Saving Money on Summer Fun

Kids and adults alike need to amuse themselves during the long summer days. There are many local concerts, fairs and events, beaches, camping, vacations, and more. This is a guide to saving money on summer fun.


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May 24, 2010 Flag

School is almost out! A great surprise gift idea for elementary-aged children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews is a 'Summer of Fun' surprise package. Try to think of all the things you loved as a child. Your grandchild, child or niece/nephew will probably have a little of you in them. I did this last summer and my granddaughter was absolutely delighted!

Fill the box with the following:

This gift will not cost you tons (you can get a lot of the things at your local dollar store), but a surprise (for no reason) summer fun box, will bring hours of delight to the young ones. :)

Have fun!

By Gooby from Straughn, IN

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July 25, 2011 Flag

This weekend, we attended Celebrate Hillsboro, an annual summer event provided by the businesses and city of Hillsboro, Oregon. There was live music, bouncy castles and slides for the kids, biking and futsal events, food and craft vendors, as well as an extended Farmers Market. At noon, there an attempt to break the Guinness world record for most people yo-yoing at the same time (I think we did it!). Best of all, it was entirely free (except for the snowcones and snacks the kids "needed").


There are tons of free or cheap events throughout the summer month for all ages. We have an art walk on the first Tuesday of every month, weekly farmer's markets in different locations around the city, free kids programs at the local parks, outdoor movies on Thursday nights, and on and on. Later this summer, we are looking forward to going to the Washington County Fair. It is shaping up to be a fun and frugal summer!

By Jess from Hillsboro, OR

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June 6, 2008 Flag

Summer time is coming and gas prices are sky high. Here is advice from the ThriftyFun community to keep boredom at bay without spending much money. Do you have any tips for saving money on summer fun? Feel free to post them below.

Take Advantage Of Your Local Free Resources

Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio emailed me about a summer saver special with reduced rates on admission. Michigan residents can enjoy a free (No fishing license required) fishing weekend, I believe it is June 6, 7, 8. Check local papers for listings of community events, many times there are listings for free concerts-in-the park, vacation bible schools, and free matinées. Also try your local department of parks and recreation. Many have programs for children at nominal or no fee.

By Bluejeen

Check Out Your Local Library

When you go to the library to get those books, videos, and craft ideas, don't forget to check out their summer reading programs. Our county library always has some great programs. Kids (and adults) sign up for the program and set their own reading goals, so it is reasonable for all levels of readers. They give prizes when goals are reached -- stickers, coupons for free ice cream, free books, all kinds of great stuff! Also, they usually have weekly programs for children.

They usually have a story time for pre-schoolers, followed by a program for school-aged children. They have guest speakers, sometimes they do crafts, it's something different every week. And, Mom can either stay and watch with the kids, or can have her hour to browse on her own while the kids are "otherwise occupied", and then Mom is available to help the kids find their own books after the program ends. The kids then know what day every week is "library day" and really look forward to the programs and to getting a new supply of books and videos. Also, this makes it more exciting for reluctant readers.

After you get home with the new books, if it's a nice day, take a quilt out side and let them lay in the sun to read -- a joy from my childhood that I shared with my kids. Have fun!

By Bailegirl

Visit State Parks or Seniors in the Summer

With a firm grasp of the obvious, I would like to suggest the State Parks. You can go online and check out where they are in your state and also what each one has to offer. While you are online you may want to check out," 100freethingstodoin-----" . Insert the name of a city in the blank at the end of the sentence and see what comes up. You could also go to visit an older relative or the folks at a local rest home. They have wonderful stories to tell about their childhood and ALWAYS treasure having company. Each day and each child is a treasure -- embrace it.

By Shari

Schedule Your Summer Fun

Every year, I feel like I miss out on free local stuff because I had already made alternate plans for that time. This year, I took my calendar and wrote the dates of all the local events we might want to do: the county fair, an annual city celebration.

I also signed my boys up for some classes through the parks and rec center so I wrote those down there as well. This way I am not missing out on something and can fill in the blank weeks with spontaneous trips to the park or the beach. I am planning on going to the library once a week and will have to check out their programs and fit it into my schedule. We can also check out "passes" for local museums or zoos at the library too!

Another great free option for those of you who have a Regal theater in your area are the free children's movies. In my area, they are Tuesday mornings and they show second run kids movies for free. Of course, they want you to buy concessions, but you certainly don't have to. Even if it is one they have seen before, kids love to go to the movies.

By Jess

A Summer Full Of Fun

By momandmurray

Do you have any ideas to share? Feel free to post them below.

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May 29, 2013 Flag

If you make gatorade pops for the summer and spring, it will be really good for when the kids come in from a day of activity. Ice cubes are nice too for cups of gatorade so that it won't be diluted down.

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May 26, 2010 Flag

At the end of every school year, I have the kids make a "Summer Fun List." I make one too. At the end of the summer, we see what we accomplished.

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August 25, 2010 Flag

Living on a tight budget is hard. We try to make it easier by finding cheap or free things to do with our boys. They are age 5 and 3. I have found all kinds of free museums and parks to explore.

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July 26, 2011 Flag

We are very lucky, we live near the beach. The sad part is that almost NONE of our gorgeous beaches in New Jersey are free. So in order to get in some wonderful beach time, we have learned the tricks and tips that will get us the most " bang for our buck".

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May 28, 2014 Flag

I know in Virginia, we have an awesome program called Hands On Greater Richmond. It is a volunteer database full of opportunities for kids and adults to give their time, learn something new, meet new people and to earn volunteer credit hours towards their graduation goals!

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