Summer Fun On the Cheap

I’m so thankful for my assistant Jenn right now during my postnatal recovery; I feel like I can’t keep my head on straight these days. I know I’ve introduced her before, and if you haven’t tried her¬†Homemade Healthy Popsicles¬†from her last guest blog, then make sure you put them on your list this week. They are a great guilt-free treat in the summer heat. I love having Jenn on my team because we think, work and parent so similarly (She’s also about to be a mom of three.), which is why I knew her Summer Fun on the Cheap list would have so many of our favorite things to do too. Would love to hear in the comments if you have any other suggestions or which of these you have done or plan on doing. Take it away Jenn . . .

Hey there mamas! Summertime is in full swing, and we have been busy making so many fun memories together. From sports to camps to playdates, we are going all day long! Check out my list of FREE or inexpensive activities that might be available to you:

  1. Local hiking trails or park:¬†Pack a lunch and make an afternoon of exploring the outdoors. Did you know that on super hot days, it’s actually cooler in the forest? My son is only two and can’t hike very far, but with the help of my child carrier I bring him along as my 5-year-old and I hike. Bonus #2: Mama gets an extra hard workout! LOL¬†
  2. Library:¬†Visit your local library’s website to see what kind of summer programs are available this year like story time, classes, or the summer reading program. My kids really enjoy preschool story time & our nightly reading for the summer reading program as they work towards earning the grand prize. Sara told me it’s been especially great with her motherhood transition as Landon is working towards his prize by reading to Liam.¬†
  3. Farmer’s Market: ¬†We love hitting up the farmer’s market as a family. There are so many local farmers’ markets in our surrounding areas and we enjoy picking up things such as fresh local produce, honey, jams, baked goods, flowers, homemade goods and even pasture raised meats. Bonus: Sometimes when your kids pick out their own food, they are more likely to eat it!
  4. Splash Park: Here in NE Ohio we have at least 5 free splash parks within 30 minutes of our home. My kids absolutely love to visit and enjoy the water. A quick google search of ‚Äúsplash park near me‚ÄĚ should pull up your closest options.
  5. Concert in the Park: ¬†Here in Northeast Ohio we have many communities that offer free concerts in the park on Friday nights. A quick Google search should show you if you have something like this available in your area as well. It’s a great way to introduce your kids to different genres of music; we’ve heard Polka music, barbershop groups, brass bands, and a beach boys tribute band as well.
  6. Museum Freebie Days:  With Labor Day coming up, many of local museums may offer free (or cheap) admission on the holiday or holiday weekend. Warning: These discounted days can be pretty popular among big families so prepare accordingly and get there early!

    Great Lakes Science Center – Cleveland, OH
  7. Summer Movies: ¬†Many cinemas and outdoor community parks or outdoor areas offer previously released children’s movies for free or at a discounted admission. It‚Äôs a fun way to beat the heat and enjoy some air conditioning while catching a family favorite on the big screen or have a picnic while you catch a movie under the stars.
  8. Summer Bowling: ¬†We have several chain bowling alleys near us that offer free summer bowling to children. My kids have enjoyed two free games a day several times this summer, and we’ve only had to pay for shoe rental. It has been great for days when the weather is not so nice out.
  9. Seek out New Playgrounds: I don’t know about you but we tend to get into a rut of going to the same two or three playgrounds. During the summer we try to make an effort to explore new play areas almost every week.

I hope this list gives you some inspiration for new and exciting adventures this summer. Feel free to share in the comments below your favorite summertime family activities that won’t break the bank!

Jenn Baker is a Midwest mom of two with #3 on the way. Jenn enjoys healthy cooking, hiking, and growing organic food at home.

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