Inexpensive Outdoor Activities

outdoor activities

As summer nears, many families are looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors. Summer is the perfect time to stay active and enjoy the fresh air as a family, but activities can quickly become expensive. Too many families avoid summer activities because of the expense. 

Luckily, there are many fun ways to have fun outside without breaking the bank. 

Here are some of our favorite inexpensive outdoor activities.


Parks are great places to get active outside. Most towns have at least a few parks, and they are great for younger kids to climb, run, and play with others. However, kids can quickly get sick of them. Try these tips to keep parks fun:

  • Visit new parks in different communities.
  • Create obstacle courses for your kids to do in the park.
  • Use the equipment to practice other skills like pull-ups or hanging crunches. 
  • Bring a ball.
  • Invite friends or family to meet you there.  


Even without a boat, you can enjoy a fun day at the beach (lake or ocean). Some may be free, while others may charge a nominal fee that covers the entire carload. To save money, pack snacks and lunch for a beachside picnic! Bring noodles, floaties, and balls to play with on the beach. If your child struggles with swimming, make sure he or she has an appropriate life jacket as well. Don’t forget the sunscreen! 


Again, some hikes and trails are free while others may charge a small parking/county fee. If you are fortunate enough to live near the mountains, try a family hike! Just make sure the hike is doable for your children. Even places without mountains will have trails through hills and woods. Research the options near you!

Pick Produce 

Many local farms offer “you pick” days. Ask your local farms about their options for self-picking fresh produce. This is a unique way to get outside and learn more about your local agriculture. Use the fresh produce to create a delicious meal or treat as a family! 


Not all summer activities have to take place during the daylight! Find a serene location to watch the sunset and then gaze up at the stars. The key for this activity is to find somewhere away from all of the city lights so the starlit sky can shine through. Bring some blankets and a snack and look up at the stars with your kids. If you have a telescope, use that to look at certain stars or planets. 

Use the ideas above to enjoy the summer outside with your kids. All of these options are free or very affordable and will keep your kids busy all summer long!


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