50 Budget-Friendly Activities to Try This Summer

It’s summertime! Get ready for long, lazy days filled with moments that are sure to become priceless memories for you and your family. And the best news? It doesn’t have to cost much at all. Here are 50 budget-friendly activities to try this summer.

  1. Go stargazing. On a clear night, spread some blankets out in the backyard and get lost in the breathtaking beauty of the summer’s night sky.
  2. Practice origami. Perfect for a rainy day, this paper-folding activity is calming, creative and costs almost nothing.
  3. Plant a flower or vegetable garden. What better time to coax growing things from the earth than summertime?
  4. Have a picnic. Pack up a basket that’s bursting with goodies, take a short drive to a scenic spot, and enjoy a wonderful, relaxed meal while in the great outdoors.
  5. Play a round of disc golf. This popular sport can be enjoyed by the entire family. Grab a Frisbee, find an open field to play in, and have fun!
  6. Go fishing. Enjoy a day at the water and come home with something fresh for dinner!
  7. Take a nature walk. Explore the neighborhood or visit a state park and take a leisurely walk, looking out for flora and fauna commonly found in the area.
  8. Go biking. Feel the air in your face and get those muscles pumping!
  9. Train for a 5K. Look for a local race benefiting a charity you support, and start training for a run.
  10. Clean a stream. Team up with some friends to clean up a local stream and then enjoy the beautiful sight of a clear waterway.
  11. Hang a hammock. Outdoor naps are the best kind of naps (just make sure it’s in a shaded spot or load up on the SPF!)
  12. Find a festival. Summertime festivals are always fun and they’re often free.
  13. Plan an outdoor movie night. All you need for a night out at the movies is a bedsheet, (perhaps a borrowed) projector, popcorn and your favorite films.
  14. Go bird watching. Look up pictures and info on local birds, grab a pair of binoculars and a camera, and see how many winged beauties you can find.
  15. Visit a farmer’s market. Enjoy browsing these outdoor markets and bring home loads of farm-fresh and in-season produce.
  16. Go fly a kite. Build a kite from scratch or pick one up at a sports store and find an open field to let it fly.
  17. Cloud-watch. Get down on the grass and let the afternoon pass you by over hours of watching clouds drift by overhead.
  18. Make homemade ice cream. What can be better on a hot summer day than a cold, creamy treat you made yourself?
  19. Play flashlight tag. When night falls, bring the family outside for a game under the stars.
  20. Paint a picture. Visit a craft store for some paints and a blank canvas, and then work on creating your magnum opus.
  21. Write a story. Sit down in front of a blank screen or notebook and let those creative juices flow!
  22. Host a cooking show. Invite some kitchen-happy friends over for a cooking competition. You’ll all enjoy a night of entertainment and get to feast on the results.
  23. Go surfing. Visit the closest beach for a day out on the waves.
  24. Build a Lego masterpiece. You’re never too old for the world’s most popular building toy.
  25. Finish a puzzle. Lose yourself in a jigsaw puzzle. Then, glue your creation together and hang it on your wall.
  26. Play charades. This old-time party favorite is still loads of fun to play at any time.
  27. Paint a wall. Look up some tutorials online and then paint a mural or another design on a chosen wall in your home.
  28. Build a sandcastle. Join the kids in a day spent creating a sandy masterpiece. No kids? Start building anyway–you may just find your inner child at the beach.
  29. Go on a scavenger hunt. Gather up the family or a group of friends and divide everyone into two teams for an epic scavenger hunt.
  30. Host a fashion show. Dig out your old favorites from college for a hilarious retro-style fashion show, or go modern and showcase contemporary trends.
  31. Visit a local museum. Lots of smaller museums have free-admission days and loads of interesting exhibits.
  32. Build a cardboard box castle. If you’ve got piles of boxes cluttering up your garage, this one’s for you. Use a box-cutter to help your kids build a gigantic cardboard castle, complete with secret passages, dungeons and more.
  33. Make sock puppets. All you need for this fun activity is old socks, some markers and googly eyes.
  34. Have a water balloon fight. Perfect for a sweltering hot day!
  35. Volunteer for a charity. See if a local charity needs extra volunteers during the summer months.
  36. Make homemade Play-doh. Fun to make and even more fun to play with once it’s ready.
  37. Paint rocks. It’s a relaxing out-of-the-box activity that costs next-to-nothing.
  38. Make a campfire. Pile up some wood and grab some marshmallows for a night ablaze with fun.
  39. Play backyard games. Think giant Jenga, ladder toss and more.
  40. Build a piece of furniture from scratch. Summer is the perfect time to flex those DIY muscles.
  41. Learn a new language. Apps like Duolingo make this easy.
  42. Host a yard sale. Get rid of clutter and earn some pocket change at the same time.
  43. Go camping. Find a low- or no-cost camping spot and enjoy an inexpensive getaway.
  44. Wash the car. Make it fun with extra sponges, lots of bubbles and some water guns.
  45. Take apart an old appliance to see what makes it work.
  46. Host a talent show. Find out what hidden talents are hidden among your family or group of friends.
  47. Write a letter. Take pen to paper and make someone’s day.
  48. Host a dance-a-thon. See who has what it takes to dance until they drop.
  49. Spend a day at the library. Check out new releases and let your kids listen to the story hour.
  50. Host a potluck dinner. Have everyone bring one dish and enjoy an evening with good food and good company.

This summer, you can have your fun, and your budget, too!