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No Summer Camp? Here Are Tons of Activities to Keep Kids Busy

Free and cheap activities, plus resources to keep the kids entertained this summer

Vicky McDonald

Published on: June 20, 2024

Two kids blowing bubbles and enjoying some outside summer activities for kids

Fun and cheap summer activities for kids

When my kids were young, summer break could be a complicated time to navigate. I was always more than ready for a break from busy mornings, packing school lunches and homework negotiations. My kids were ready for a change too, and for the first week or so our relaxed new schedule was enough to keep us all happy.

But the summer is long, and the novelty of our free and relaxed days wore off. Camps are fun and engaging, but the cost meant that my kids only attended 2–3 weeks of camps each summer. That left a lot of time to fill! However, with a little planning, I found plenty of creative ways to ways to keep my kids entertained.

I've collected some of my favorite ideas for both indoor and outdoor summer activities for kids. Best of all, these activities are all free (or pretty close to it) — a total win! I've also included free or low-cost online resources to help you get through the summer at home with kids.

Use these links to jump to the right activity for your kids: 

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in July 2021 and updated most recently with new activities in June 2024 by associate editor, Kari Hanson. 

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