Since we have turned over a new leaf with our finances, we are going to have to be extra creative with our summer activities. We usually take vacations every summer that end up costing more than we intended, sometimes twice as much as we intended and twice as much as we have! Last year, we thought that instead of going to a beach, we would just spend a few days in Dallas and it would be cheaper…we were WRONG! I think we ended up spending even more! We went to the mall 3 times…I should have seen that coming!
I came up with several ideas to have a good time this summer without having to do a complete u-turn on our debt progress. Here is a printable version summer bucket list
Picnic in the park Sit on a blanket and pack your favorite food from home, don’t go get fast food and sit at a picnic table this defeats the purpose. Feed the ducks while you are there.
Camping This can be done anywhere, even in your own backyard or your living room. Drape old sheets and blankets over furniture or whatever you can find if you don’t have a tent. We have even taken our mattresses outside before!
Movie night and s’mores in the backyard Take your TV outside and watch a movie, check this out for more details movie night
Family game nights I’m not talking about board games, I’m talking about hide and go seek, capture the flag, scavenger hunts, and other exciting games you can play outside.
Karaoke You can do this even if you don’t have a karaoke machine. We often just sit in our living room singing old songs. Who can pass on a chance to bust out with “Stay” by Lisa Loeb!
Make family YouTube videos Yes, Dads have to participate! This is a super fun. Come up with a cute or funny idea and you can even start your own YouTube series like house husband from so and so county (this could even go viral)!
Movie series marathon Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Despicable Me, Madagascar, Toy Story, Twilight, Hunger Games, or introduce your kids to some classics that you know they will love Anne of Green Gables, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Rocky, Superman, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, X-men, Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean. Pile up in a bedroom or living room, make some popcorn and snuggle under blankets.
Family talent show There are so many ideas for this one, use your imagination!!! You can even jot down categories and draw for what the talent is going to be…singing, acting, gymnastics, dancing, hacky sacking.
Go to the lake We went and bought these floaties, got some hot dogs, chips, s’mores stuff, and built us a little fire right on the bank , we had the best time ever and can’t wait to go back.
Make your own hot tub Sit in your back yard with some ice tea and look at the stars from your own DIY hot tub. All you need is a heating element and a pool or you can do it the cheaper way and fill up a pool like this and let it absorb heat all day, then get in it at night (Be sure and use the heating element with caution and read all instructions before use and remove before getting in!!!).
Go to the public pool If you don’t feel like swimming, enjoy a good book while your kids swim. Here are some books that my sister suggests.
Create a homemade obstacle course in your backyard There are all kinds of ideas on Pinterest for an obstacle course just using things around your house.
Do a project together Build a dog house, plant a garden, plant flowers, or build a picnic table. Use pallet wood to keep it cost efficient. Make soap or homemade beauty product but be careful, this can get expensive.
Instagram Challenge This is a BLAST! We did it one year at a youth event and it was a big hit Instructions here instagram challenge
Take walks Walk around neat areas in your town that you have never explored before.
Have a lemonade stand Kids love this and now with Facebook you can advertise and all your family and friends will come get lemonade. Be super cool and offer different flavors and cookies
Fly kites My kids thought that this was going to be “lame” but they really had a good time!
Family reading Pick out a good book that everyone will enjoy and sit together while someone reads out loud, you can even take turns reading. Some great books for older kids, are To Kill A Mocking Bird, The Hunger Games, The Giver Series, The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, The Maze Runner, Harry Potter or Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series…for younger kids, try the Ramona Series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dr. Seuss, Charlotte’s Webb, or Where the Wild Things Are. If your kids have summer reading homework like mine, you can read their book and kill 2 birds with 1 stone! Trips to library to get the books can be fun too.
Barbeque This is always fun, but do it as a family, where everyone is in charge of something (this could be the food you take on your picnic). Dad cooks on the grill. Mom makes potato salad. Sister makes dessert. Brother makes tea.
Girls/Boys Night Separate and do something that you like to do with just your daughter or son. Girls-homemade pedicures, at home spa, talk about boys, do each other’s hair and makeup and then take pictures or have a fashion show. Boys- go fishing, play football, or catch, watch sports, whatever else boys like to do.
Mom & Son night or Dad & daughter night Switch it up and Mom and son go to a movie together (on discount night) or go out to get ice cream while Dad and daughter do something special!
Not only are these ideas cheap, they are fun and will encourage family bonding!!!!I can’t wait to get started on our list!!