Free activities don’t have to be a drag. Keep reading to discover 15 free summer activities for your children.

Activities for All Kids (0 – 10 Years Old)

  1. Get Soaked– There is just something about good ole’ h2o– it has a way of propelling your day to the next level. Simply bring all the kids outdoors and break out the hose and sprinkler attachment. No sprinkler attachment? No problem. Designate someone to “be the sprinkler” and direct the water flow to create the sprinkle effect. Let the fun begin – no money required.
  2. Have a Picnic ­ A picnic is another fun, free activity for the summertime. The backyard can be your venue. If you do not have access to a backyard or would prefer a larger area, there are free options. Many Forest Preserve Districts have picnic shelters that you can rent. Do an internet search for a “forest preserve” in your area and browse available picnic shelters. No matter which venue you choose, bring a couple of sandwiches, some juice boxes, and some of your kids’ favorites balls, toys, bikes, etc. and make some lasting memories.
  3. Take a Walk in the Park- Many of our favorite memories as children happen at the local park. Infants can take in the scent of flowers and fresh air while older children can get active on the swings and monkey bars. With no admission fee, there is no worry of your pockets deflating.
  4. Take a Trip to the Beach – Who doesn’t love the beach? The potential for fun and exploration are staggering. Your kids can go on a shell hunt, jump into the water, or build sand castles (all for free). Bask in the sun or relax in the shade if you want. Just like the other activities mentioned in this section, all ages are welcome. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
  5. Family Book Club – Reading is valuable to the development of every child. Why not set up a reading circle? Sit all of the kids down in a circle, either indoors or outdoors, and encourage everyone to read a book. For any children who can’t read on their own, you can assist in bringing the story to life by reading the book aloud.
  6. Go to the Public Pool- In the summertime, the more water, the better! There’s no better way to cool off on a hot day than to take your kids to the pool for a swim. No payment is required if you find a pool that is open to the public. Do a quick google search for “public pools near me” to locate the closest public pool to you. Get your children into their swimsuits and go!

Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-aged Children (ages 0 to 5)

  1. Indoor Dance Party –We should never underestimate the power of a home dance party. All you need is space and music. If you have a Bose sound system and your favorite music ready to go, that’s great! If you are limited to the phone, go to to play your favorite songs or to play your favorite music stations. Not only will your kids have a phenomenal time, but active play such as this is an effective way to get your children tired and ready for a nap or bedtime.
  2. Indoor Water Play– You don’t have to be outside to allow your kids to enjoy water. Try these two fun water activities with your little one(s):
  • Kitchen Floor Water Play – All you need is a bowl, a towel or two, some water, and some of the kids’ favorite toys.
    1. Place 2 towels on the floor.
    2. Fill a large bowl with water
    3. Place the bowl on the floor on top of the towels.
    4. To up the ante, you can give your baby or toddler a rubber ducky, a cup, or some plastic balls to add to the fun.
  • Bathtub Water Play– When you’ve got bored children at home, it’s important to utilize every possible avenue for fun. The bathtub…use it as entertainment for the children. It is so easy. Take the below steps:
    1. Run a little water in the tub.
    2. Place some of the kiddies’ favorite toys in the water.
    3. Put your kids in there and enjoy watching them have a ball.
    4. Nursery Rhyme Funtime- Sing nursery rhymes from your childhood. You won’t have any trouble getting your kids interested and jumping around in glee. If you’d prefer not to be the nursery rhyme singer, search for these nursery rhymes on your phone and play them loud:
  • The Wheels on the Bus
  • Old McDonald Had a Farm
  • 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
  • The Itsy Bitsy Spider

These songs are winners that’ll get the kids involved.

Activities for School-aged Children (ages 6-10)

  1. Take a Trip to the Library- In the summertime, libraries often offer reading enrichment activities, like free reading programs. These are geared towards school-aged children to stave off intellectual regression throughout the summer. Some libraries even host free events for children with songs, food, and fun activities. Check out your local library’s website to see what they’ve got planned for the community this summer.
  2. Plan an Outing to the Aquarium- The aquarium is a great place to take your kids this summer. They can learn about aquatic life and, if they’re lucky, they might catch a dolphin show. Many aquariums have designated days where admission to the aquarium is free for minors. Winning!
  3. Go to the Museum- Over the past several years, many museums have stepped up their game and are now featuring more entertaining activities for visitors. If you take your kids to the museum, they’ll not only learn something interesting about history, but they’ll have fun while they learn. The internet is a helpful resource for finding information about museums in your area, the exhibits they feature, and the activities they have for kids. Also, like aquariums, many museums have designated days where admission is free.
  4. Movie Night – A favorite amongst older kids, movie night gives both you and your children the opportunity to get together while being entertained. Even if no one actually watches the movie (kids can be chatter boxes), you’ll be right there with your kids, prompting the creation of some fond memories.
  5. Trivia Night- Trivia games are notorious for causing uncontrollable laughter and healthy competition. So how do you plan a trivia night? You can get creative and make up your own questions or go online for some pre-written trivia questions. Think up a few game rules and give your kids the rundown. Have them split up into teams and let the game begin!
  6. Pull Out Those Old Board Games – Most people have board games lying around the house collecting dust bunnies. Well, both you and your kids can have loads of fun playing a board game. Monopoly, Scrabble, Connect Four, and other classics allow for hours of fun. After playing, chances are your kids will be begging to play again and again!

What do you think? Will you and your kid(s) take part in any of these activities this summer? Do share in the comments!

Andrea Reyes