Smart Money Mom

FREE or Cheap Summer Activities for the Summer (Full Guide)

There are tons of great FREE and cheap activities for the kids to do this summer! Be prepared for the “I’m Bored” that comes with being out of school with a great list of activities ready to go:

1) If you live close enough to the beach, you can find hours of free entertainment for the kids!

2) For those of you in Long Beach, check out Moonlight Movies on the Beach!

3) Kids can bowl for FREE at various locations! Check out which ones are near you at! (you will need to register ahead of time)

4) The Barnes & Noble Imagination Destination summer reading program gives your child the ability to earn a FREE book after reading 8 books and keeping track of them in a reading log.

5) How about a lemonade stand? Kids still love this fun activity!

6) There are some great State Parks at play to visit around California!

7) There are also some National Parks in California that offer a few FREE Admission days each year. Find out locations and dates HERE.

8) Street Food Cinema has outdoor movies, food and other fun stuff for the entire family!

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9) Have a backyard scavenger hunt. Make a list of things the kids should be able to find in the backyard and let them go!

10) All summer long you can check out the Regal Cinemas $1 Movies!

11) Make homemade ice cream! There are tons of recipes out there that don’t require an ice cream maker.

12) Take the kids fishing for FREE on the CA Free Fishing Days this summer!

13) Make Sidewalk Chalk Paint! Just a little more fun than sidewalk chalk.

14) You can get FREE Admission to the California Science Center every day!

15) Kids love water! Check out these fun water and ice activities:

16) Set up a back yard movie night! Borrow or rent a projector if you don’t own one. Hang a sheet in your backyard and you are good to go!

18) If you don’t have a sandbox, you can make your own with a under bed storage box and a bag of sand to play with. The kids don’t care that they can’t sit inside it!

19) Make homemade bubbles. Tons of fun recipes on the web to try.

20) Create an outdoor (or indoor) obstacle course.

21) Find cheap summer activities (or sometimes FREE) tickets from Goldstar

What other FREE or Cheap Activities can we add to this list? 

Don’t forget to check out the growing kids eat FREE list as well!

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3 thoughts on “FREE or Cheap Summer Activities for the Summer (Full Guide)”

  1. Can’t wait for summer to comment on a great idea to take kids: the Chino Air Show is May 2 and May 3 (same show each day) and a similar show Friday afternoon/evening on May 1. Kids 11 and under are FREE with ticketed adult. One of the best air shows in the nation. Discount tickets for adults until April 10. See for more details.

  2. A beach day is always nice! Gather up towels, pack a lunch, drop a few coins in the meter and your set! Take advantage of our wonderful weather!

  3. My son LOVES the California Science Center. It is $10 to park but admission is free. You have to pay to see the Space Shuttle (only $2 each I think) but since all of the other shuttles are on the East coast, it is definitely a great deal!


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