1. Take a walk or a hike – Take a stroll around your own neighbourhood or head to the ocean or the hills to get back to nature and enjoy the cooler temperatures.
2. Draw sidewalk chalk pictures – An inexpensive way to get creative, perfect for kids of all ages.
3. Go for a swim – Most public pools allow you to swim for a couple of dollars, and any nearby lakes or rivers are also great places to swim – maybe even for free!
4. Visit a museum – Many museums are free or inexpensive to tour, and can be great places to escape the sun on hot days.
5. Find free music – Summer is a great time to find free music at festivals, bars, street fairs, and more.
6. Have a picnic – Make summer meals an event by eating them outside in a beautiful location.
7. Run through the sprinklers – You don’t always have to go to the pool to cool off in the summertime – jumping in the sprinklers at home can also do the trick!
8. Read a book – With so many summer hours in a day, devote a few of them to catching up on your reading.
9. Go to the park – Take advantage of your neighbourhood park to ride the swings, conquer the jungle gym, kick a soccer ball, or turn somersaults in the grass.
10. Try indoor rock climbing – Indoor rock gyms are great places to try an adrenaline sport for relatively cheap. Day passes are usually reasonable, and you can rent all of the equipment on the spot.
11. Make homemade ice cream – Who needs an ice cream maker? With the right ingredients and some effort, anyone can make delicious ice cream at home!
12. Make leaf rubbings – Kids and adults can both enjoy this simple activity, and create beautiful rubbings to help them remember the summer.
13. Go window shopping – If you have the willpower, go for a shopping trip without spending any money. Use the chance to explore stores you might not otherwise visit, gather decorating ideas, and play dress-up.
14. Play catch – Break out the football or the baseball and gloves for a summertime classic.
15. Blow bubbles – Bubbles are dazzling in the summertime sun, especially with a light breeze to blow them all around.
16. Look for wildflowers – Explore the forests and fields for summer colour, and capture your discoveries with photos.
17. Go to the zoo or aquarium – Check out how the rest of the animal kingdom enjoys its summer vacation.
18. Visit a festival – Summer is the season of festivals celebrating art, music, culture, and much more. Best of all, many offer free admission.
19. Watch a parade – Parades are a great way to celebrate summer. If just watching a parade doesn’t offer enough excitement, consider joining one!
20. Go to the library – Public libraries often provide a variety of free summer activities for kids in addition to providing a huge selection of books.
21. Attend matinees or film festivals – Many movie theaters offer inexpensive matinees during the summer, or offer “family film festival” deals.
22. Stargaze – Mild night time temperatures make summer the perfect time to stay up and admire the night sky.
23. Have a scavenger hunt – Scavenger hunts can happen in the confines of your own home, or range all over town to provide a greater challenge for adults.
24. Press and dry flowers – Dry flowers and press them in plastic or the pages of a journal to keep blooms from your summer garden year-round.
25. Build a fort – Branches in the woods or pillows and blankets in your own home can be used to make an excellent summer hideout.
26. Visit local historic sites – Learn more about local history and take the time to visit any local historic monuments or markers you haven’t made the time to see before.
27. Visit a garden or arboretum – Gardens and arboretums are lovely places to stroll or relax, as well as good places to increase your botanical knowledge.
28. Pick up litter – Brighten up your neighbourhood by picking up litter in the area. Bring friends or family or long to make it more fun.
29. Go to a local farmers market – Farmers markets are lively places to explore, even if you don’t spend any money.
30. Write poetry – Exercise your creative side by trying your hand at poetry. Summer can be great inspiration!
31. Collect rocks or seashells – Collecting seashells is a great activity at the beach, but searching for unusual rocks can be just as fun if the ocean or lake is far away.
32. Go camping – Providing that you have the necessary equipment, a camping trip is a wonderful low-cost vacation.
33. Build a sandcastle – Find the perfect consistency of wet sand for your castle at the beach, or make it in a sandbox by adding your own water.
34. Skip rocks – Round flat rocks and a body of water are all you need for hours of amusement trying to top your rock-skipping personal best.
35. Make finger or sock puppets – Sock puppets are fun for the whole family, and can be made entirely from items around the house. If you can’t spare the socks, construction paper is perfect for finger puppets.
36. People watch – In a time when many people spend much of the day regarding a computer or smart phone screen, it’s great to take some time to enjoy the drama and weirdness of the world around us.
37. Go kayaking – Kayaks are inexpensive to rent, and open up a whole new frontier for summer exploration.
38. Attend a Shakespeare in the Park – Shakespeare in the Park is a summer tradition, and many shows are free to the public.
39. Sketch your surroundings – Stretch your artistic skills by sketching local buildings, landmarks, landscapes, or other interesting features in your neighborhood.
40. Volunteer in your community – Food banks, animal shelters, and many charitable institutions are always in need of volunteers