It’s summer time! I absolutely adore the summer. It’s relatively short here in Alberta, so we always need to seize each day and spend as much time doing summery activities together as possible before the cold weather hits us again.

I like to be thrifty, but I still like to have fun with my girls. We always seem to find lots of things to do in the summer that are either free or almost free. Here’s my list of 50 fun summer activities to do with young kids that will hardly cost you anything!

50 summer activity ideas for kids that hardly cost anything!

50 free or cheap activities to do with toddlers and young kids this summer:

  1. Visit a local beach
  2. Go to a local splash park or pad
  3. Go to the library
  4. Visit a local farm
  5. Take a hike on some trails in town or out in the country
  6. Have a picnic at a park
  7. Play at a new park every week with friends
  8. Go fishing (even if it’s just pretend!)
  9. Go canoeing or paddle boating
  10. Make some DIY play dough and play with it
  11. Roast hot dogs and marshmallows at a park
  12. Go window shopping
  13. Find free or discounted swimming days at the local pool and visit on those days
  14. Grow a small garden
  15. Pick wildflowers for a bouquet
  16. Teach your children to sew and make a purse or bag from scrap fabric
  17. Do a nature scavenger hunt in your backyard or at a park
  18. Play with a water and/or sand table outside
  19. Set up a kiddie pool outside to play in
  20. Run through a sprinkler
  21. Set up a water slide in your backyard
  22. Go for a family bike ride, or teach your child to ride their bike
  23. Go for an evening walk around the block
  24. Visit a local museum on a cheap or free admission day
  25. Attend your town or city’s free holiday activities
  26. Paint with edible finger paints outside
  27. Make a bird feeder and do some bird watching
  28. Invite a family over for a BBQ
  29. Do some crafts with supplies you have on hand (like this floral crown)
  30. Host a busy bag swap party
  31. Fly a kite on a windy day
  32. Jump in rain puddles
  33. Go camping (for real, or for pretend in your backyard!)
  34. Make and then eat popsicles together – we love this strawberry chocolate popsicle recipe
  35. Look for local church’s Vacation Bible Schools
  36. Attend a cheap or free craft camp at your local craft store
  37. Spend an evening star-gazing together as a family
  38. Make a little fairy garden and play with it
  39. Dress up as your favourite character and play make believe outside
  40. Visit a senior’s home and do a craft or sing a song with the residents
  41. Visit a local U-pick and pick berries together
  42. Create a fort in your backyard with boxes
  43. Learn to knit or crochet together
  44. Have a water balloon fight
  45. Visit a farmers market
  46. Visit relatives that you haven’t seen in a long time
  47. Read one chapter of a novel every day together
  48. “Paint” your sidewalk or fence with water and sponge brushes
  49. Go on a bug hunt and identify all of the types of bugs together
  50. Make a lemonade stand and sell lemonade together

Do you have more summer activity ideas for kids that are free or almost free? Please share them in the comments below. Bring on a free and fun summer!