Summer is fast approaching. Soon the kids will be home from school looking for entertainment. With mobile devices like smartphones and tablets it’s getting harder and harder to unglue their eyes to digital screens. The struggle is real. We’ve got some great budget friendly ideas to keep the whole family moving this summer.
DIY Quality Time
- Photo scavenger hunt. First, make a list of the items that the participants have to find. This will depend on where you live but some examples include: a white flower, a sign with the letter J, a bicycle, etc. Participants should take a photo of or with each item on the list. Decide on a specific time frame to collect these photos. Then, divide into teams or every person for themselves. Make sure each team or participant has a camera. The camera on a smartphone or tablet is ideal but a disposable camera could be fun as well. (Just hand one to anyone under the age of 20 and they’ll have no idea what to do with it!) Instant Polaroid cameras are also making a comeback and can be easily attained though carry a heftier price tag. Now split up and start hunting! Reconvene and share what everyone found.
- Eat and play. Plan a picnic with the whole family. Bring a kite, Frisbee or play catch. Smaller items that can easily be packed are ideal. Spend the day together running around and enjoying the outdoors. Many local parks are free, some state parks require a minimal fee to park, but according to the state website, there are 157 state parks to choose from here in Massachusetts!
- Backyard games. Fire up the grill and setup games in your own backyard. There are lots of fun games for any age like: Kan Jam, Cornhole, Horseshoes, Badminton, Ladder ball, and so many more! If you have enough people, try setting it up tournament style! Winners get bragging rights.
- Take a hike. There are a multitude of trails throughout Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire with levels ranging from easy to difficult. Make a day out of it or stay local. Either way, get outside and enjoy some fresh air and spectacular views. Start here with a list of the best trails in Massachusetts that includes ratings from other hikers as well as difficulty level.
- Make a splash. Sunshine, sand castles, and sunburns… I mean tans! There’s nothing better than getting away to the beach during the summer, cooling off in the water and getting some much needed vitamin D. A lake might be closer and can be just as fun and relaxing and may be more cost friendly.
- Geocaching. This may be a new activity for you but it has been around for a while. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt using GPS enabled devices like a smartphone. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates. Once there they attempt to find a hidden container known as a geocache. You then mark that you have found the item. For more information and to download the app head over to the official geocache website.
Fun and educational
- Museums. This summer take advantage of Free Fun Fridays at museums throughout Massachusetts. Gain free access to 10 different institutions each Friday beginning June 28th and ending on August 30th. Brought to you by The Highland Street Foundation. Check out the article on MassLive.com for a full list of museums and dates.
- Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Located in Boylston, MA, Tower Hill Botanic Garden will be offering free admission with their Free After Three Thursdays. Starting June 6th and ending August 29th every Thursday from 3-9pm. Explore the gardens, enjoy activities, hike the woods, bring a picnic, and adults can enjoy the Beer Garden.
- Local Libraries. Libraries are still a great resource for summer activities and summer reading lists for people of all ages. Check your local library events calendars to take advantage of learning and still having fun.
No matter how you decide to spend your summer a price can’t be put on quality time with friends and family. Fill your time with making memories and don’t worry about having to spend an enormous amount of money to make it memorable.