Camp in your backyard. Dust off your tent or borrow one and set it up in your backyard for an overnight excursion. Cook camp food for your dinner on the grill or if you have a fire pit cook your food right over it. Don’t forget the smores!
Visit a free museum or a zoo. Many museums and zoos offer free passes that can be picked up in advance at your library. Also, there are other opportunities for free entrance. For example: The Buffalo History Museum
Build a cardboard castle, car or train with a BIG box. Have a great afternoon of fun for free. Stop by an appliance store and ask if they have any extra appliance boxes you can get, then set to work cutting out windows, doors and creating whatever your imagination can come up with.
Visit your neighborhood playgrounds. As you drive around make a note of all of the playgrounds in your surrounding area. Then make a list and check off each one you visit during the summer with a goal of testing out each one.
Organize a potluck block party. Acquire a block party permit from the town/city where you live before you organize the event. Tell your neighbors about the party and invite them to bring something to share that day. Remember to ask if anyone has tables and/or chairs that can be used for it. Then, on the day of the party, set out the tables and chairs you borrowed and have fun!
Check our some FREE workshops in your community. The Home Depot, for example, offers free workshops for “do-it-yourselfers” of all ages and experience levels. Review the schedule of upcoming workshops and choose a specific workshop to attend. Also, your local library and recreation center might offer free creative workshops, so check out their websites or stop by for information.
Attend a New Cultural Activity in your area. Check out the websites for local churches, cultural community centers, or the International Institute to find events celebrating culture and community.
Learn paper folding. All you need is some scrap paper and a bit of time. Check out websites such as The Origami Resource Center for instructions. Your completed creation can be a beautiful decoration.
Host your own film festival. Invite some friends over and have them each bring one of their favorite DVDs. Then just settle in with some snacks (whatever you have on hand) and burn a lazy afternoon and evening just watching movies together. It’s a ton of fun and it doesn’t cost anything at all.
Create your own splash park! Secure a tarp on the grass in your backyard and set the sprinkler on it. The sprinkler will keep the tarp wet all over for a fun day of splashing. For more fun and adventure add a water blob to your splash park. Find directions here.