Now that my kids are starting to get a little older they are wanting to do more things and being a money minded mama I am always looking for summer time actives that will not cost us a lot of money to do. So far this summer we have been able to do a lot of family friendly actives and have spent very little money in the process.
My kids personal favorite thing to do is go to the zoo. This year we decided to get a family pass that is good for a year. The initial cost was more then we ever spend on a family activity but in doing the math we only needed to use the pass three times in order to make our money back and so far we have already used it five times since getting it in May. Many family oriented places offer annual passes and they can actually save you a lot of money in the long run.
The town we live in puts on several free events in the summer also. Each summer they have agricultural days, the family fun festival, old time days, free concerts and the movie theater has free kids matinees. All of these events offer things for the whole family, are free unless you buy food from the food vendors and the agricultural days and old time days offer educational events as well. Our local library also offers a summer reading program each year, they give your child a reading goal, have several movie nights, craft days and other events while the program is running and when you finish your reading goal they give out prize bags.
On days that is to hot for the park or beach you can always go to a local play place if one is available. We go to our local dairy queen, have an ice cream cone ( another perk of the summer reading program is that one of the prizes in their prize bag is coupons for free ice cream cones at dairy queen ) and then the kids play in the play area for awhile.
Other ideas are a beach day, pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. Have a weekend camp out in the back yard or living room if you have the room for a tent inside. If you live in the country or in a town that allows fires in your yard have a cookout and make hot dogs and smores over the fire. Sometimes the best fun you can have is right at home, set up the sprinkler or slip and slide and have some family fun!