Summer Fun for the Kids Without Breaking the Bank



Summer Fun for the Kids Without Breaking the Bank


The second school is out for the summer, kids start staring down their parents with expectations of recreation.

Even though the economy has put a strain on just about everyone, there are still a few ways to entertain the kids this summer without asking the government for a bailout. And, just because it’s cheap entertainment doesn’t mean it’s any less fun.

Backyard Adventures

There’s endless summer fun to be had in the comfort of your own backyard. Sure, it’s not a theme park or exciting vacation, but with the right amount of imagination from both parents and kids, that patch of grass will seem like a thrill ride.

Water parks are expensive, crowded, and usually miles away. The backyard is not. But something backyards and water parks have in common is water. So, hookup the hoses, attach some sprinklers, and let the kids run wild.

No water park slide? No problem. Slip and slides are kid pleasers and a good form of exercise. If you don’t have the extra cash for a store bought slide, simply use an old tarp, a spray nozzle, and throw in some all-natural dish soap so the kids go the extra mile.

Likewise, if you can’t seem to fit that summer camping trip in monetarily, the great outdoors are in your own backyard. Try setting up the tent, stringing up some lights, and pretending you’re in the wild. Besides, kids love sleeping under the stars.

Frugal Vacations

A vacation doesn’t necessarily mean going out of state, out of town, or even out of the neighborhood. If it’s a change of scenery the kids are looking for, maybe try spending the day at the park.

City parks can be great “staycations” because they offer a day’s worth of activities all in one place. Bring the football, a kite, bikes, tennis rackets, and even some charcoal and hotdogs for a family picnic. Invite other families too and make it a neighborhood party.

And, if it’s a pool the kids are begging for, why not stay at a local resort for one night. It won’t cost parents a lot, but the kids will think it’s paradise. Most resorts offer last minute deals and amenities like tennis courts, volleyball, and kid specific activities.

Summer Camp Savings

Because most parents work throughout the year, summer camps are a fun option that’ll not only keep kids entertained, but supervised as well.

There are many different types of summer camps to choose from offering various activities and rates.

Sleep away camps are overnight, extended stay camps that usually last between four and eight weeks. Because of the 24 hour supervision and food associated costs, these camps can run around $400 a week. But, they are summer fun and childcare rolled into one.

For parents on a tighter budget, daily summer camps are usually the better route to take. Check with your local YMCA for daily and weekly summer camp packages. The Y has been doing it the longest and knows how to keep kids entertained.

Rates vary by city, but most YMCA camps start at around $15 a day for members, which includes an eight-hour summer camp packed with sports, swimming, crafts, and energetic counselors to keep kids entertained and running hard all day long.

So, whether it’s turning a patch of grass into a summer wonderland or sending the kids off to have the time of their lives at summer camp, parents can keep kids entertained throughout the summer months without their wallets feeling the heat.


About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including home improvement,online reputation, and families on a budget.



  1. Mary Gallardo says:

    These are the sorts of things my family and I do, since there are a bunch of us and the cash flow gets tight!

  2. Great post! I am all about saving money. Things are tight right now and these ideas are super helpful!

    • I’m glad the tips are helpful, Crystal and Mary! Our backyard always seems to be my family’s favorite spot in the summer months and the fact it doesn’t cost us a thing makes it that much better.

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