The following is a post from our sponsor, Quaker.
Summer’s finally here! But it’ll be over before you know it. Here’s a “bucket list” of free or cheap activities the whole family can enjoy together. Don’t forget to pack snacks for the longer excursions -- portable munchies like Quaker Big Chewy granola bars are just the thing to help keep the edge off of everyone’s hunger. The season might not last as long as you’d like, but you can make memories that definitely will!
1) Paint outside: Who cares about mess when you can just hose it away? Bring out the easel or just let kids go to town with finger paints and paper.
2) Catch lightning bugs: As night falls, set the kids loose to chase these flickering little bugs. If you put the “captors” in a jar, let them free again before the night is over.
3) Go camping: If you don’t have all the gear, call around to see if a local outdoor supply store will rent the essentials. Or just buy a cheap tent and camp in your backyard.
4) Build a sandcastle: Make it a team effort, or hold an informal “contest” between family members.
5) Run in the sprinkler: Even if you have a pool, there’s nothing quite like running through the cool spray of water with your bare feet on the grass.
6) Hold a lemonade stand: Parents can help with the setup and supervise the sales. Donate earnings to a local charity.
7) Go to a drive-in movie: Even little ones can come along -- after all, if they get tired, they can easily take a snooze!
8) Visit a carnival or fair: Summer wouldn’t be complete without all those rides and games of chance no one ever really wins.
9) Bake and/or eat a pie: Fruit pie, icebox pie, cream pie, doesn’t matter. It’s like serving up a slice of summer.
10) Have a watermelon eating contest: Self-explanatory. Best to do on a hot summer day, wearing bathing suits, with a hose handy.
11) Go berry picking: Nothing beats the taste of a fresh, sun-warmed blueberry, raspberry, or blackberry. If you’re productive pickers, you can freeze them!
12) Attend an outdoor concert: Gather the lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks and get ready to get down!
13) Grill something unusual: Pizza, s’mores, fruit kabobs -- try something that’s not your plain-old burgers and dogs.
14) Go to a baseball game: And it doesn’t have to be a pro game. See what local teams are in action too.
15) Make homemade ice pops: Use plastic molds, or kick it old-school with disposable cups filled with juice and covered with foil with a wooden stick shoved in.
16) Watch fireworks: July 4th is the obvious choice for this, but many towns have fireworks displays at other times throughout the summer.
17) Have an ice-cream-parlor free-for-all: Don’t tell the kids in advance, but when you get to the counter, tell them they can order WHATEVER THEY WANT. It’s like winning the lottery for a kid.
18) Play tag with the whole family: Yes, that means you too, mom.
19) Visit a state park: Go for the day or go for a night or two (see #3, above). Hike, bike, or just explore.
20) Have a water balloon fight: If you like to multitask, you could easily tie this one in with #5.
21) Create a masterpiece with sidewalk chalk: Why should the kids have all the fun? Sit right down on the driveway with them and unleash your inner artist, too.
22) Wash the family car: A bucket of sudsy water, a hose, and some big sponges or old rags are all you need for an hour or two of refreshing fun -- AND it’s productive, too!
23) Take a rainy-day puddle walk: Summer is all about sunshine, but rain has its perks. Slip on galoshes or flip-flops and prepare to get muddy.
24) Dig for worms: After the rain ends is the perfect time to trawl for creepy-crawlies in the damp soil. For extra credit, use them as bait to go fishing!
What’s your family’s favorite summertime activity?