| Savings & Tips
two smiling kids sitting at table in a bright, colorful room with a book

As a kid, there’s nothing better than summer break. As an adult… all of that free time can be a little bit intimidating. Wondering what to do with the kids this summer? We’re here to help with both indoor and outdoor activities that are cheap or free, and oh-so-fun for kids of all ages.

What to Do in the Summer for Kids

Make s’mores and star-gaze.

S’mores are a classic summer night treat. Even if you can’t steal away for a weekend in the woods, you can toast marshmallows and enjoy some fresh air in your own backyard! If you can build a fire, that’s great – but did you know you can easily toast marshmallows in the microwave, oven, or over your very own DIY s’mores maker? All you need is a terracotta pot, rocks, and a can of Sterno. Lay out a blanket in the backyard or on your apartment balcony, snack on some s’mores, and see who can spot the Big Dipper first.

Have a picnic at the park.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches just taste better when you eat them outside. Pack up a few lunches (let big kids help!) and head to your closest park. The kids can eat and play, and everyone will enjoy some nice weather.

Give your kids a reading challenge and head to the local library.

Don’t let your kids turn their brains off for the entire summer vacation. Many local libraries will host reading challenges, so see if yours does. If not, create your own or sign-up for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge online! Have kids track how many pages they read and offer mini prizes for different milestones. Finish 100 pages? A popsicle! Finish a whole book? A sleepover with friends! 

Make homemade ice cream.

You don’t need an expensive ice cream maker to make delicious homemade ice cream. Grab some heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. (Here’s an easy ice cream recipe to get you started.) Then have an ice cream-making party! Let your kids experiment with different mix-ins and taste test each other’s flavors for the ultimate summer ice cream social. Is that a brain freeze coming on? 

Send your kids on a scavenger hunt.

This activity will help your kids exercise their bodies and minds, so it’s a win-win! Write out clues that will take your kids inside, outside, and – for older kids – all over the neighborhood. If you aren’t the most creative writer, a quick Internet search can provide you with some premade clues to use. You can also find premade scavenger hunts all over the place with free treasure apps and websites like Huntzz.com. Spend a summer Saturday with your family analyzing clues and hunting for free treasure.

Bowl for FREE!

Bowling alleys all over the country participate in a Kids Bowl Free program, which is exactly how it sounds. Head to KidsBowlFree.com to see participating alleys near you, and plan your next bowling outing ASAP!

Go berry picking.

Picking fresh fruit at local farms is an easy way to spend some quality time with your little ones. Not only is this idea pretty affordable, but your kids will love gathering the fruit and seeing where their food comes from firsthand. Find a “pick your own” farm near you to get started.

Whether you’re headed to a local farm to pick blueberries or driving to a water park across town, a Roadside Assistance plan from Direct Auto Insurance can help make sure that a dead battery or flat tire doesn’t derail your summer plans. Plan your warm weather fun with the family and learn more about Roadside Assistance at your nearest Direct Auto location today!