The weather is finally warming up. Summer is almost here and like most parents, we're on the lookout for fun activities for the family. And as usual, the cheaper the better. But be warned, your children could have so much fun with these summer activities, they might just stay in their own bed all night.

  1. Swimming. The ultimate way to cool off on a hot summer day, there are plenty of free or cheap spots to go swimming in the summer. From your local pool to the town lake, take a break and have some fun.
     
  2. Biking. Kids love to bike. This summer, take family bike rides to explore new areas of your neighborhood that you don't usually visit. Or find a local bike trail and go on a family adventure.
     
  3. Bug Catching. During a warm summer night, spend some time catching fireflies together.
     
  4. The Beach. Sand plus water equals a good time for all. Just remember that sunscreen.
     
  5. Boating. While you're at the town lake, rent a boat to take for a spin.
     
  6. Fishing. It's relaxing and fun to fish together as a family. Whether you throw the fish back, or keep 'em for dinner, your kids are sure to have fun.
     
  7. Scavenger Hunt. Keep the kids busy in your own backyard with a scavenger hunt for nature's treasures like pine cones, flowers, and leaves.
     
  8. Camping. Head out to a state park, or pitch a tent in your own backyard.
     
  9. Outdoor Movie Night. Many towns host outdoor movie nights for free for families during the summer. Or you could hold your own by projecting a movie onto the side of your garage, house, or barn.
     
  10. Sprinkler. Can't get to the beach? Just turn on your house. Your kids will play in the sprinkler until the sun goes down.
     
  11. Picnic. Perfect fun for everyone, mix things up a bit by having lunch or a snack on blanket in your yard.
     
  12. Concerts. Check with your local parks and recreation department to see if they are putting on any free family concerts this summer.
     
  13. Museums and Zoos. Most area attractions aren't free, but they do hold free days. Some days are free to anyone from a certain town while other days are free for children under a certain age.
     
  14. Library Events. Libraries are always holding fun events for families, and they are usually free of charge. Don't forget to check out summer reading programs for children at your local library.
     
  15. Bowling. Bowling is a great activity for those days when it's just too hot to be outside. And many bowling alleys participate in free bowling days for kids.
     
  16. Pick Your Own. From blueberries to strawberries, this is sweet fun.
     
  17. Stargaze. Spend a warm evening or two gazing up at the stars and teach your children about the constellations.
     
  18. Visit the Park. Most towns have a park, and even if you have a big backyard with plenty to do, it's nice to change things up a bit by taking the kids to the park. They could even meet a friend there.
     
  19. Sidewalk Chalk. Decorate the neighborhood!
     
  20. Lemonade Stand. Make some lemonade (or cookies) to sell. Your kids can learn about finances by saving, spending, and/or donating any money they make.
     
  21. Make Ice Cream. One word: yum.
     
  22. Fly a Kite. This is a lost art. Kids love kites and if you have a place to fly one, buy one.
     
  23. Sports Clinics. Many colleges hold summer sports clinics for local kids. Some of them are even free.
     
  24. Grow a Garden. Gardens provide hours of fun, teach children about hard work, and give them a new appreciation for the food they eat.
     
  25. Go Garage Sale-ing. Give your kids a couple of bucks to spend and hit up garage sales and flea markets together. You never know what treasures you will find.
     
  26. Dance Party. Hold a dance party in the backyard. That'll burn off some energy.
     
  27. Sleep Over. Let your kids invite some friends over for a good, old-fashioned slumber party.

For more fun ideas in your area, just go online and search. Your local parks department is likely to offer tons of activities for your kids, especially around Memorial Day and July 4th. Just do a little digging. Even on a zero dollar budget, your family can make plenty of memories this summer.