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Your Family Summer Budget-Friendly Bucket List

A recent study reported that the average American family spent $1,200 per person per year on vacations. If you are looking for more affordable options to entertain the family this summer, look no further. Here are eight low-cost summer activities for the whole family:

Check Groupon and LivingSocial

This time of year, local recreational businesses post stunning deals on family activities. You can find discounts up to 75% on theme park tickets, outdoor adventures, and concerts. If there is an activity you’ve been wanting to try, avoid paying pay full price by searching for these deals.

Mobile Scavenger Hunt

Grab another family (or two or three) and create a scavenger hunt of local attractions, monuments, or points of interest. Then pile into your cars and see which group can find all of the locations first! The losing family buys ice cream!

Organize a Neighborhood Clean-Up

Get your neighbors together and plan a neighborhood, park or river clean-up. You’ll get some exercise and social time while helping the environment.

Host A Cartoon Movie Marathon

Invite your family and friends to spend an afternoon or evening watching 2 or 3 family-friendly movies. Make it a potluck to save money on take-out. Don’t forget the popcorn!

Tour a Local Police or Fire Station

Most police and fire stations offer free tours. Bring the kids to learn more about our first responders and thank them for their service.

Build a Giant Box Fort

Gather all your old, empty boxes and design a giant box fort that the whole family can enjoy. Create hangout spaces and mazes, or even host a sleepover in it. Search “cardboard forts” on for some great ideas.

Create a Water Blob

Use plastic sheeting and Duct Tape to create a “blob” that can be filled with water. Kids can bounce, slide and roll around on the blob while staying cool on those hot summer days.

Make Homemade Ice Cream

Beat the heat by making your own ice cream. Find easy recipes online that you can customize for everyone’s tastes. Then the fun starts. Invite some friends over to do a taste test, or create a sundae bar with lots of toppings.