multiple children and you’re trying to keep everyone happy!
It may be a little or big road trip for you depending on where your family is located.
Often times, they run specials where you get a free ticket to the water park if you also go to Busch Gardens.
Busch Gardens has ton of amusement rides and roller coasters for the whole family!
Like free summer concerts or movies in the park. Search your local area to see where yours are located.
Our free concerts and outdoor movies usually take place in Central Park.
These are a great option for family-friendly events!
Activities for the Whole Family
Doing fun activities at home is a great way to include the entire family during the Summer when you naturally have more time together. This post is full of family-friendly activities you can do at home with your
Here is a list of 15 of the best horseback riding camps for kids in the Unites States.
Use the Kid Skate Free program to find free skate programs near you!
National park service have junior ranger programs.
“Interested youth complete a series of activities during a park visit, share their answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and Junior Ranger certificate. Junior Rangers are typically between the ages of 5 to 13, although people of all ages can participate.”
It could be the amazing adventure you’re looking for this summer!
The National Park Foundation’s also have program grants called Every Kid Outdoors and they give a free park pass to national parks across the country for kids in the fourth grade.
Pool maintenance company, Poolwerx, has joined with companies that host swim lessons to offer one free swim lesson for every child 12 years or younger. Go to Poolwerx to find out more details about your swim lessons!
If you’re looking for cheap things to do use Kids Bowl Free program to get two free bowling games!
You will need to buy a Family Pass and use it during select times and dates, but some bowling alleys include free shoe rental for the summer.
Geocaching is the most fun scavenger hunt you and your family could go on this Summer!
Join the world’s largest treasure hunt!
Go to Geocaching and watch the video to see more detailed instructions!
Many states have their version of a Botanical Garden. A great place to visit to enjoy nature and it’s beauty!
Most camp sites have a miniature golf course on site!
There are also a lot of fun miniature golf courses in many states.
This activity is great for the whole family and gets you working as a team together!
Free Fishing Days
Take Me Fishing is a site that gives free fishing dates in every state.
I sincerely hope these ideas help you have a stress free, enjoyable summer! If you have some additional summer activity ideas please feel free to leave them in the comments! Let’s help each other out.
Here’s to a great summer mama!
Go get ’em!
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