10 Ideas for Cheap Summer Fun

Summer is supposed to be the best time of year. After all, the weather is great, school is out and the beach is calling our names. Overall, it’s a time to sit back and relax, but unfortunately, sitting back and relaxing can get real boring real fast. And finding ways to pass the time is tough, particularly when you’re on a tight budget.

If you’re currently on the job hunt or are paying off loans, you definitely don’t want to be shelling out lots of cash this summer on vacations and other activities. Instead, you need to save as much as you can but without sacrificing too much fun. Take a look at these 10 cheap ways to save cash while still managing to enjoy yourself this summer.

Let Loose at a Free Concert

Summer concert
While you might not be able to attend some of the hottest musical acts this season, you can still get your summer concert fix. After all, what’s better than a cool summer night listening to music? There are free concert opportunities all over that are just as enjoyable as the pricey ones. Grab some friends, bring your lawn chairs and you’re all set for a perfect night.

Get Outdoorsy

Summer hiking
Sitting inside all cooped up in the house is one surefire way to lose your mind this summer. Sometimes, all you need to do is get some fresh air to feel productive. There are state parks all over that are free (or charge a nominal entrance fee) to walk around and explore. Get your hiking boots on and make day trip of it.

Slip and Slide

Homemade slip and slide
Slip and slides were fun when you were a kid, and they still are. This summer, challenge yourself to make the ultimate slip and slide. Get creative with how you make your tarp, and get some friends to slide with you. This will be even more fun if you have a hilly yard!

Make Your Own Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream
Ice cream is an essential ingredient to any summertime checklist. So what could be more fun than making your own? Surprisingly, you don’t actually need an actual ice cream churner. You won’t need to spend a fortune on the recipe either; in fact, you might have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now. Invite the girls over and make a night out of it.

Tie Dye It

Tie dye
Have some old white clothes hanging around? All you need is a tie dye kit or some food coloring to turn them bright. Bring it all outside, pump up the tunes and bask in the sun.

Practice Outdoor Yoga

Outdoor yoga
While sitting on the couch all day binge-watching Netflix might sound appealing, fight the urge. Outdoor yoga is a great way to squeeze in a workout while still taking advantage of the warm weather. Even if you’re new to yoga, grab a mat and check out some apps for beginners. It’ll be a fun skill to hone all summer long.

Start a Craft

Craft beads
Finding a hobby that you can work on throughout the summer is a great way to pass time, and it can also be extremely inexpensive. Whether it’s learning crochet or tying bracelets, all you’ll need is a few items. Plus, you’ll really enjoy watching your collection grow over time. Give your favorites out to your friends and family.


You might not have much to do, but you could have a lot to say! Pick a topic that really fascinates you, or one you’d like to learn more about, and create a blog. There are so many free and easy blog sites that you can use. All you’ll need to do is snuggle up to your computer with a chilled glass of lemonade and type away.

Learn a Language

Studying a new language
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. Pick a language that interests you and start your learning adventure. All you need is your phone. Duolingo is a free app that let’s you explore any language of your choice, from Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and more. You’ll love being able to see yourself progressing as time passes.

Practice Your Bartending Skills

Bartending at home
If you’re fresh out of college, you’re going to be missing some of those dollar bar specials. There’s no way you will want to waste your money on those fancy drinks in town, so practice making your own. Research some of the cheapest cocktail ingredients and play around until you find one that you love.

A Cheap, Fun Summer Awaits!

Summer doesn’t have to be a drag just because you’re a little tight on money. Take advantage of all your resources. Some of the cheapest activities could end up being your life-long favorites. If you want some more tips to save this summer, be sure to check out our state-by-state guide to summer staycations along with our other ebooks.

Anum Yoon is a personal finance writer and blogger who started and maintains Current On Currency. As a supporter of the sustainability movement, she also frequently writes about how we can help the environment. You can follow her on Twitter to catch her updates.

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