Our family loves to get out in the summer – hikes, splash pads, soccer fields just to name a few! As soon as June hits we pull out our special erasable summer calendar to begin the big task of organizing our summer holidays.
Trying to keep the kids entertained throughout the entire summer can become expensive so while I was off on my last maternity leave I did a lot of research into activities I could do with my kids that would be free (or nearly free if you don’t include packed lunches!). I was shocked at the amount of fantastic places that were in my community and surrounding areas!
Here is our top five list of favorite summer activities that have no cost to them!
1. Local library : I have to say I am completely impressed by the amount of activities that our local libraries host each summer, along with their reading programs! We went to movie days, bingo, coloring contests and live animal shows. My kids have so much fun! Some of the events you have to pre-register for but they were well worth it. Our local library also hosts a reading program through out the summer where our eldest could set a goal for himself and head in each week to fill in the program coordinators on his progress. We would also keep a special reading chart for him at home to track his success.
2. Local splash pads: Splash pads provide hours, upon hours of fun! Our favorite has to be the one at Dundas Driving Park, which also has a wading pool, jungle gym and baseball diamonds! We pack up lunches, extra clothes, sunscreen and spend several hours there. We usually plan these outings twice a week through out the summer and try to visit new ones every other week. We were able to find quite a large list of splash pads on our city’s culture and recreation website.
3. Hiking: We are very fortunate to live close to many hiking trails and take full advantage of this! We can spend an hour out on the trails taking pictures of birds, collecting fallen leaves and pine cones (which are great to use in crafts later on!) and finding the best places to have a snack (I think my youngest likes this part the most!).
4. Baking Days: Once a week we let the kids choose a new baking recipe, gather our ingredients and let them have fun baking. It is usually a messy day but well worth it when my husband comes home to their special creations.
5. Adventure Walks: Our eldest came up with this idea two years ago. We were trying to think of what to do one day, when he decided we would go for a “spy” walk. So out we went with the stroller in our best spy gear and pretended we were secret agents on a special mission. Since that day we go at least once a week on special missions, so far we have been scientists, fossil hunters, celebrities and spies – we even had a super hero costume walk! By far our secret agent walks are always the best!
What are you favorite summer activities? Do you try to balance activities because of cost?