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100+ Free Summer Activities for Kids

Grab this printable list of FREE Summer Activities for Kids and start planning for an awesome summer or staycation!

May is always that time I start planning for warmer weather and (this summer especially) hunting down some fun & free summer activities near me for both kids and our family. If your family is planning to stick close to home this summer and you’re looking for some FUN ideas for activities and experiences, we’ve got you covered with this HUGE list of ideas for creative activities, vintage fun and local places to visit for the best summer ever!

Free and fun things for kids to do in summer

100+ Free Summer Activities for Kids & Families

Every year in early May, I start our ‘Summer Activities’ list — a collaborative collection of all the fun things we’d like to do during the next few months. We love looking for local fun around our city and enjoying some of those throw-back, vintage-type activities that are perfect for summer days and nights.

Our main goal when it comes to summer fun is to make memories!  We love to hear our kids recall some of the unique experiences they’ve enjoyed.  And we’ve quickly realized that many of these memories are made without spending a dime.

Sometimes we get all caught up in the BIG stuff that we forget how memorable the small items can be too.

For example, have your kids ever:

  • flown a kite?
  • Or gone on a creek walk?
  • Picked fresh fruit at a local farm or orchard?
  • Have you tried canoeing or kayaking?
  • Or camping in the backyard together?

I encourage you to start a list with your family (we call it a summer bucket list but label is whatever you’d like).  Have everyone add their favorite activities and places to visit, and then also talk about new experiences that you can enjoy together.  Be sure to check out all the Fun Summer Items for Kids & Families in our Amazon storefront get your yard & house ready for the season too!

And then grab a copy of the FREE printable 100+ Summer Activities to do Near Me below and browse it for more great ideas to add to your list as you plan the BEST summer ever!

Free & Fun Things to do for Summer

There are a number of creative activities & classic experiences kids can do around the house and in their own backyard!  Here are a few:

  • FREE Summer reading programs for kids – many are offered online and at local libraries
  • Search for a four leaf clover — or look for fossils on rocks!
  • Catch fireflies one evening (see these fun facts & books about fireflies)
  • Become a Junior Ranger – kids can earn badges by completing activities at home!
  • Have a summer read-in!  go to the library, grab a ton of books and spread out blankets, beach towels or a hammock and read for the afternoon.
  • Go on a Scavenger Hunt – here are 20 Summer Scavenger Hunts to try!
  • Make homemade popsicles (I remember making frozen banana pops as a kid – they were awesome!)
  • Have an Around the World Summer Camp at Home!
  • Create a “Day in the Life of …” movie and have kids record what they do on a summer day (this is an awesome thing to do each summer as they grow up too 😉
  • Did you know theaters offer free summer movies for kids too?!!  Check out the list to see what’s near you.
  • Explore the attic or basement and look for cool old treasures
  • Build an indoor or outdoor fort
  • Master a skill this summer

Fun summer activities for kids and families

Fun Places to Go Near Me in Summer

There are so many local places to visit in the summer — add a few of these to your list:

  • Walk at a local beach (here’s a FREE printable Beach Scavenger Hunt)
  • Go on a creek walk
  • See if your town offers an outdoor book walk, tree walk or other experience (contact your parks & rec or local historic society)
  • Explore a tide pool
  • Hike to see a waterfalls near you
  • Visit a park and play a game (see these 17 Fun Things to do at the Park!)
  • Walk through a local arboretum
  • Explore a pond (20 Activities for a Day at the Pond)
  • Go fishing at a local lake
  • Visit kitschy road-side attractions around your town (most are located outside & you can see them from your car!)
  • Check out a new exhibit at one of your local art museums!
  • Go to a drive-in movie (not free but definitely a cool summer experience!)
  • Spend a warm day inside a cool nature center!  The majority of them are free and have great exhibits, live animals and usually some fun summer programs too.
  • If you’re able to travel a bit, try one of these fun Day Trip Ideas for families!

Favorite Summer Activities for Families

The free printable list also includes LOTS of ideas for things families can do together during those nice long summer days and nights:

Believe it or not, that’s only 1/3 of all the AWESOME ideas that are included on the free printable calendar.  Make this a memorable summer and EASY summer for you – so many of these activities are low prep and planning!  Because it’s summer and who needs all the hassle, right?!!

Grab a copy of the full list of 100+ Summer Activities to do Near Me and enjoy some kick-back time with your kids his year — Have a wonderful summer!

More Summer Activities for Kids

20 Fun Things to do on a Summer Night

27 Simple Summer Science Experiments