50 free things to do this summer

Trying to stick to a budget this summer? Check out some great fun and free things to do for a great time.

By Cheryl Embrett

Fun summer activites: At home
Fun summer activities at home
1. Celebrate ice cream days by making your own. Use tasty toppings and see who can make the most unusual sundae – it's fun for the kids and you get to pick primo dairy ingredients.

2. Watch the sun rise (or set) together as a family at least once this summer -- ideally on a dock. A balcony or backyard works, too.

3. Remember board games? Bust out Monopoly or Clue on a rainy day.

4. Start a summer blog with your kids -- get them to write about summer camps or daily adventures.

5. Download and watch kids' movies and Canadian classics for free from the National Film Board of Canada.

6. Make your own healthy popsicles, slushies and slurpees with real fruit juice.

7. Read aloud a classic series such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables or The Lord of the Rings.

8. Pull out the sidewalk chalk (or splurge on 3-D chalk) and let the kids go to town creating artful masterpieces.

9. Play easy outdoor games such as hide-and-seek.

10. Pitch a backyard tent, make s'mores, sing songs and tell ghost stories.

11. Play cricket, Ultimate Frisbee or badminton – and award prizes to the winners.

12. Make a bird feeder by spreading pinecones with peanut butter and then coating them with sunflower seeds. Hang them in the yard and enjoy the free entertainment from your new feathered friends.

13. Set up a Flickr account and post pics of your summer so friends and family can see what you're up to.

14. Set out on a family scavenger hunt. Make a list of activities to do or things to find in your own neighbourhood -- climb the monkey bars at the park, for example, or find a feather. Take pictures of your adventure (see no. 13).

15. Create a playlist for your next get-together. Let the kids download their favourite songs and mix in a few of your own choices -- Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime," for example, or anything by the Beach Boys.

Page 1 of 3 -- Did you know there's a wealth of free, fun things to do in your own neighbourhood? Find out more on page 2.



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