The end of summer is right around the corner (yikes!) so why not take advantage of these last few weeks and make a couple more fun memories. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to have a blast — read on for 15 fun, FREE summer activities to do with your kids. 

Free summer activities: beach day

1. Beach day! Everyone needs a day of fun and sun before heading back to school. Little kids can dig in the sand, big kids can swim to their hearts’ content — don’t forget to pack some snacks and sunscreen, and you’re set! (Here’s a list of some of our favorite Seattle beaches for you locals.)

2. Camp out under the stars. Before the weather starts to cool down, sleep outside with your kids. You don’t even have to go on an official camping trip. Just pull some blankets out onto your trampoline or set up a tent in the backyard!

3. Stay up late. Tell ghost stories or play night games with the neighbors. (Capture the flag, anyone?)

4. Make something with supplies around the house. Homemade play dough, finger paints, slime — I bet everything you need to make these are already in your cupboards. (In our house full of boys, slime is a huge hit.)

Free summer activities: make slime

5. Get back to nature. Checking out one of the hundreds of national parks in the U.S. is always a good idea. But, did you know August 25 is the National Park Service birthday? You can get free entry to any national park on that day.

6. Have a movie night. Pull out one of your favorite DVDs or a movie you haven’t seen in a while, pop some popcorn, and watch as a family.

7. Build at Home Depot. Did you know Home Depot offers free kids workshops every month? It’s a different hands-on building project each time, and you can work alongside your little builder.

8. Bake. Pull out a cookbook you haven’t used in a while and pick a new recipe. Who doesn’t need cookies?!

9. Have a spa day. If you’ve got girls, pull out the nail polish and give yourselves manicures. Get extra fancy with cucumber slices or avocado masks. Have any curly girls in your house? Read the Love Your Curls e-book from Dove and deep-condition your hair.

10. Read a book. Go screen-free and pick up a book. Visit your local library to find something new. Librarians have the best recommendations! (Check out their class schedule, too — I love taking my boys to library story times. Classes are organized by age and usually feature songs, books and activities.)

11. Get active. Pull out the bikes or scooters and go for a ride. Check out a new park or trail that you haven’t been to before.

Free summer activities: try a new park

12. Write a letter. Snail mail is quickly becoming a lost art, which makes getting a letter in the mail even more exciting! Draw a picture or write a letter to a distant relative or a long-lost friend. They’ll love it — and you will too.

13. Visit a museum on its free day. Here’s a guide to Seattle’s museum freebies!

14. Learn to geocache. You’ll be part of the world’s largest, free treasure hunt! Did you know there are more than 2 million geocaches in the country? All you need to start finding them is a free Geocaching account and a GPS.

15. Get creative. Make a craft or draw with sidewalk chalk or paint a rock. The possibilities are endless!

Whatever you decide, remember that making the memory is the most important part. Slow down and enjoy this time with your child — these fleeting days of summer will be gone before you know it.