An Uncomplicated Life Blog: 3 Budget-Friendly Summmer Activities for Kids

Monday, June 8, 2015

3 Budget-Friendly Summmer Activities for Kids

I don't know about where you live, but the rain seems to have FINALLY cleared out of Texas, and the heat has finally rolled in: Summer is here!

I'm rounding up my favorite activities to do with a baby/toddler/kids that won't break the bank. Even if you don't necessarily need to be kept cool like we do here in Texas, you DO need to keep your sanity while the kids are home from school! Here are some great, affordable ways to get out of the house and mix up your summer routine.

3Budget-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids

1) Get a membership to a community pool or splash pad. Prices will range depending on where you live and what the facilities are like, but if you have a driver's license in that community to prove residency, you get a discounted rate! Season passes are always much cheaper than buying daily rates, provided you go often enough. Many places have a picnic area for you to bring a lunch too, keeping your choices much more healthy and affordable.

Also, look for free opportunities in your area. Dallas has Klyde Warren Park downtown, with splash pad fountains, a massive playground, picnic grounds and food trucks. Most Minneapolis public parks have kiddie pools that are free to access; check for their open days and times.

Splash pad at Klyde Warren Park... In the winter, because look at how cold those women look!

2) Check out the story time schedule at your local library. Nearly every public library has a program like this, ranging from several times a week to once a month. Larger libraries will have story time sessions further broken down by age group. Pull up the website or head to the closest library and see what's going on. It's "free" and a great way for your kids to interact with other kids over the summer months in a learning environment. (Free as in, your taxes already pay for it. At least you're not double paying for it, right?!)

Story time at public libraries

3) Head out to the country! Just a quick drive out of most cities, and you'll find animal/petting farms, berry picking and even educational/historic farms. Most have cheap admission prices of $5/adult, and most are picnic friendly so you can pack your own lunch. The educational/historic farms might be my favorite! Dallas has Nash Farm with a full schedule of special events through the fall ($3/adult, children are free), and Minneapolis has Gibbs Farm, which is actually in the city at the U of M campus. Check your local area to see what it offers and go explore the country - or the "country"!

Texas is known for it's black berry picking. Image source.

What are some of your other favorite activities to do over the summer? How do you keep those kiddos entertained and your sanity in check? I'd love to hear any more great ideas you have!


  1. All good ideas! I am already feeling the heat and not too happy about it. I need more spring :)

  2. I so wish I could take my nanny kids places! We are always stuck at home, but it would be so much fun to do something like this. All your ideas sound like great ways to entertain kids during the summer.

  3. The library is a great one especially when it starts to get really hot outside! My sister has a great strawberry farm near her house and I know they'll be doing that this summer as well! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  4. I LOVE summer time in Texas! And I totally support the "get out in the country" point. YES! There's so much to see.

  5. i love the idea of heading out to the country. there are tons of fun / cheap things to do around here that are a short drive away. the problem with the ville is that we don't have a lot of parks and things like that, which is a bummer. well, we have a million parks but not really ones like that. i was in barnes and noble on saturday and they had a free childrens reading hour as well, very cool! and i am totally doing the pool pass when i have kids, it's silly now because i don't get to go that often. my mother in law has a pool, but it would be more fun to do it in a community type place with other people :)

  6. We love library story times! Since having A we have definitely taken advantage of the library. And all the splash pads in our area are free, which is so nice.
    Great ideas my dear!

  7. Yes! My sister joined a local community pool and it was a great thing for her kiddos and herself as well because she met a ton of great local women. Yes to the library as well! The little one loves going because they also have a singing component to it as well :-) Great list girl especially when you are trying to think of ways to keep the little ones entertained over the long Summer days!

  8. Love this! Kids are already saying they're bored lol

  9. When I was a kiddo we LIVED at the library and the pool in the summer time. Those were the days. Over on this side of town there is the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History/ Omni Theater. Not the cheapest of activities but it is an outstanding children's museum with a ton of activities for all ages. They've re-done the whole thing inside and out and it's very interactive and fun. We take my niece and nephew there when they come into town and spend the whole day letting them run around. Wears them smooth out...

  10. Can you believe that San Antonio has ZERO splashpads?! We're so thankful to live in an apartment where we can go swimming everyday. We're also excited about the new children's museum that opened this weekend--we got a pass there to enjoy free air-conditioning all summer long!

  11. I love the story time tip so thanks for sharing with us at #AnythingGoes #8

  12. Summer break doesn't have to cost a lot of money. There are such great ways to get out with the kids and your ideas are super. Thanks for sharing over at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.