10 Summer Activities for Kids that Won’t Break the Bank

July 18, 2014

Summer is here and school is out. Whether you’re home full time with the kids or taking a holiday to spend time with them, it can be tough to find family activities that don’t put a dent in your bank account. Here’s a few free or inexpensive ways to enjoy the dog days of summer with your kids. It’s the ComparaSaver way.

1. Keep A Look Out For Free Events

Summer is jam packed with free concerts, events and festivals in cities and towns across Canada. The trick is finding them. Free events are often put on by municipal or provincial governments or volunteer organisations, but are sometimes not well publicized. Check out the websites for nearby towns or cities for a calendar of events. Also, keep an eye on local newspapers for advertisements and listings. The kids will get a kick out of going to a concert—and it won’t cost you anything. For extra savings, bring your own water and snacks if possible.

2. Make Your Own Outdoor Games

Use chalk to create outdoor games on your driveway or sidewalk. You can create hopscotch, ring toss games, or play tic-tac-toe. Have a variety of games and make it a ‘chalk olympics’. This is a simple way to create lots of activities without buying expensive outdoor set-ups to go with them. If you don’t have access to a driveway or sidewalk large enough, use masking or coloured tape to create these games on your deck or patio.

3. Start A Neighbourhood Game Night

Set aside an evening each week for a friendly multi-family competition; whether it’s an indoor game or outdoors, it’ll be a great way for everyone to get together. Plus, teams don’t have to be family versus family, they can be divvied up too to create new teams: parents versus kids, boys versus girls, etc.

4. Free Or Discount Admission

Many attractions across Canada cater to families with kids home for the summer. Zoos, museums and galleries will often hold special free or discounted admission days during July and August. Keep in mind many of these institutions, like the Toronto Zoo or Vancouver Aquarium, have significantly lower admission prices for kids under 12. If you can get a group together, these places often have a group rate too, which means you can save even more.

5. Catch A Kids Movie

When it’s time to head indoors, many movie theatres have a deal you should take advantage of. One day a week, most companies offer discounted tickets. These savings can really add up, especially on those costly adult tickets. A good option for a rainy day.

6. Make Some Home Movies

You don’t want them staring at a screen on a sunny day, but here’s a way to make good use of that smartphone of theirs (or yours) in the great outdoors. Use your phone’s video application to make some home movies. Go on an ‘adventure,’ allowing them to indulge their inner actor. Then let them be the director; let them film you and make your own nature documentary. It could be a way to use their love of technology to get them interacting with the outdoors.

7. Plan A Treasure Hunt

Grab some pirate costumes (or make them yourself) and some small treats. If you can, find a chest (or any container) at your local dollar store and then hide the treasure in your backyard, in a nearby woods, or on a beach. Make a map, then take your little pirates on their adventure to find the treasure. It’s guaranteed to keep them busy with a big payoff in the end.

8. Visit A Farm

Many farms open their doors to families in the summer. This can be a great way to introduce your kids to ‘life on the farm,’ and see some animals. If you don’t know of any in your area that welcome the public, a simple online “visit a farm” search will yield a bounty of options.

9. Go On A Bug Safari

Right in your own backyard is a whole other world that’s often overlooked—the world of insects and bugs. See who can find and identify the most bugs: butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, praying mantis, worms, caterpillars, and ants are all around, you just need to be looking for them.

10. Go To The Beach

Sun, flip flops and a cooler full of snacks is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon with the kids.

Related Reads. ComparaSave Articles On Child Safety

Staying Cool In The Summer: Kid’s Summer Safety Tips
Precious Passengers: Child Car Seat Safety