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Budget Outdoor Activities

Summer is winding down, and so is your list of ideas for things to do with the kids. At this point, they usually say they are "bored", and my boys always wanted to sit in front of the gaming console on a beautiful day. Monies are being saved for the back to school sales, so here are a few things to try for all ages.

Water fun: I used to always run to 5 Below or Walmart for the under $10 Slip n Slide, and hook it up to my hose. Teenagers love this, as well as the little ones. Super cheap fun, and I can serve pizza outdoors, and they will stay with this for hours. Another variation is hook up your old fashioned sprinkler and have them run through - the goal is to get as wet and messy as possible, while staying active. Another oddity is that older kids love sitting in an inflatable or cheap plastic kiddy pool - not sure why, but it carries on through college!

Park tours: Most county parks have either a hiking trail or a nature center. If your kids haven't done this before, there is usually no admission fee - go to your county parks website, and you will be surprised how many places are available for this. If your kids get a little learning as well, it's a double bonus for you! My younger kids used to love doing the nature center classes, which charge a nominal fee if any, where they could then do a craft to take home.

Church camps: Many area churches do some form of Vacation Bible School or Music Camp, which are generally free or low-cost. Your kids get to catch up with friends from school or church, and they have a wonderful time for a few hours each day. Check websites to find dates and times. Most do not require that you be a member of that church or synagogue to attend. Generally, this is for the younger kids (K-6th grade), but there may be some locations which also have a teen camp.

Make soccer ball ice cream: This was a game changer for us - we purchase an ice cream maker that the kids kick around, and over time, creates ice cream for everyone. Little ones love it, as do the teenagers. I have linked one here, but there are several types available.

Check museums for discount days, or free days for students/kids. If not, check discount sites for coupons, like Groupon, and they usually have a wide range of activities to choose from. Read all conditions of the discount coupon carefully, however.

What activities have worked for your family? Drop me a note at, and I will try to incorporate into one of my blogs.

Enjoy the day!

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