Frugal or Free Fun for the Fam

It’s SUMMER!!!!! Yippee!!
At the beginning of the summer I asked the kids what they wanted to be sure to do before it’s cold again.
Their ideas are on here, plus other things that we’ve done in years past & will probably do again.
It doesn’t take money to have fun!. Here’a list of some of the things we do for fun… and they cost little to no money!

*BACKYARD WATER PARK– Besides the hose on the slide, we use zip ties to hold a fat pool noodle to the top of the swing set and then poked holes in it and slid the hose inside it. The  kids would swing and it would “rain” on them!  They thought it was great!

*SQUIRT GUN or even squirt BOTTLE wars. It only takes two people to make this fun!

We make an afternoon of it! Park down the street & walk in the pretty city, play in the water, take silly pictures, eat the  snacks we’ve packed then sit in the sunshine with the beach towels before we walk back to the car.

*SLIP & SLIDE -use an old shower curtain liner, a squirt of liquid dish soap & a hose. A hill isn’t even required.

*DISH PAN POOL FOR TODDLERS – back in the early 1980’s (hey, no comments!)  I worked at  daycare center. The toddlers loved it when filled dish pans with water and put them out on the sunny deck. Then gave them little cups & toys. Happiness!

*HOMEMADE ICE CREAM…. in a BAG!!!  ice cream in a bag

*HOMEMADE SLURPEE   I used this recipe but substituted generic Sprite instead of Club Soda
*THEME DAYS – Basically anything becomes special when you build on a theme. For example,declare that it’s  “Bubble Day.”  Eat pancakes made with club soda, make homemade bubbles and giant things to blow them through. Drink pop!  (horror of horrors!  NO!  Your child won’t be permentantly damaged if they drink pop occasionally.)  Have bubble blowing contests with bubble gum… And pour lots of bubble bath in the kiddie pool or bathtub!  See, normal things are now totally special.

So many parks have free things to offer in the summer. If you’re in The D check out these sites.
Campus Martius Park, free movie nights (thanks for this info, Nicole)
New Center Park, Jazz concerts and movie nights

Detroit Institute of Art is free to Detroit residents on Fridays. Guess when we go?  🙂
Henry Ford Museum Free Days
       Ann Arbor Museum Group Free Day (haven’t tried this one)
Adventure Pass through the library system Adventure Pass
Museums Days sponsored by Bank of America

*Neighborhood Art Show – There’s so many options. Ask your kids for ideas!

*MAKE A  picnic BLANKET and use it!
(I haven’t done this, but it’s on my “to-do-someday” list.)


*LATE NIGHT SNACKS OUTSIDE – a regular snack is special if you get to stay up late and eat it outside. The whole neighbor is different when it’s dark  (especially when you’re in Detroit! ha!)


 *MAKE THINGS out of Denim jeans that the kid won’t fit into by the fall. Click the link- not everything requires sewing
*LATE NIGHT SNACKS OUTSIDE – a regular snack is special if you get to stay up late and eat it outside. The whole neighbor is different when it’s dark  (especially when you’re in Detroit! ha!)

*SCAVENGER HUNT in weird places… like in the grocery store or anywhere that it normally sorta boring.  I’ve make up random scavenger hunts for the Free museums so that no one could say that it was “boring!” They had a great time & asked to do it again.

*LOCAL LAKES & BEACHES– ’nuff said!  🙂

*FREE KIDS BOWLING all summer at various bowling centers across the country

*SAVE FOR THE BIG REWARD – We live in Michigan where we get money for cans, so we’re collecting them saving “pop can return money for a museum membership that we really want to visit. Also, loose change and random money found in pockets, etc, is put into the little yellow container. Hopefully by the fall we’ll have enough for the membership & can enjoy it during the colder months.


What do you enjoy in the summer that costs little or no money?




81 thoughts on “Frugal or Free Fun for the Fam

  1. Thx Friend for sharing. We got some new ideas for some SUPER Fun ‘free’ stuff to do this summer. We also saw some of our favs. And of course YOU and the kids are on our ‘Friends We Want To Spend Time w/This Summer.’ Smile So, we’ve got to get together for some of this cool summer family fun stuff.

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