School is finally out for the summer— but hanging around the pool and playing video games only go so far. If you're wondering how to entertain your kiddos for the next few months without breaking the bank, these ideas might come in handy for your summer bucket list.
1. Kids Bowl Free
Kids ages 15 and under can bowl two games for free every day of the summer at participating bowling centers. All you need to do is register at: www.kidsbowlfree.com
2. CineMark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse
See 10 kid friendly films for $5 when purchase a package in advance or pay $1 a film at the box office. Be sure to check the theater for special show times.
3. Target Sponsored Events
Check Target’s website for free or reduced priced events.
4. Go Berry and Vegetable Picking
5. Visit a Farm
6. Go Geocaching
Sign up for free, take a tutorial, search for Geocache sites nearby and download an app to your mobile phone. www.geocaching.com
7. Hotel Staycations
Spend the night in a hotel and explore your city, or one nearby.
Try searching for hotel discounts available for local residents at www.dealbase.com
10. Take a Kids' Cooking Class
11. Go to an Ethnic Super Market
Explore an exotic location without leaving your city. Search for markets near your location with www.yelp.com
12. Go Zip-lining
14. Visit a State Park
Most all of the State Parks offer cheap or free programs, ranging from canoeing and kayaking to fully equipped camping trips and star watching parties. www.stateparks.com
15. Go to a Flea Market
16. Visit a Museum
17. Lowes Build and Grow Kids Clinics–DIY wooden project workshops (free)
18. Home Depot Kids Workshops– DIY assorted project workshops (free)
19. Michaels Kids Club– Create a variety of crafts ($2)
20. Pottery Barn Kids Events and Activities (free)
21. DIY Stickers
Cut old photos or magazine pictures into shapes. Spread repositionable glue on back then let dry. Kids can stick and re-stick as often as they like.
22. Bubbles That Bounce
Recipe: Mix together 1 cup of distilled water, 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap, 1 tablespoon of glycerin.
23. Make Some Snazzy Sneakers
Paint clean canvas sneakers with fabric paint pens or acrylic paint.
24. Make Your Own Water Bombs
Cut 3 new, rectangular shaped sponges (colored ones) into 6 long rods, cinch them across the middle with a rubber band and fluff into a ball.
25. Marshmallow and Toothpick Architecture
Design three dimensional buildings using toothpicks and mini-marshmallows.
26. Pine Cone Birdfeeders
Tie a string under ridges of pine cone, cover it in unsalted peanut butter then roll it in birdseed and hang it outside the window.
27. Edible Finger Paints
Mix Duncan Hines Frosted Creation flavor powder mixes and vanilla yogurt together to make a variety of colors.
28. Picasso Party
Kids will enjoy painting masterpieces on huge canvases, or cardboard. Give them a palette, brushes and use an outside wall for an easel.
29. Make a Scrapbook
30. Paint with Ice
Fill ice cube trays with washable tempera paint and freeze, then let the messy fun begin.
32. Paper Mache Airplane
Cut wings and tail out of paper plate, attach to empty plastic bottle with masking tape. Cover with glue and paste wet shredded paper. Dry and paint.
33. Duct Tape Crafts
34. Paper Towel Roll Tree
Assemble empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls together with masking tape in the shape of a trunk with branches. Paint it brown and glue on real leaves or make your own with construction paper.
35. Make a Fairy Doll House
Hot glue dried tree bark to oatmeal canister with a door cut out. Brush glue on bark and sprinkle with glitter.
38. Colored Salt Art in a Jar
Like sand art using salt. Use kosher salt and food coloring to make a variety of colored salt. Layer in jars and use a straw to dig holes and fill in with different colors.
39. Painting With Egg Cartons
Cut egg cartons into sections, dip bottoms into tempera paints and stamp on paper.
Bake a cake, cool, break it up into tiny pieces and mix in one can of frosting. Using one-inch ice cream scoop, form into balls and freeze until hard. Dip in melted white chocolate and decorate with sprinkles or colored chocolate.
44. Tabletop S’mores
Place a Sterno down in a mug, (Sterno Gel Fuel is non-toxic) top with metal apple corer for the tabletop grill. Try different combinations like flavored marshmallows, cookies and white chocolate.
45. Make Homemade Pizzas
Let the kids knead the dough, allow it to rise, then stretch it into shapes and add toppings.
47. Learn About Another Culture: Cook a meal from a foreign country
48. Pies on a Stick
Using biscuit cutter or glass, cut pie dough into circles, put teaspoon of fruit filling in center of one circle, then press together with other dough circle, put on lollipop stick, bake until golden.
50. Campfire Cones
Spread peanut butter inside of cones, fill with bananas, chocolate chips and marshmallows. Wrap in foil, cook over hot coals for 10 minutes.
51. Rice Krispies Fruit Kabobs
Make rice Krispie bars, cut into shapes with cookie cutters and dip in sprinkles. Alternate cut up fruit and rice Krispie shapes on skewers.
52. Grilled Cheese Crescent Bites
Fill Crescent roll dough with folded slices of Kraft cheese, brush with butter and bake.
54. Homemade Cheesy Bread Rolls
55. Frittata Muffins
57. Teddy Bear Bread
61. Have a Tea Party
62. Treat the kids to a Spa Slumber Party
63. Throw a Glow in the Dark Dance Party
64. Make a Shadow Puppet Show
64. Make a Home Drive-in Movie
66. Keep young kids entertained with Busy Bags
78. Put on a Play
81. Deluxe Kid Wash
82. Body Painting– Let the kids paint each other with washable non-toxic tempera paint.
83. Make a Giant Lawn Twister Game
84. Have a Backyard Campout
94. Go Ice Block Sledding on the Grass– Purchase ice blocks or fill up a plastic storage bin and freeze your own.
100. Have a Neighborhood Car Wash