33 Fun and Free Things to Do in the Summer

Let's have some fun!

Here are 33 fun and free (minus the fuel costs) things you can do while it's warm outside.

I have a couple of kids, so some of these may be slanted for folks with kids.

Summer is right around the corner! Keep this list handy so you'll have plenty to do and you can keep your kids busy. The best part is every idea is FREE.

Free Things to Do in the Summer

1. Go to the park. Explore what your city has to offer. Plan a frugal family outing. Make a goal to see all the parks in your area and swing on every swing set.

2. Swim at your community pool or spray park. Slather on the sunscreen and head out to the pool for a few hours. This is my favorite kind of summer fun.

3. Visit the library. This place is awesome. The library can save you money. It is the perfect place to grab some free air conditioner in the summer months.

4. Play in the sprinklers. Throw on your bathing suit and run through the sprinklers. You know you want to.

5. Go for a hike. Scout out a nearby State Park for good hiking trails. Bring some water, a compass, and your map.

6. Play a board game. Enjoy the cool air conditioner and gather around the kitchen table for a fun family board game.

7. Learn a new skill. Learn to play an instrument, knit, etc. At the end of the summer, you'll have “mad skillz”.

8. Take pictures. Find a few subjects and go to town. Better yet, why not organize the pictures you already have.

9. Make popsicles. Pour some of that cool-aid in the ice trays, or in some small cups. Add a spoon for a holder.

10. Watch a movie. You can rent one from the library, watch it on an over-the-air channel, or go to a movie in the park event. h/t @JayFleischman

Free Things to Do in the Summer11. Read a book. They have these things for free at your local library. Curl up next to the air conditioning vent and read to your heart's content.

12. Play some online games. Look up some free games on your computer, tablet, or smart phone. There are plenty of fun, free games. Angry Birds, anyone?

13. Visit a free zoo/museum. Find out if there are any free zoos or museums (or at least free days) in your area. Show up.

14. Learn to cook something. Try out a new recipe. Fire up the grill to cook a rare meat (i.e. ostrich burgers).

15. Start a blog. WordPress.com is free. So is Blogger.com. Starting a blog is a blast. Use your creativity and build a following.

16. Write a book. Don't stop with a blog. Write your own book. Self-publishing is easy these days. You could have your book on Amazon in a few days.

17. Play a sport. I like basketball. What about you?

18. Attend a free workout class. Many gyms, bootcamps, etc. will let you try their facility or program at least once for free to help you get fit this summer.

19. Blow bubbles. Make some bubbles using dish washing soap, water, and sugar (for consistency).

20. Have a garage sale. Have fun (and make money) getting rid of all of your stuff. A successful garage sale helps you meet your neighbors too.

21. Visit a Vacation Bible school. There's one going on each week in your town, I just know it. These are free and they teach your kids awesome life (and eternal) lessons.

22. Start a garden. Find some scrap lumber to make a square foot garden in your back yard. Seeds are cheap.

23. Watch the sun rise. Get up early. Find a good spot. Look East.

24. Go to the beach. Bring a towel and take a dip. Watch out for sharks.

25. Ride your bike. Take off from your house or find a nice trail in the region. Always wear a helmet.

26. Build a fort. Pillow and blanket forts are awesome. Or go big with a fort made of scraps of lumber.

27. Write with sidewalk chalk. Unleash your inner artists and show the neighbors what you got. After it rains, do it again.

28. Start a collection. The Summer is the perfect time to start a collection of stamps, coins, or other freebies.

29. Have a picnic. Instead of eating lunch at your kitchen table for the umpteenth time, breakout the pic-a-nic basket and blanket. Get some sun while you eat.

30. Go to a festival or county fair. Check out your community calendar and find free events in your area. h/t @2MinuteFinance

31. Volunteer. Find a local person or organization in need (it could be your older neighbor). Offer to help out for an afternoon.

32. Go fishing. Find an ocean, lake, river, pond, or puddle and start fishing. Borrow equipment or spend a little money to rent it from the bait shop.

33. Have a parade (or at least see one). Find a Memorial Day, Independence Day, or any other day parade to attend. Or, start one yourself and lead the way.

Your turn! What are your favorite free things to do in the summer? Add to the list by leaving your comment below.

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  1. caseynlewis says:

    My favorite was in the rain this morning sitting on the back patio with a book and listening to the rain.  We’re teaching my son to read this summer and have already made a trip to the library.

  2. Go on a scavanger hunt. Make a list of things found in nature like birds or leaves and bugs. To really make it interesting have the kids take turns using a camera to photo the items they found.  Check out the state park or local bike and nature trails some have playgrounds and picnic areas for free. Some might have a small fee for parking though. Go on a flower walk. During the spring and summer some neighborhoods have amazing flower or garden displays. 
    Plant fruit seeds. All those apple and orange seeds shouldn’t have to go in the trash  Plant them to see if they grow. Its always a great science experiment
    Making solar s’mores on a hot day is also fun. Just make s’mores and use a pizza box wrapped in foil place it on the roof of the car if its super hot out or out in the sun and in ten minutes they should be ready. 
    Pitch a tent in the backyard. Instead of heading to the campgrounds head outside to the backyard. 
    Use a telescope and find a constellation

    • Philip Taylor says:

      @CJ These are awesome additions. We’ll be sure to add them in next time we update the list. The solar s’mores idea sounds great. I might try that with the girls.

  3. bidzbuzz says:

    That’s great Phil……and working out or going for a run doubles the weightloss!

  4. Our community pool, sadly, is not free. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to one that is.

  5. SB(One Cent At A Time) says:

    go fishing

  6. Take part in your local town parade…..or at least go watch it.

  7. I love going for a hike with a friend. You can basically accomplish all that you would accomplish at Starbucks but it would be healthier and with without spending $8 on two frappicinos.

  8. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager says:

    Sleep outside in the backyard.

  9. Melissa @ MangoMoney.com/blog says:

    I love free fun! I’m trying to think of something you might have missed, but I can’t!

  10. 20 and Engaged says:

    This summer I’ll definitely be writing my books and playing with my new dog, as well as getting fit (but the fitness part may not come for free).

    • Philip Taylor says:

      Yeah, but I say it’s worth it to pay for things that help you get fit. I’m paying for WW right now and it’s helped me lose a lot of weight. Worth every penny.

  11. cashflowmantra says:

    You got blogging and garden on there already. How about playing in a church softball league? That is one of my favorite things although the rain has canceled as many games as we have played.