How to Plan an Epic Summer on a Budget

Summer break is right around the corner!  I love to start planning Summer activities early so I can make the most of our Summer together. Since the girls are still too young for camps it really helps to keep them busy. Ace will go to a camp or two throughout the Summer but mostly he will also be home.
So how do you plan an epic Summer when you have three young children and don’t want to spend a lot of money? 

Here is a list of activities that you can do on a budget!

This post contains affiliate links.

1. Summer Movie Theater Deals

Go to free or dollar movies at your local theater. Regal Cinema and other theaters have Summer Movie Programs where they show movies on specific mornings for only a dollar. You can’t beat that! If you want to spend a little money you can also check out AMC theaters and their Summer Movie Camp. You get to see some seriously awesome movies and a Kids Snack Pack for just $4.

2. Picnics in the park.

My kids love when we ride our bikes to the park and have a picnic. We usually have PB & J sandwiches, fruit, hummus, carrots and tortilla chips. I will also freeze gogurts so they are a cold snack. I recently bought these sandwich cutters because I have one picky eater and this is the only way she will eat sandwiches and they are easier to pack in a tupper wear conainer.

3. Get a frozen treat.

When I was pregnant with Ace and I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with him it was disgustingly hot and humid out. Anytime I had to leave the house I stopped at Burger King for an Icee. They were only $1 and they were the perfect treat for a hot day. Seven-11 has slurpees as well and they are under $2. 

4. Have a glow in the dark party.

We love to buy glow in the dark jewelry for the kids, turn out the lights and put music on. They love this. It is probably the easiest way to entertain them at night. If you live near the beach you can make it even more fun and have a glow in the dark party on the beach at night. You can get glow in the dark party packs for less than $10 here.  

5. Have a scavenger hunt.

You can make this as easy as getting a sheet of paper, getting crayons and coloring squares and telling your child to go find items with the color of each square. Something fun my best friend and I do is use our Shopkicks app and have our kids scan items on the app at different stores. It’s actually fun and you earn points towards gift cards, ha! And no this isn’t sponsored, we just actually like doing this and it’s out of the heat. 

6. Check out your local library.

Many libraries have story times and activities for children of a variety of ages in the Summer. They also may have a Summer reading program, a great way to get your child reading more. If your library doesn’t have any of these it’s still a great way to spend time indoors, out of the heat, and read some new books. 

7. Watch the Sunrise.

8. Watch the Sunset.  

9. Make your own bagel pizzas.

You have to buy food for lunch anyway so make it fun!

10. Make S’mores. 

11. Explore new areas in your town.

12. Visit the local museums.

Ours has free admission the first Tuesday of every month! Check to see if yours has any free days. 

13.Make your own popsicles.

Go here for over 70 recipes! You can use these Popsicle Molds, they are awesome.

14. Play hopscotch using sidewalk chalk

Or another fun activity we love is sidewalk paint! You can buy a Sidewalk Chalk Paint Bucket Refill and it will last a couple weeks for sure. We love using the paint to refill Sidewalk Chalk Rollers. 

15. Go for a bike ride.

We love going on family bike rides. I have a trailer (this is the one I have)I pull with my bike because the girls have balance bikes and aren’t fast enough to keep up yet. Everly will sometimes go on her scooter but Ashlyn loves riding in the trailer so it is nice to have the option. Going on bike rides after dinner is probably my favorite because it’s not as hot and we can work off our dinners, ha! (This one is under $100)

16. Feed the ducks. 

Just make sure you feed them seeds and not bread.

17. Play freeze tag.

Old school and totally fun.

18. Make fluffy slime

I admit, I am not a fan of slime. It is probably one of the most annoying things but fluffy slime seems a lot less sticky and gross to me for some reason. 

19. Have a water balloon fight.

We love these water balloons because they are easy to fill, have 3 sets of different colors (one per kid) and are under $10. If you want to spend less you can go with a more simple set like this one. 

20. Make forts out of sheets and furniture. 

This is a great one for stormy summer days and the kids are stuck inside. My kids will do this for hours. They also like to do this outside so it is great for both.

21. Get ice cream from Chick-fil-A.

The kid cones are under a dollar and your children can enjoy the air conditioned play area! Check your local Chick-fil-A for other events like Cow Appreciation Day on July 10th. Dress like a cow and you get free food! 

22. Park Hop

We all have our tried and true parks we love to go to. Take a step outside of your comfort zone and check out a park in the next town or neighborhood over.

23. Play at a Splash Pad

Summer in Florida can be brutal. One of the best things to do to beat the heat is a splash pad. My kids could run around a splash pad for hours and wear themselves out. If you don’t have a splash pad in your area make one yourself. We have this this spinning sprinkler and this inflatable pool. It makes for a fun water day at home.

 Don’t forget to pin this for later!


What are some of your free or inexpensive activities for Summer? 
Want to write for Perfectly Imperfect Mom? Email your submission HERE

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply