There’s something special about those summer days. Whether you’re enjoying a break from school or just looking for a few hours of hot weather fun before the work week starts again, here’s your ultimate bucket list of the best summer activities that won’t break the bank – with plenty of kid-friendly options, too!
Do a DIY Spa Day
When it’s too hot to be running around outside, head indoors to refresh and recharge with a DIY spa day. Face masks can be whipped up from everyday kitchen ingredients like honey, oats or yogurt, and there’s nothing like a simple sugar and olive oil scrub to get your hands feeling soft and your feet in sandal-ready condition. Of course, no trip to the spa is complete without a pitcher of fruit-and-herb infused water – an easy DIY with whatever’s currently in your refrigerator. A spa day is guaranteed to entertain all ages, and it’s even more fun with friends. Just make sure they follow the dress code: loungewear, bathrobes and fuzzy slippers!
Master a Cool New Skill
School may be out for summer, but that’s no reason to stop learning! Summer is a great time to master a new skill. Choose something cool, something exciting, something you’ve been wanting to learn for years. For inspiration on what to learn, check out the free classes available in your area: you might find online design classes at a local library, skateboarding classes at the park or cooking classes at a kitchen store. The internet is also a stellar resource. YouTube has a cornucopia of videos that will teach you how to fold origami, speak German or do the splits. Add a social element to your summer education by challenging a friend to join you, or find an online forum for people interesting in learning the same thing.
Scout Museum Discounts
Lots of museums offer family discount days and free days: so don’t miss out! Museums are an especially great way to keep kids occupied when temps are boiling. To get kids excited about a museum day, involve them in the planning process. You can Google free museum days as a family and discuss what looks the most interesting. Set a date for your visit and a few weeks beforehand, go to the library and check out relevant books: a picture book about the solar system, a chapter book about characters from the past, and so on. When museum day arrives, make a bingo grid of things you expect to see and have kids check off what they discover. And fair warning: if you’re on a budget, set expectations beforehand on the purchase of food, drink and souvenirs. Planning a post-museum picnic with extra-special food and drinks from home can be a good way to avoid potential meltdowns.
Make Movement Fun
The benefits of being active are truly astounding. It’s not about looking good: it’s about feeling good! Best of all, getting active is an easy activity to do when you’re on a budget. Besides the usual suggestions – riding bikes, taking a hike – consider adding even more fun to your exercise this summer. Why not learn to juggle or unicycle? How about organizing a field day with other local families, where kids and adults can participate in silly sports like an egg-and-spoon race? Also check out local event centers which often have unexpected fitness options like Zumba, Capoeira or Jeet Kun Do. None of those sound familiar? That’s a great reason to learn more and give them a try!
Throw a Backyard Cinema Night
Make the most of summer nights by throwing a sundown cinema party in your backyard. Sure, you’ll need a projector and speaker set-up, but there’s no need to bust your budget. Ask friends, ask neighbors, post on social media. It’s likely somebody will have the equipment and won’t mind you borrowing it for a night – especially if you invite them along for the fun! Ask guests to bring their own chairs and blanks, and in terms of food, you can do BYO picnic or a potluck where everyone shares. Either way, fresh popcorn is a must. Instead of paying more for the pre-flavored microwave stuff, pop kernels the traditional way. It’s easier on your budget and means you can do creative homemade toppings like cinnamon sugar or taco spice.