Summer Sanity: Family Outings on a Budget

This post is a part of Summer Sanity, a series of posts for parents to gain ideas and inspiration for how to keep their children happy, active, educated and having fun during the long summer months.

Summer is a time for fun, outdoor adventures, spending time with your family and friends and more. Some of the outings and adventures that a family can take together can be rather pricey.

Children don’t need extravagent, over priced outings to have fun and to make memories! Sometimes, the simplest activities and outings can be the most fun.

Splash pads
Check your local town or city website for a listing of your local splash pads. They are free and a great way to cool down on a hot summer day. Children are entertained with splash pads for hours. Remember hats, sunscreen and lots of water to drink on these outdoor adventures. As well, it is a good idea to wear some sort of water shoe as rocks and other debris on the ground can become quite the toe hazard for children.

The library is one of our favourite places to hang out on a hot summer day. It is free, air conditioned and often there are very reasonably priced childrens’ activities planned throughout the summer.

Farmer’s Market
You don’t have to buy a lot of food at your local Farmer’s Market in order to have an experience and enjoy yourselves, although the local farmers will certainly appreciate it if you did! Many Farmer’s Markets have live entertainment throughout the summer and there is so much “on the spot” education that can happen with learning about all of the produce available. You could provide your children with clipboards and a pencil and have them make a list of all of the healthy food that they see or are willing to try.

Take a Hike
Children love to hike! Hiking can be quite the adventure for them. You can make it into a Scavenger Hunt or simply bring along child friendly cameras and let them take photos of the nature around them.

Provincial Park
Why not check out a Provincial Park for the day. A daily vehicle permit can cost between $10.75 and $19.25, which is a very reasonable price for a day jam packed full of fun! Many parks have beaches, playgrounds, lakes, boat rentals and some even have pools. As well, be sure to check out the park’s calendar of events as many parks have special events that are wonderful for the children throughout the summer.

The beauty of a picnic is you can set one up anywhere! You can stay close to home and have one right in your backyard or your front porch or you can venture a little further to your local park or conservation area. Although picnics take a lot of planning and a bit of time preparing, they can be so much fun and can entertain your children for a good part of the day. Bring along a few balls, a frisbee and a deck of cards and the children will be entertained when they are not eating. You could even try out a messy Science Experiment or two!

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7 Responses to Summer Sanity: Family Outings on a Budget

  1. Shari G says:

    It’s so true! Money has been tight this year, but all the little things we have done has made them so happy.

  2. Patti Schoor says:

    I have 4 kids and they are so varied with their interests. I find it hard in the summer to know which activity is worth paying for and which isn’t. Nice to have some more ideas that won’t leave me broke! haha!

  3. Guppy says:

    We are lucky enough to have not only a full playground but a mini spray park right across the street from our house. I dont drive and hubby is at work all week so its a lifesaver to have play options so close.

  4. A. Smith says:

    I am feeling wonderful about this post because we utilize these things already and I’m so glad to hear that others do as well. I sometimes get bizarre looks when I tell people how much time my daughter and I spend at the library which I find rather sad. I think with technology people are losing interest in the simple things like hiking and spending time unplugged. We actually went to a spray park today in this little town. I shouldn’t have brought the dog but that’s another story, lol

  5. el03ro says:

    August 9-I am commenting on your recommendation of ‘Splash Pads’ for summer fun. One of our nephews had one at our Family Day last Sunday and the children enjoyed it so much. My ggrandson, who is sixteen months, went on it at least twenty times -taking his turn with his cousins who were older and just as enthused as he was. Of course, Daddy took him on each trip and both were soaking wet. It was a very hot day and I think it felt very cool and enjoyable.-el03ro

  6. NenaS says:

    These are great budget-friendly ideas! Thank you, it’s very helpful for people like me who are on a shoe-string budget!

  7. Olivia L says:

    We do all these and our daughter has more fun than when we shell out big bucks to go the aquarium or the zoo. With me on maternity leave, free options are even more important.

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