10 Free Things to Do This Summer

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by: Lindsay Hutton
Staying busy and having fun this summer doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, it doesn't have to cost you anything. The next time you find your family going stir-crazy from summer boredom, get out of the house with one of these free summertime activities.
Two kids smiling in outdoor pool
Community Pool or Local Beach
Grab your suits and head to your local beach, lake, or your town's community pool for a day of swimming and sunning. Most pools and beaches have a concession stand for snacks and drinks, but you can always bring your own to, too. Just don't forget to pack the sunscreen!
Blooming lilac bush in botanical garden
Botanical Garden
Most cities have a botanical garden, and many offer free admission on certain days during the summer. Check your local paper for special events, and plan a day for a stroll through one of these exotic gardens. You'll be amazed at the plant life and flora they contain!
Two teens window shopping
Window Shop Along Main Street
When your kids are antsy, sometimes the best remedy is simply a leisurely walk around town, and window shopping doesn't cost a dime.

Head downtown and walk along Main Street. Check out the store fronts, and turn it into a game of I Spy or a scavenger hunt. If you're lucky, you might even catch a local band performance or summer music series.

Happy family sitting on couch, cheeroing and eating popcorn
Baseball Bonanza
Going to a professional baseball game isn't free, but that doesn't mean you can't cheer on your favorite team.

Plan your own baseball bash at home. Don your favorite player's jersey, cook up some baseball classics like hot dogs, popcorn, and ice cream, and settle in for a night of baseball and fun!

Another idea is to head to your local baseball diamond to take in a little league game. The warm weather and social scene make it a great summertime activity.

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Neighborhood Block Party
When was the last time you gathered your neighbors for a night of games?

Have a potluck and ask everyone to make a dish. Then, round the kids up outside around for a friendly neighborhood game or talent show, and just kick back and enjoy the warm summer weather.

Groupd of teens playing a game of outdoor basketball
Pick-Up Basketball
Have your child round up his friends and head to your local community basketball court for a game of pick-up basketball. If you don't have enough players for two teams, you can play 3-on-3, or a classic game like Horse.

This is a great way to spend a summer afternoon, and the exercise you'll be getting is a fantastic added bonus!

Family laying down on blanket smiling up at camera
Summer Movie Series
If you live near a major city, keep your eyes peeled for a free summer movie series.

Weather-permitting, most movie series are held outside on specific days of the week and feature family-friendly favorites. Just bring a blanket and some snacks, and settle in for a great night of film under the stars.

Smiling family laying on grass reading book
Book Club
Get a little summer reading in by having your child start a book club. Brainstorm a list of books she wants to read, recruit a few of her friends, and set a few dates to get together to talk about the books they have read.

Make each gathering special by setting a theme and dressing for the occasion. A few special snacks, some fun outfits, and a festive atmosphere will make this one of the highlights of your child's summer!

Smiling family on a summer bike ride
Hit the Bike Trail
The next time your kids want to ride their bikes, join them for a nice long ride on your local bike trail. Most trails go for miles, so your ride can be as long or as short as you'd like.
Happy boy on swingset in summer time
Local Park
Remember how fun it could be to just while away the afternoon on the swing set at your local park?

Most parks now have more than just the classic monkey bars and jungle gyms. Many also have bocce ball, volleyball courts, paddleball--the list goes on.

Head over and check out what your park has to offer, and then challenge your kids to a friendly game. To make it interesting, make it a summer-long tournament, with a prize for the winning team at the end of the summer.