Summertime can become very expensive for young families who need to keep kids busy and entertained. A trip to the amusement park for a family of four can easily cost hundreds of dollars for just a one-day outing – something that’s just not feasible for many Canadians’ budgets.
Luckily, there are still lots of ways to have fun this summer without blowing your budget. Check out these free or inexpensive ideas for summer activities that will save you money while still ensuring everyone has fun.
- Go camping. Instead of traveling and staying in hotels while on vacation, consider borrowing or renting a tent and camping instead. A campsite rental is typically a lot cheaper than a hotel or motel, and you can make your own food, saving you lots of money on costly restaurants.
- Stay local. Look at activities offered by your city or town. Most regions offer lots of activities and events for families and children of all ages, including summer day camps, which keep kids doing physical or educational activities.
- Explore your own backyard. Look into parks and trails in your area and go for a hike or a picnic. Lots of parks have splash pads or other fun activities that are free. Create your bucket list of parks to visit this summer within a 30-minute drive.
- Get a hobby. Look into a project that you can work on throughout the summer, such as a vegetable garden or painting a portrait.
- Volunteer. Not only is volunteering free, but it’s also a great way to give back to the community and instill good values in children. Investigate whether there are any fundraising events looking for volunteers or charities like animal shelters or soup kitchens in need of some support.
- Visit a garage sale. For those wanting to get their child a bike without blowing the budget, check out local garage sales on the weekend. You’ll be able to get lots of summer items that are in good shape for a fraction of the cost.
Remember that groups like the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs and other community organizations offer programs and activities that can be subsidized for low-income families and/or for families with multiple children so that kids can still participate at a reduced cost. It’s always worth checking out what programs are in your community and if you are eligible for cost savings.