SideMoney Blog

Inexpensive Summer Family Fun

We love building memories with our families, but don’t like shelling out a bunch of money. The good news is, summer fun doesn’t have to be expensive.

Here are some of our favorite low-cost activities. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Learn a New Craft

Thanks to YouTube videos and library books, instruction for a new skill doesn’t have to cost a dime. Of course, we still have to purchase supplies. Here are some crafts we might tackle this summer:




•Paper mache

•Digital arts

•Collage making

There are so many options out there, so explore a few and see what speaks to you and your children before picking one.

Watch for Shooting Stars

We think it’s pretty special to watch for shooting stars together. Since many viewings are best after midnight, we go to bed early and then set an alarm to get up in the middle of the night.

We bring a blanket outside to throw on the ground, and everyone brings their own to snuggle into. Then we lay back to watch the sky.

To maximize our odds of actually seeing a shooting star, we plan our sky-viewing dates with the help of this website. With the big Perseid meteor shower expected on August 11-13th, we know we’ll be outside on at least one of those days.

Cooking Contests

With shows like Chopped and Kids Baking Championship growing in popularity, family cooking contests are a fun activity. We think cupcake decorating contests are a low-key way to bring the cooking competition home.

We give everyone a cupcake and plenty of white frosting. Additionally, we set out fun candies, food coloring, and other items to decorate. Then we each have 10 minutes in the kitchen to create our masterpiece.

When we’ve each had a turn, we show off our cupcakes. Then we eat. You could also have a judging portion if desired, but we’re usually ready to just chow down on delicious cupcakes by the time we’re done.

Issue a Photography Challenge

For families with access to a digital camera, we recommend having a summer long photography challenge. Challenge everyone in the family to take one picture every day.

Get the pics printed at the end of every month, and enjoy looking at your memories.

If you’re looking for something with a shorter duration, here are some of our best ideas for photography challenges. Just have everyone take a picture that meets the theme:





•Summer fun


Study Genealogy

Learning about our family’s ancestry is always a neat experience. We can learn more about our heritage, special members of the family, and more.

Work with your family to develop a family tree. See how far back you can go. We like to add old photos when possible, because putting a face with a name always helps. It’s also fun to share family stories with our kids.

Earn Gift Cards

While our kids may not be ready to babysit, or get a paper route, there are different opportunities to earn gift cards. One of our favorite kid-friendly ways to earn is to download apps with SideMoney. We’ve found some great apps, and while our kids play, we earn some points. Then we can trade those points in for a gift card and buy something really fun!

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