budget-friendly kid activities for summer

Bear had his last day of pre-k on Thursday, the same day that Boone turned 3 months old, and my mama heart can barely take all this emotion. Time seriously needs to slow down! Growing up with two teachers for parents, summertime was always a highly anticipated time of year. That mentality has stuck with me and I still feel so excited once May rolls around and summer is almost here. Now that I'm a Mom, things have changed a bit and I'm always trying to find new, fun ways to entertain Bear (and now Boone, too!). I've rounded up some affordable activities you can do with you kids this summer below; the way I see it is the more budget-friendly our activities are, the more fun we can have!

Bear's shirt | Boone's outfit (on sale+25% off!) | my top (also on sale) | my shorts

photos by RaeTay Photography

I have to first talk for a minute about our outfits. I nearly died when I saw this matching cactus shirt/romper on Mud Pie's website; I had to get them immediately! If you have a girl, Mud Pie has lots more cute cactus pieces here. Boone's romper is on sale for $15 this weekend which is such a steal! Thinking I need to grab it in the next size up, too. We have long been big fans of Mud Pie- I kept several of Bear's outfits from the brand that Boone is now wearing. The quality is amazing, especially for the price, and every piece I kept is still in perfect condition 5 years later. And as much as I love the kids clothing, I am just as obsessed with the women's! The Etta Set I'm wearing above is also on major sale (and extra 25% off this weekend)- it's so comfortable and I know I'll be living in it all summer. Actually plan on wearing the set on Memorial Day with a pop of red :).

Now onto summer activities for the littles! Some of these we've done before, and some are on our to-do list for summer 2018. Hopefully you can enjoy some of the activities below, as well!

1. Visit a nursery. I'm not talking about a nursery with babies because you've probably got enough of that going on at home. I'm referring to one with plants, where you can teach your littles about gardening and take home a couple flowers or herbs for under $5. They will be so excited to plant their new "garden"! The one we visited above in the photos is "Cactus King" in Houston; it is HUGE and such a cool place! Bear loved seeing all the cacti in person; we just had to be extra careful not to lose our footing and fall into any of the prickly pretties.
2. Thank local heroes. Visit the fire station! There's one right by our house and we try to take Bear once a year to see the firetrucks up close, and give the firemen a treat like cookies or donuts. This is fun to do in a small group with friends, just remember to call ahead as most fire stations don't have set visiting hours.
3. Storytime at the library. This is one of our very favorites that I used to do as a little girl; my grandma would take me to story time at the library every Friday during the summer and now Bear loves going, too. It's free and a great way to keep kids learning during the months they're out of school. Also a great place to meet new friends!
4. Tour a factory. Another great way to mix education and fun is by touring a local factory. This is usually free, or might have a small admission fee (kids 2 and under are usually free) and is a great way for kids to see their favorite products from start to finish. I plan on taking the boys to Mrs. Baird's factory this summer; see a list of factories in your area HERE.
5. Community Park Activities. Community parks offer endless free and low-cost day camps and activities, including swimming, improv, arts and crafts, music, archery, tennis lessons—even nature and farm programs. Kids ages 5 and up can also participate in team sports leagues. This is something I'm really excited to get Bear involved in this summer. For dozens of programs, call your city parks department or check out the National Recreation and Park Association website HERE
6. Movies on the cheap. We LOVE going to the movies and this summer will be perfect while Boone can just sleep through the whole thing! Select Regal theaters offer Summer Movie Express tickets for $1 each summer, screening PG and G-rated movies at 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday. Go HERE for a schedule. AMC runs a similar program, Summer Movie Camp, on Wednesdays at 10 a.m., with $4 tickets; check out the website HERE for more details.
7. Play tourist where you are. You don't have to leave town to go on a vacation like I talked about in a recent staycation post- get to know the town you live in! Look into local landmarks, call the local historical society for some fun hometown trivia, and search local Facebook groups for restaurant recommendations to try.
8. Free Bowling. Lots of bowling alleys have free bowling for kids in the summer (usually 2 rounds a day)- our favorite local place that offers this is Tomball Bowl. Check out alleys that offer this in your area and sign up for a pass HERE.

I hope you all have the best summer yet! And a safe, special Memorial Day weekend!
xo, Britt