There’s about a month left of summer and  a bit of affordable (or free!) entertainment is in order before we’re all greeted by fall. We’ve rounded up 10 free and almost free activities that  will help you maximize your summer without breaking the bank.

Enjoy a farmer’s market

This is something the whole family can enjoy. All you need to do is find a farmer’s or community market within an easy walking or driving distance from your home. These are fun places to walk around, try samples, and maybe make a small purchase. 

Go camping

Have some camping supplies in a closet somewhere that rarely get any use? You don’t have to trek to a far-off wilderness location to have fun in nature. Use your own backyard to pitch a tent, drag out a mattress, and roast  s’mores to perfection. This free summer activity has one major benefit: there’s a clean, working toilet a few feet away.

Go hiking

You don’t have to live near the mountains to enjoy a good hike. You’d be surprised by how many trails you can find in your city! Just head to your city’s parks and recreation page or simply Google trails in your area. This is 100% free and gets you out of the house and in nature.

Build a backyard obstacle course 

Construct a backyard obstacle course with hula hoops, jump ropes, sticks, stones, hoses, and other materials from around the house. Your kids can take turns completing it, and the person with the fastest time wins a prize! And you can try it too, because…we know you want to.

Go for a scenic drive

The world outside looks so different every season, and you’re sure to always find some undiscovered sights worth experiencing. Take a lazy Sunday drive and pay attention to the different plants and building architecture you pass by.

Catch a movie outdoors

Rent (or better yet, borrow) a movie projector, pop some popcorn, and break out those inflatable mattresses and pool floats for seating. A white sheet anchored to a pipe or tied to a tree with some rope can serve as the screen.

Take a trip to the beach or lake

Depending on where you live, you might have a beach or lake nearby to relax with a good book while the kids build a sand castle. It’s also the perfect time to get your summer tan on. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water. 

Watch the sunrise

Get up early. Find a good spot. Look east. There is nothing quite like watching the sun rise and basking in the cool morning air. You can even host a breakfast picnic, just prepare picnic staples like sandwiches, load them into a basket, and enjoy dining al fresco. 

Cool off with a water fight

Whether you’re with family or friends, a hot day calls for water guns, balloons, sprinklers, and more. Slip into your bathing suit and get outdoors to splash around. You can even pick up one of those kid pools for your children for less than $10.

Get sporty

Once fall and winter hits, how often can you enjoy an outdoor game of badminton? Volleyball? Tennis? Take what gear you’ve got and set it up in your backyard (or make use of the equipment at your local park) to compete against your friends.

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