50 Fun And Frugal Summer Ideas

July 29, 2016

50 Fun And Frugal Summer Ideas

Gotta love summer! The warmer temps bring unique opportunities to entertain yourself and have fun frugally that the rest of the year does not.

While I keep hearing ads that reference “summer winding down,” in my opinion, there is still a lot of it left. I’m going to pretend that Target doesn’t have their back-to-school section out yet, and that I didn’t see Christmas decorations at my local craft store the other day.

Here are some budget-friendly and frugal summer ideas to help you enjoy this fun season…whatever is left of it.

In Your Neighborhood

  1. Take advantage of events at your local library (workshops, movies, special events, etc.)
  2. Volunteer in your community
  3. Visit a local historical site
  4. Go yard sale hopping
  5. Check out your city or state’s “Open House” events
  6. Explore an exhibit at your local art gallery
  7. Plan potluck dinners with your neighbors
  8. Workshops at your local hardware store
  9. Cooking classes at your local supermarket
  10. Events at your local bookstore



  1. Plan a scavenger hunt in your backyard
  2. Plan a scavenger hunt in your town
  3. Free or $1 movies at your local theater
  4. Bowl for free
  5. Skate for free
  6. Make a life-size backyard game like Jenga, Dominoes, Yahtzee, or Connect-Four
  7. Have a backyard Water Day (water balloon fight, slip-n-slide, etc.)
  8. Have game night outside
  9. Host an outdoor movie night
  10. Camp out in your backyard
  11. Make your favorite warm weather treats (popsicles, lemonade, smoothies, etc.)
  12. Visit a Nature Center
  13. Visit a Firehouse
  14. Visit your town or city’s government offices
  15. Free camp at the Apple Store
  16. Host a themed movie festival (e.g., Four Weeks of Foreign Films)
  17. Visit a zoo or aquarium on its free day or during free admission hours
  18. Go berry picking at a pick-your-own farm


Out And About

  1. Outdoor movies at a local park
  2. Outdoor concerts
  3. Explore a new neighborhood on bike
  4. Explore a new neighborhood on foot
  5. Find “demo days” hosted by a sports shops (e.g., mine offered free stand-up paddling and kayaking)
  6. Visit a museum on its free day or during free admission hours (or get free passes from your library)
  7. Picnic at the beach or lake
  8. Find a festival (kite, music, food, craft, etc.)
  9. Plan a picnic along with a hike
  10. Plan a picnic along with a bike ride
  11. Explore a new bike trail
  12. Visit a Farmers’ Market
  13. Visit a Flea Market
  14. Find a summer fair or carnival
  15. Tour a winery
  16. Tour a local brewery
  17. Free days or free admission hours at a planetarium/observatory
  18. Go to a Minor League Baseball game
  19. Take a community Yoga or Pilates class (usually free or by donation)
  20. Attend an outdoor play
  21. Go to a Classic Car show
  22. Free days or free admission hours at a botanical garden

I hope these ideas have given you a little food for thought. Having fun in the summer doesn’t have to break the bank!

For experiences specific to where you live, search on the internet for “free” along with your town or city name, and you will get tons of ideas. You may even come across some surprising frugal summer ideas! (Fun Fact: Did you know you can kayak for free in New York’s Hudson River? Try it if you’re in the area!)

What fun and frugal summer ideas do you have? I would love to follow up this post with YOUR ideas. Please share in the comments below.