Tuesday, June 11, 2013

81 Cheap or Free Ideas of Summer Fun In the Garden State or Your Own

Schools almost out for some already for others. The summer can be a time of great fun,memories, relaxing and hands on learning. It can also be a time of stress for many parents filled with longs days of emptiness and too much free time. For many kids long gone are the days of neighborhoods being filled with bike rides and playing in the woods til the streetlights come on. Playmates maybe be over scheduled or on vacation so your kids may get lonely or bored with no one else around. While I think lots of free time and free play are great in the summer it can also be a great time to do things you may not have time to do in a busy school year. 1. Free play 2. Plant a garden 3. Pick blueberries 4. Pick raspberries 5. Make some jam 6. Make some homemade bread 7. Enjoy some homemade bread with your homemade jam 8. Go for a hike 9. Get a state Beach pass (In New Jersey we have to pay for beach access, this can make family trips very expensive but you can get a state pass for certain beaches, lakes and rec areas. Its a one time fee and it covers however many people are in your car) 10. Visit the beach 11. Visit a lake 12. Go fishing 13. Go for a bike ride on a trail 14. Go for a ride in a town and get lunch 15. Visit your local library and see what fun they have for the summer. My local library usually has summer storytime, a petting zoo, puppet shows and more 16. Pull some weeds from your garden 17. Visit a nature preserve 18. Go to the zoo 19. Visit a local river and get your feet wet. With older children tubing is great fun. NJ and PA Delaware River is always a great place to do this 20. Go for a boat ride 21.visit your local park 22. Visit a different park, pack a lunch and make a day of it. One of my favorites is Colonial Park in Somerset. They have a nicely renovated children's playground, a lake, paddle boats, and several flower gardens. 23. Make a playdate 24. Board games, old school fun, great for a raining day 25. Body painting. Outside let your kids paint themselves and use the hose to wash off. 26. Visit a local pool. 27. Play in the sprinklers like you did as a kid. Play with your kids and enjoy the cool fun. 28. Play mini-golf 29. Go for a nature walk along a lake. One of my favorites is High Point in Sussex County. 30. Visit a historic monument that tells a story. Again High Point is great if you can make it up. I got too scared 31. Go roller skating 32. Put on some music and dance 33. Explore the woods 34. Play hopscotch, jump rope, jacks or other old school games. 35. Have a bonfire, tell stories, roast some marshmallows and make smores 36. Go out and catch lightning bugs 37. Have a water balloon fight 38. Wake up early and watch the sunrise 39. Go out and watch the stars, try to identify constellations. 40. Teach older children to knit or crochet a scarf for fall weather. 41. Dance in the rain 42. Have a tea party 43. Read some fairy tales in your yard 44. Have a "bear hunt" in your yard 45. Put on a puppet show 46. Make a birdhouse 47. Make a bat house 48. Make some yummy bird treats 49. Visit a children's museum 50. Fly a kite 51. Create a play with your children in your backyard 52. Have a lemonade stand, give the profits to charity 53. Visit a nursing home or an elderly relative or neighbor 54. Volunteer at an animal shelter to play with and walk the dogs 55. Go to a carnival 56. Go see some fireworks 57. Make homemade tomato sauce, from fresh tomatoes from your garden 58. Make homemade pizza, dough and all 59. Go to a AA ballgame 60. Visit some old friends 61. Have a parade around your block with homemade instruments, or if your child plays real ones 62. Watch a sunset 63. Bird watch, keep a bird book 64. Create a scrapbook of the summer or the previous school year 65. Try to find some tadpoles and see if you can "grow" some frogs 66. Play flashlight tag 67. Build a treehouse 68. Grow a sunflower house 69. Make a gnome or fairy house and leave it outside, or on the Columbia Trail. 70. Visit a site of historical significance, like Washington Crossing Park. 71. Walk barefoot in the grass 72. Play in the kiddie pool 73. Build sandcastles 74. Make mud pies 75. Teach your kids cat's cradle 76. BBQ 77. Go camping, in your backyard or at a site 78. Swim in a lake 79. Pick fresh flower 80. Go out to Stewards for a nice outdoor, cheap dinner 81. Be together and be in the moment, smile and have fun

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