Budget-Friendly Summer Activity Options for Kids

Summer is a time for relaxation, fun, and adventure. However, many parents are often faced with the challenge of entertaining their kids without breaking the bank. With the rising costs of summer camps, vacations, and other activities, it can be difficult to find budget-friendly summer options that keep the whole family happy.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to come up with free and low-cost activities for kids in the summer. One of the best ways to do this is by exploring your local community. There are often free concerts, movies in the park, and other events that are perfect for families. Additionally, many libraries offer free summer reading programs and other activities.

Another option is to get creative with DIY activities. From making homemade ice cream to creating your own obstacle course in the backyard, there are plenty of ways to have fun without spending a lot of money. By thinking outside the box and being resourceful, it’s possible to create a memorable summer for your kids without breaking the bank.

Planning a Budget Summer for Kids

Summer is a great time for kids to have fun and enjoy the outdoors. However, parents can quickly find themselves spending a lot of money on activities and events. To avoid breaking the bank, it’s important to plan a budget summer for kids. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Choosing Budget-Friendly Activities

When it comes to choosing activities for your kids, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Visit local parks and playgrounds
  • Go on a nature hike or bike ride
  • Have a picnic in the park or your backyard
  • Visit a museum or art gallery on free admission days
  • Attend free concerts or movie screenings in the park

By choosing activities that are low-cost or free, you can save money while still providing your kids with fun experiences.

Creating a Budget Plan

Once you’ve decided on the activities you want to do, it’s important to create a budget plan. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Set a total budget for the summer
  2. Break down the budget by week or month
  3. Allocate funds for each activity or event
  4. Track your spending to ensure you stay within your budget

By creating a budget plan, you can keep track of your spending and avoid overspending on activities or events. You can also involve your kids in the budgeting process to teach them about financial responsibility.

Overall, planning a budget summer for kids can be a fun and rewarding experience. By choosing budget-friendly activities and creating a budget plan, you can provide your kids with fun experiences while also keeping your finances in check.

Free or Low-Cost Activities for Kids

Outdoor Activities

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine with your kids. Here are some free or low-cost activities that you can do outside:

  • Go for a bike ride around your neighborhood or local park
  • Visit a nearby playground or park
  • Take a nature walk and explore the local flora and fauna
  • Have a picnic in the park or your backyard
  • Play a game of frisbee or catch

These activities are not only fun but also help your kids stay active and healthy during the summer months.

Indoor Activities

On those hot summer days when you need to stay indoors, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities that you can do with your kids:

  • Have a movie marathon with your favorite family-friendly films
  • Play board games or card games together
  • Make homemade ice cream or popsicles
  • Create a craft project using materials you already have at home
  • Build a fort using blankets and pillows

These activities are not only budget-friendly but also provide an opportunity for quality time and bonding with your kids.

Budget-Friendly Summer Activity Options for Kids

Affordable Summer Camps for Kids

Summer camps are an excellent way for kids to learn new skills, make new friends, and have fun during the summer break. However, some summer camps can be expensive, making it difficult for parents to afford them. Fortunately, there are many affordable summer camps available for kids that won’t break the bank. Here are some of the best budget-friendly summer camps for kids:

Day Camps

Day camps are a great option for parents who want their kids to have a summer camp experience without the expense of overnight camps. Day camps are typically less expensive than residential camps because they don’t include room and board. Here are some affordable day camps:

  • The YMCA: The YMCA offers day camps all over the country, as well as overnight programs. They serve more than 439,000 youth, teens, families, school, and retreat groups through group camping overnight programs.
  • Kidcreate Studios: Kidcreate offers an incredible experience for your happy camper at an affordable cost. Creative learning and imaginative thinking. Exploration of art themes, mediums, and styles. Arts and crafts projects focusing on weekly themes. Age-appropriate socialization and supervised play.
  • BCAP Summer Camp: The BCAP Summer Camp in Brooklyn is two weeks long and includes games, experiments, creative arts, and exploration. It’s $750 for a 9-day session.

Residential Camps

Residential camps are a great option for parents who want their kids to have an immersive summer camp experience. Residential camps can be more expensive than day camps because they include room and board. However, there are still many affordable residential camps available for kids. Here are some of the best budget-friendly residential camps:

Summer CampLocationPrice
Ingenium Summer CampBay Area$400/week
The YMCANationwide$200-$400/week
Girl Scouts Summer CampNationwide$250-$500/week

Overall, there are many affordable summer camps available for kids. Parents should do their research and compare prices to find the best budget-friendly summer camp for their children.

Budget-Friendly Travel Options for Families

Road Trips

One of the best ways to see the country and keep costs low is by taking a road trip. With a little planning, you can create a fun and affordable adventure for your family. Consider packing a cooler with snacks and drinks to save money on food while on the road. You can also save on accommodations by camping at state parks or finding budget-friendly motels along your route.

When planning your road trip, be sure to research free or low-cost attractions in the areas you’ll be visiting. Many cities and towns offer free museums, parks, and other family-friendly activities. You can also save money on entertainment by bringing along board games, books, and other activities to keep your kids entertained during long stretches of driving.


If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn’t require travel, consider planning a staycation. This can be a great way to explore your own city or town and discover new activities and attractions that you may not have known about before.

Start by researching free or low-cost activities in your area, such as hiking trails, public parks, and local museums. You can also save money on food by cooking meals at home or packing a picnic lunch to enjoy at a nearby park or beach.

Another fun staycation idea is to create a themed staycation. For example, you could plan a “beach day” at your local pool or water park, complete with beach towels, sunscreen, and beach snacks. Or, you could plan a “movie night” at home, complete with popcorn, candy, and your family’s favorite films.


Summer is a great time for kids to explore new things, make friends, and have fun. But as parents, we also want to make sure that we’re not breaking the bank while doing so. That’s why we’ve put together this list of budget-friendly summer programs and activities for kids.

From summer camps to budgeting activities, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether your child is interested in science, art, sports, or something else entirely, there is sure to be a program that fits their interests and your budget.

Remember, it’s important to involve your child in the decision-making process. Let them help choose the activities they want to participate in, and make sure to set a budget together. By working together, you can ensure that your child has a fun and fulfilling summer without breaking the bank.

So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring the options today and find the perfect budget-friendly summer program for your child!

By Lauren Hunter

I'm Lauren, and I've been on a journey to earn money and save money for most of my life. As the editor-in-chief of EarnItSaveIt.com, and as a freelance writer, coach, musician, and entrepreneur, I love looking for new ways to make money and better ways to keep it. I'm also a wife and work-at-home mom (WAHM) to four kids, so budgeting is my middle name. I'm excited to be on this money journey with you!