Do summer on a budget

By: Jul 22, 2011
summer activities

Just because you are low on cash doesn't mean your summer needs to be low on fun!

Summer is a time for fun and enjoyment for all - how unfair then, that the economic crisis makes it hard for some families to be able to do that. For some parents, providing their kids with summer fun is getting harder and harder everyday. Who knows, you may find yourself in that predicament. Here are 5 summer activities you and your family can do for under $50. Sparing on cost, not on fun!



Although movies get more and more expensive by the minute, many theatres still offer fairly reasonable matinee prices, and some even do special screenings of kids’ movies for less. If you have a giant movieplex that doesn’t do this, surf around your yellow pages, the Internet, the grapevine, and so on. Many towns, and even more cities will have a cheapie theater that shows movies that are a bit older for significantly less - sometimes tickets under $5.00.


Day at the Beach:

A day at the beach can be made incredibly affordable by packing up some PB & Js and bottles of water rather than paying for beach food. Most public beaches cost nothing, but some have a parking fee which never amounts to much - less than $10, usually. Bring your sunscreen, your swimsuit, and a frisbee, and you’ve got yourself a day of fun under the sun.



Tennis is a fun family sport, whether your kids are 8 or 18, or even if you don’t have kids and it’s just the two of you. Usually, city parks or even schools have tennis courts with free hours available for anyone to play. No rackets? No problem! Big department stores have rackets for $10 and sometimes less, and balls are about 4 for $3 or so. These balls and rackets are not going to win you Wimbledon or anything, but for a summer of family tennis, a one-time fee of about 45 bucks is pretty darn reasonable. You can even invest in tennis lessons through a park and recreation program, depending on the cost of course. The smaller your town the cheaper they’ll be.


Arts and Crafts:

Pick a weekly craft day, and pick out activities to try with your kids. Paper crafting is usually reasonably priced and lot's of fun - making paper plate masks, origami, or paper lantern decorations and so on. For your older kids, go thrifting for cheap clothes to improve, or “upcycle” as the trend is called. There are hundreds of upcycling project suggestions available online. Supplies are cheap, and imagination doesn’t cost a thing.


Free Parks, Museums, and Zoo's:

Last, and most certainly not least, go exploring in your town/city. Use the internet, phone book and grapevine to find free parks, museums and zoos to visit - yes, many cities have these. Bringing a picnic lunch always makes it more affordable, and many will have public transit near by.

One final tip, if you are a parent living on a tight budget - be honest with you kids about it. They don’t want to be doing anything to make it worse unknowingly. Kids can make sacrifices too, they are capable of getting a plain ice cream cone rather than the large deluxe flurry shake and be fine - ice cream is ice cream, and summer is summer.