Nine Fun (and Free) Ways to Have Fun This Summer

iStock_000016391426XSmallHave fun with the family this summer without forking over a dime. There is a whole world of entertainment out there that you can get for free. All it takes is knowing where to find it.

Library programs. Sure, you can take out books, movies and CDS, but did you know that you may also be able to take a free painting class, dig for fossils, learn how to play chess, make a kite, create an animated short, make a puppet, do science experiments, watch a magician and more? Libraries are getting very creative with their free programs, especially in the summer and especially the programs aime.orgd at children. Check online or pick up a calendar from one or several libraries to see what is being offered.

Picnic lunch. Pack a picnic lunch and head out of one of the many wonderful nature spots available in your town. Even city dwellers can do some people watching at the park. Don’t forget your blanket.

Make your own movie. Even if all you have is a camera phone, you can try your hand at making a movie. Grab costumes and props, go on location and get everyone in the family involved. Not only is it fun, but the results will be treasured for a lifetime.

Find family fun freebies. The number of free sponsored activities for families jumps way up in the summer. Scout out fun opportunities from free summer movies, concerts in the park, parades, even free museum days. Check websites and ask around.

Go for a summer drive. Summer drives are a lost art that families used to set out to do all of the time. Set off with a mission, such as to see all of the local covered bridges or just drive back roads through a scenic town. You never know what fun little spot you will discover.

Go splashing. Many cities and towns offer “splash pads” or free water parks for kids (and adults) to enjoy. Make an effort to find the ones in your area and visit a new one each week. Time these outings to the hottest days to stay cool.

Play online games. For rainy summer days, go online and enjoy all of the fun and free online games, many of which are educational. PBSkids.org is a great one for kids of all ages.

Pick your own farms. Now is the season for fresh pick your own raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and more. Yes, you will have to pay for any fruit that you keep, but since it counts as food, this can still be considered free fun. Picking your own fruit can also be educational.

Free staycations. Take your staycation to the next level by exploring free opportunities within a couple of hours drive. Fun factory tours, jazz festivals, craft fairs, corn mazes and more can be found for free in practically every state. Do some research and put your favorites on the calendar.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com

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