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Summer Fun Without Overspending


It is a long weekend for anyone living in British Columbia, and it’s the last full month of summer before school starts. Because my family has some major expenses coming up, all of our fun has to be fiscally responsible. Here is some of the fun we’ve been having, or plan to have that doesn’t cost much, or anything at all.

  •  Throw rocks – Find a river, lake, creek, ravine, ocean, or inlet, and let them have at ‘er! My kids could do this almost endlessly.
  •  Pack a picnic – Whether it’s in the courtyard of our apartment building, on the sidelines of the water park, or at the beach, the idea of picnicking has my little ones quite excited. Furthermore, it means we don’t have to spend money at concessions or convenience stores. It also extends our time out as we don’t have to rush home for a meal.packedup
  •  Source out local water parks or wading pools – In our area there are plenty of both that are free and also have attendants during the week that also have outdoor toys and lawn games available as arts and crafts (check out the City of Burnaby website for more info on this).
  • Have a movie night – Instead of risking over $30 on movie tickets in the hopes our kids can withstand sitting still for that long, tonight we are going to make some Caramel Corn, drink some lemonade, and rent a movie from our cable box.
  • Pack up some outdoor toys and head to a local park – My husband image (2)recently got the kids a set of golf clubs for under $10 and I found Crayola 24 pack Washable Sidewalk Chalk for $1.99 at Shoppers Drugmart. Along with shovels and pails, we’ve already enjoyed these items at a marine park, water park, and outside our own home. Happy Hooligans had some great inspiration here.
  •  Instead of an average walk, create a scavenger hunt or play tourist in your own city or town – I love Vancouver, and will happily stroll the streets pointing out different sites. For a toddler, simply stopping to smell popsiclesthe flowers, pick up sticks, and inspect bugs is wonderful excitement. No matter where you live, Brisbane Kids has great templates for your own scavenge!
  •  Make something refreshing and healthy – we blended up frozen fruit (raspberries and mangos) with a splash of homemade lemonade and made them into popsicles.

This is what we’re up to this weekend! What are your own budget savvy recommendations?


  1. As a new stay at home mom, I am forever looking for budget friendly fun. Love this post & glad to have stumbled upon your blog!

  2. Great list!! I always find things to do with my toddler but hesitates when it comes to spending. So glad there are ways you can enjoy your toddler without spending a dime! Thanks for sharing:)

    1. Thank you Nikki! I’m with you too. It’s hard enough starting off as a family. With toddlers, it’s hard to know if your money will be well spent on admission or pricey forms of entertainment, or if it will be short-lived!

  3. Love it! I always feel like I’m running out of ideas at the end of winter (or summer) of things to do. We’ve exhausted all of our field trip venues and I’m left feeling somewhat depleted. This came at the perfect time. My kids will especially love taking their toys to a park. 🙂

  4. Great list! Free stuff is perfect! kids just want to spend time with mom and dad! Thanks for the ideas.

    1. I agree completely, money spent doesn’t necessarily equate to the best memories. Quality time certainly does!

    1. Thank you Shelah, and I couldn’t agree with you more. The simple pleasures are certainly some of the best.

  5. I can’t wait to try some of these. I can’t believe summer is ending… I’ve got to make sure to take advantage of these fun ideas before I get too busy with the school year again. 🙂

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