5 Awesome FREE things to do with the kids this summer

5 Awesome FREE things to with the kids this summer

School’s almost out for the summer. Sounds like a great time, but having the children around for two and a half months can also be a lot of work. If you’re not going on vacation, traveling out of town, or sending your kids to camp, here are a few ideas that can make the summer fun and fit any budget.

1.- Check out your local museums. Many museums offer free or discounted tickets for local residents on specific days. If you can’t find any information on their website, give them a call. And if they don’t have a locals only discount, ask about a child discount.

2.- Go to the library. I know this one could sound boring, but when was the last time you checked out your local library? Our neighborhood library just got a killer facelift. It’s cooler than Barnes and Noble or Starbucks. But best of all, libraries offer all kinds of events for kids, from story-time readings to performances by local artists.

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5 Awesome FREE things to with the kids this summer

3.- Start a bug collection. No matter how old your kids or grandkids are, start a bug collection. This will have you all spending sometime outdoors turning over rocks and logs and at parks or in your backyard. You can get a book on insects at the library or just use Google to look up information about the critters you collect.

4.- Plant a garden. Eating local is all the rage these days and it doesn’t get any more local than your backyard. Find a small area or build a raised planter. Find out from your local Agricultural Extension office or nursery what vegetables are in season to plant. Imagine, at the end of the summer you will have a feast!

5.- Cook. Teach the children how to cook! This is a fun and unusual activity for kids of all ages. Find recipes that you find interesting, shop for groceries, and cook and eat together. Cooking is pretty much a life skill. When your kids go to college or strike out on their own, at least they’ll be able to feed themselves, and maybe even impress a future husband or wife.

Phillippe Diederich

Phillippe Diederich is a bilingual author and photographer born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Mexico City and Miami. His photography has appeared in The New York Times, Time magazine, U.S. News and World Report and other national publications. Phillippe's novels Sofrito and Playing for the Devil's Fire are both published by Cinco Puntos Press. He is the recipient of a PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship and the Editor-in-Chief of Viva Fifty!