Have a Water Balloon Fight

School is out, the weather is perfect, and everyone is searching for something to do. Fortunately, summer is one of the best seasons to keep yourself entertained on a budget. There are typically a lot of low-cost or free options for activities, and many of them are well-suited for your own backyard! Whether you're trying to keep kids busy or just looking to have a bit of fun yourself, the tips below will keep everyone happy for the whole season.

Water balloons seem like they've been around forever. They're ubiquitous with summer fun, and it's hard to picture a hot summer day without seeing a basket full of brightly colored balloons ripe for throwing. In truth, they've only been around since the 1950s, but that goes to show how much fun they are!

Luckily, they're also quite inexpensive. You can purchase a 100-pack of water balloons for less than $10 and the cost of filling them up in the sink at home. Toss them into a plastic tub or an old laundry basket and you're ready to go! They're fun for kids, teenagers, and adults of all ages.

Go to the Park

Your local park is some of the best free entertainment around. You'll find playground equipment and walking trails, and many parks offer things like grills, picnic areas, swimming areas, and even docks for fishing. While there might be a low parking fee, admission is often completely free. Pack your lunch and some cold drinks and head off to the swing set or just go for a stroll and get some fresh air. It's a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy the season.

National parks are another fantastic option. Several national parks offer free admission, while others charge a nominal entry fee. These parks are often some of the most beautiful land in the country, offering sights you won't find anywhere else. Many offer tours with park rangers who know the parks better than anyone. You'll be able to learn about the area, animals, and nature. If you have a national park near you, or within easy driving distance, consider planning a visit!

Have a Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are as fun to plan as they are to participate in. You can make them as elaborate or simple as you like, and there are plenty of scavenger hunts and fun ideas online for all age groups. Turn it into a real treasure hunt with a pirate theme, go out in nature and do a scavenger hunt to find different types of plants or animals, or go the extra mile and come up with some out-there ideas!

Host a Game Night

Invite friends, grab some snacks, and pull out the board games or consoles. Game nights are a great way to keep kids entertained and spend some quality time together. You can go for the classics, like Shoots and Ladders, or browse a nearby store for something new to everyone! It's a fun summer activity and will teach kids (and adults) some valuable sportsmanship skills.

A Movie in the Park

Many towns and cities offer free movies in the park or other designated areas during the summer. They might be hosted by your local Parks & Recreation department, put on by a certain organization, or even hosted by the library. Do a quick search online or ask around and see if there are any scheduled for your city. Admission is usually free, and sometimes snacks are provided. Just bring your chair or a comfortable blanket and enjoy the show!

Visit your Local Library

Some kids would balk at the idea of spending their summer reading a book, but libraries have so much more to offer! Grab a comic book or manga for a rainy day, check out a movie you've never watched before, or even rent an audiobook! Libraries have so many resources beyond books, although books are wonderful options, too! Libraries are also great resources for local free summer activities, and they often host several themselves. Summer is a great time to sign up for a library card and keep up with what's on the schedule! Of course, one of the best parts of the library is that they cost nothing!

Have a BBQ or Picnic

If you have friends or family in the area or just want to bring the neighborhood together, consider having a BBQ or picnic! You can opt for low-cost options like hot dogs or a potluck and use the grill areas at your city's parks. Spend your time eating lunch, having fun, and enjoying the warm weather. It's a cheap summer option and can be as big or small as you like!

Take a Day Trip

Maybe you don't have the budget for a whole vacation, but day trips to nearby areas are great ways to enjoy new scenery without dropping a lot of cash. Pick a nearby town with something new, like a museum you've never visited, a restaurant you want to try, or a mini-golf course. Set aside a day or weekend to visit! If it's close enough, you can even return home to sleep and save money on hotel fees. If you have the extra money, though, it can be fun to have a real getaway just for a night!

Camping is another fantastic option. It can be low cost, or even free. Go for a day or stay in nature all summer long! You can sleep under the stars, enjoy the night sky, and make those summer months magical. Put together S'mores over the campfire, go on a hike, and check off all those camping activities everyone loves.

Make Art

You'd be amazed what you can do with an inexpensive pack of sidewalk chalk, some paint, or even a bottle of food coloring! Make paintings, draw fun pictures or hopscotch boards outside, or even make your own homemade playdough. There are tons of fun art projects out there for any budget, and many can be done outside to enjoy the weather and avoid the mess. They're fun for the whole family, too, so they're a great idea even if you don't have young kids running around!

Get in the Kitchen

Sweet, cold treats and summer go hand-in-hand. What better way to enjoy both than making homemade popsicles and ice-cream? They're both easy to do! For homemade popsicles, you'll just need some juice or beverage of your choosing, fruit, and popsicle molds. You can grab all of that at practically any store and put it all together in just a few minutes!

Making ice cream could seem a bit more daunting, but there are a lot of two-ingredient recipes out there! You won't even need an ice cream maker to try them out. It's a fun (and delicious) experiment.


Summer is the season to spend time having fun. Even if you work all day, it's still lovely to come home to great weather and sun. You can enjoy it all without breaking the bank, and if you sign up for the Comrade browser extension, you'll earn extra cash for a few summer treats. Comrad pairs with brands to offer relevant recommendations while you shop and pays you for your attention! Shop, keep your information safe, and earn cash back instantly with Comrade!

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