If you cringe every time you think you have to drive somewhere these days, you’re definitely not alone in your struggle. Thanks to the current “administration’s” policies and actions, our economy is a disaster. Gas prices are more than $7 per gallon in some areas. This is usually the time of year when people start booking summer vacations. This year, many families can barely keep food on their tables, much less rent an ocean-front beach house for a week. Just saving up the gas money to get there will be tough. As they say, “It is what it is,” and, there’s nothing we can do about it, for now. That doesn’t mean there can’t be family fun this summer, however!
Hard times call for creative thinking when it comes to family fun activities during the summer. Mindset and attitude are also key factors. You can mope and complain that Biden has ruined our country, and we can’t afford to take vacations. OR, you can be resilient, innovative and determined to find ways to have fun for free. By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll have a list of activities you can do this summer, that cost little to no money at all!
Haul everyone outside for the Perseid meteor shower family fun event
My kids and I have enjoyed this family fun activity many times. I can almost guarantee that you won’t be sorry if you schedule this as a summer activity with your kids this year! You can learn more about the Perseid showers, here. They typically take place in mid-August. They occur for several nights in a row, so if you don’t have much success on your first attempt, try again! It pays to read ahead of time to learn when and where you’ll have the best chance of seeing this spectacular cosmic light show. There’s apparently going to be a full moon this year, so it might be a bit more challenging to see the meteors than in past years. If you’re looking for some free family fun, though, I’d definitely give it a try.
We usually head out to our field after midnight to “set up camp” for the Perseid showers. Everyone carries drinks and snacks, blankets and chairs. We also set up our tents if we plan to sleep outside (which is another FREE family fun thing to do! If you don’t have a tent, make one out of blankets or tarps!). One year, we decided to just “sleep under the stars,” and woke up drenched in morning dew! lol If you have room in your yard for guests, you might consider inviting some other families to camp out with you for a few days. You will hear a lot of “Ooos and aaahhhs” when the fantastic light show begins!
Tour your own town, and stop for a picnic along the way
How much do you know about the history of your own community? Why not schedule a few days this summer to walk around your own town like tourists? You can do a little research ahead of time to find unique and interesting places to visit. Or, if you’re a more spontaneous type of family, you can “wing it” as you go. In fact, you can just park your vehicle in a central location and start walking. Let everyone take turns choosing your direction of travel and exploration. Pack a nice picnic lunch to have when people start getting hungry.
If you want to add some more family fun to this activity, you can take pictures to print out later and create a scrapbook together as a keepsake. Is there a lot of natural beauty where you live? If you’re in a city, is there unique architecture to enjoy? Was your area a key location in the Civil War or some other historical era? Where is the oldest house in your area? Try to come up with a list of questions and ideas to help plan your tour ahead of time!
Host a family fun international food party
Hosting a party costs money, but you can keep things simple so the expense doesn’t break the bank. An international food party can add great family fun to your summer! You can choose one country or let each guest choose a country of their own preference. Encourage everyone to make a dish from the country of choice. Also ask them to bring copies of the recipe to share. Some people like to go all out by dressing in costume. You might have a family member or friend who has musical talent and can play some international music. Ask each guest ahead of time which country they’re going to represent. You can then create a playlist of music to add ambience to the occasion!
If you enjoy educational style family fun, you can take this idea a step further. Ask each guest family to give a short presentation on their chosen country. They can use poster boards and displays, similar to what students use for a science or geography fare at school. If you’re having your party during daylight hours, you can also add outdoor games. For instance, Italians love to play bocce ball. In Brazil, soccer (“football”) is popular. Be creative, and enjoy a summer time party with friends and family!
Calling all fun people for race day!
The summer time climate is perfect for outdoor activities. Another super fun party idea is to invite families to join you for a race day. You can have all sorts of races, from good old-fashioned foot races to relay races. There are a ton of fun race ideas online. You can have races with teams, wives against husbands, kids versus parents, and more! Maybe you’ll want to have prizes, as well! Scour a dollar store or craft shop for inexpensive supplies for some creative prize ideas.
Why not make it a week of family fun ideas?
You can spread these creative family fun ideas throughout your summer months. Or, you can block out a week on your schedule, just like you would if you were going on a vacation. Plan ahead, so that you can do each of these activities on a different day during your staycation week at home. Being together and making memories as a family is what’s most special about summer.
Okay, so you might not be able to do the things you normally do, like go to the beach or travel abroad, etc. But, that doesn’t have to mean a summer full of long faces and hum-drum. Gather everyone together for a meeting, and brainstorm ideas to add to the family fun list in this post. Who knows? You might wind up having one of your best summers yet!