In the following list, I’ve compiled a list of ideas that are relatively inexpensive or even free for those long summer days. Click to read more!
If your local library is anything like mine, it does not see a lot of action mid-afternoon during the week. For my family this is an ideal time to visit as it allows my children to explore the activities available such as puzzles, coloring, and of course reading new books. Meanwhile I am able to read the local newspaper or parenting magazines. Our library does a free reading program in the summer for all ages. This is fantastic because they offer a weekly activity for children.
This may seem like the obvious choice to most, the city park is the ideal place to let your children run wild and not worry about volume control. As simple as it may seem, I can’t help but look for different activities to do each time we go. We practice throwing and catching a ball, we fly kites, we walk laps around the small man made lake in the park. Our park also has a great fire pit available for local use, a gazebo, plenty of picnic benches and a new Frisbee golf course.
In the summer we are fortunate to have a municipal pool in our town. The pool has a fenced off “kiddie” pool that is free to children under 5. I try to take advantage of this as often as possible for my little ones. We also put the kids in swimming lessons and my husband takes advantage of lap swim in the mornings. Water aerobics is also available at a very reasonable price!
- State Park
In the summer months we visit a nearby state park with lake access. For a small entrance fee we are able to utilize this space for many activities. We like to swim in the lake and play in the sand. There is a playground available as well. A few new-to-us activities this summer will be exploring the many trails and possibly camping in the available cabins. The kids and I have never been camping so it will be a fun experience for us!
- Local Celebrations
I think the best part of living in a small town is the community celebrations! Our town in particular hosts a 4th of July celebration complete with bouncy houses in the park, food vendors, sand volleyball tournaments and of course a parade. Excitement fills the air and the energy is amazing! We try to attend other towns celebrations within a 30 mile radius as well. It is an exciting time and usually full of free activities for the kids and parades are a great way to show your support for all things local!
- Homecoming week!
As with the last suggestion, Homecoming is a pretty big deal in small town communities. Although these usually take place after the summer months have ended (but it’s still pretty hot here in August), we still take full advantage because the weather is still nice. We love the parade, but there is so much more to do. I attend the home games of all of the sports in hopes of instilling a sense of hometown pride in my children.