7 Fun and Frugal Family Outings to Enjoy This Summer

Summer is the perfect time for families to bond and create lasting memories. The warm weather and longer days offer plenty of opportunities to have fun together without needing to spend a ton of money. The summer season always seems to go by quickly, so it’s best to plan fun outings and activities in advance. This can also help you prepare a budget for the next few months.

A frugal approach to family outings not only helps you stay within your budget but also encourages creativity and appreciation for simple pleasures. If you’re wondering where to start, here are 7 fun and frugal summer outings to enjoy with family.

Pool and Waterpark Outings

Visiting the pool is a must during the summer. Many community pools offer discounted rates for families, making it an ideal option for a budget-friendly outing. There’s a special discount time often called ‘twilight’ where you can usually get discounted admission after 4 pm. Or perhaps you have a pool of your own have friends who own one.

If there’s a beach or waterpark near you, this could also make a nice day trip. Plan ahead and put pool days on your calendar this summer Don’t forget to pack some snacks and sunscreen for a day of fun in the sun.

Hiking and Exploring Local Trails

Explore the great outdoors without the need for a national park pass. Research and choose from the plethora of local trails that suit your family’s experience level and interests. Hiking is not only great exercise but also an opportunity to learn about local flora and fauna. Plan to visit any state parks in your area or popular hiking trails.

Where I live in Tennessee, there are tons of great trails, waterfalls and state parks to explore. You can download the All Trails app to find hiking trails, guides, and recommendations.

Picnic in the Park

This is another easy addition that can make your frugal summer outings list.  Pack a homemade lunch and head to your local park for a budget-friendly day out. Enjoy a leisurely picnic surrounded by nature, and take advantage of the park’s amenities such as playgrounds, walking trails, and sports facilities. Bring along some outdoor games like frisbee or soccer for added entertainment.

Depending on the park, there may be a charcoal grill there where you can grill burgers and hot dogs for lunch. Consider getting creative with your picnic spot as there are several places and attractions with great views and entertainment that allow picnics.

RELATED: 12 Fun Family Night Ideas On A Budget

Community Events and Festivals

Check your local community calendar for free or low-cost events happening throughout the summer. From outdoor concerts and street fairs to cultural festivals and art exhibits, there’s often something exciting happening nearby. Your local community website may have information on upcoming events or you can check your city’s park district.

These events are a great way to experience your community’s unique culture and entertainment scene without spending a fortune. You can also spend less money than you would at a state fair since these can be huge events that are costly when you consider rides, food, and other events and shows that take place during the fair. In my area, we have county fairs which are much more accessible and cheaper. Either way, include room in your budget to attend some local events and take advantage of any family deals or early-bird discounts that can lower your costs. s

Visit Local Museums and Libraries

Many museums and libraries offer free or discounted admission during the summer months, providing an excellent opportunity for families to explore art, history, and science together. These places may even have free days that your family can enjoy.

When my son was younger, I’d always take him to this 1800s-themed outdoor museum and play areas for kids. There was a train there that drove all over the property and this was his favorite part of visiting. During the summer, we always added it to our frugal summer outings list because there were special free days for families. This helped me stretch our fun budget for the month and put that money toward other things instead. Check your local listings for special exhibits, workshops, and events geared towards families and children.

Outdoor Concerts and Movie Nights

Many cities offer free outdoor concerts and movie nights during the summer months. Free outdoor movie nights was another fun family activity we enjoyed when my son was younger. Check your local community calendar for upcoming events, bring a blanket or lawn chairs, and enjoy a night of entertainment under the stars with your family. The key is to check in advance and mark your calendar so you can at least check out one or two of the screenings during the summer.

If you like music, some places may offer free outdoor concerts with certain singing groups or cover bands. One popular vineyard in our area has jazz and bluegrass bands each Friday along with food trucks. It’s a family-friendly atmosphere and most people just sit out in the grass in lawn chairs or on blankets and enjoy the music.

RELATED: 10 Best Hacks to Save Money at the Movie Theater

 Go Fruit Picking

Strawberry, blueberry, and peach season are all in the summer.Many local farms offer fruit picking activities during the summer season. It’s not only a fun and educational experience for kids but also an opportunity to support small businesses in your community. You can enjoy freshly picked produce and even have a picnic on the farm grounds.

Some farms have flower fields and offer flower picking as well so this could be a great opportunity to handpick a new flower arrangement for your home.

Summary: Start With These Frugal Summer Outings

Summer is a season for adventures, and with these frugal family outings, your summer calendar will be packed with cherished moments. Remember, the best things in life are free — including quality time with your family. Enjoy exploring, sharing new experiences, and making the most of each day with this list of frugal summer outings to start with.