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Budget Friendly and Free Summertime Fun

Whether you’re looking for activities for kids or adults, we have you covered! Finding summer fun doesn’t have to be expensive and it might just entail picking up a new hobby.


Summertime is ripe with opportunities to go outside. Besides the obvious activities like hiking, biking, and camping, there are more obscure diversions that can turn into fun, full-fledged hobbies. Take Geocaching, for example:  If you’ve never heard of geocaching, it’s publicized as “the world’s largest treasure hunt.” Geocaching is an adventure-game where people use a GPS-enabled device to find a geocache (a hidden container with treasures inside). The general rule: if you take a treasure, you leave a different one instead. Using coordinates and a smartphone app, you can kick off a free adventure as you find treasure caches all over the world.

“Camping in your backyard eliminates the trouble of packing a car and finding a spot in a busy campground.”

If leaving the comfort of your neighborhood isn’t your speed, host a campout in your backyard. You don’t need a traditional tent for this; creating a makeshift lean-to is part of the fun! If your makeshift shelter doesn’t work for the weather, you can always go inside. Camping in your backyard eliminates the trouble of packing a car and finding a spot in a busy campground. It also offers all sorts of fun DIY activities that would be a lot of work to transport and plan otherwise. Ana G on froddo offers up 12 Fun Ideas for Camping in Your Backyard, including treasure hunts and backyard bingo.

For less effort, check your city’s event calendar to see what activities are offered. Free outdoor concerts, classes, movie nights, and events like kite-flying days are commonplace, and can create a break from the monotony of typical summer activities. Getting out into your community not only provides opportunities for free fun, you may also make a few new friends along the way.

Pick up a Skill

Summer is the perfect time to start that certain something you’ve always wanted to do, regardless of skill level. Have you ever wanted to be a photographer or artist? Now is the time to try it! If you’ve always wanted to dabble in photography and don’t have access to an expensive camera, you can get away with using your smartphone! With a wide range of photo editing apps, you could turn even the most mundane cell phone photo into a work of art.

If you want to paint or draw, pick up some cheap supplies (paper, canvas, pencils, or paints) and set up on an easel or sketch pad in a place with a great view. Regardless of your skill level, it’s a chance to get out and at the very least relax as you let your inner Van Gogh loose. Having a permanent piece of art you can look (or laugh) at creates great memories as well. Get the whole family in on the fun and have a contest to see who can create the best work of art! The Virtual Instructor even offers free painting and drawing lessons if you want some help.

Kid Friendly Activities

While all of these suggestions are great for both adults and children, if you’re looking for some more kid-friendly ideas, look no further. Kelly Whalen of The Centsible Life has a comprehensive list of 40 Free (or Nearly Free) Summer activities for Kids. Whalen mentions there are programs across the country for kids, such as Free Bowling, ways to earn free books from Barnes and Noble, and even free camps from Apple and home improvement stores where kids can have the opportunity to make movies with software or learn how to build. A quick local search can let you know if there are other free kid’s camps nearby that your children might be interested in.

You can also help your child host a neighborhood game night with night-games, board games, or movies. Invite all kids nearby and get a few of the parents in on the fun. With a little collective planning among families, you can create a weekly rotating night where each parent takes a turn. This gives children something fun to do, and can create a free night without the kids when it isn’t your turn to host.

Developing a hobby or picking up a new skill is something that will stick with you for the rest of your life and has unlimited opportunities for fun. Regardless of what form your fun takes, don’t let it eat up all of your spending money. Many of the most fun activities are the free ones.

The views expressed by the articles and sites linked in this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions and policies of Cash Central or Community Choice Financial®. 

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