Ask the Readers: What Are Your Favorite Frugal Summer Activities?

By Ashley Jacobs on 10 May 2016 51 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Matt, Pam R., and Pam W. for winning this week's contest!

Summer is almost here! The hottest season of the year can bring record temps — and many opportunities to have fun in the sun. Better yet, many activities are free or really cheap to do! You can go swimming, host a backyard barbecue, watch a movie in the park, or invite your friends to a beach party. The possibilities are endless!

What are your favorite frugal summer activities? What do you look forward to most this summer? Have you planned any special events for your family, friends, or just to do on your own?

Tell us about your favorite frugal summer activities and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For Extra Entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:

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If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, May 16th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after May 16th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
     
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
     
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
     
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck! 

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Guest's picture
Tina in NJ

Hiking in the local parks. I don't do that nearly enough.

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Guest

Going hiking in nearby parks

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Jenny D

My favorite frugal summer activity is bicycle riding with my husband. Going for a ride in our neighborhood is cheapest, but we also love to drive to the local bike trails and enjoy the smoother, safer rides. Our local city has community bike rides once a week and we really enjoy getting out and enjoying a pleasant summer evening that way. I also enjoy my raised bed gardens, going to our local beach, and visiting our local Amish community - the bulk food store has great prices.

What I'm most looking forward to this summer is going for rides with my husband on his motorcycle. I haven't done this in over 30 years, but I'm getting outside of my comfort zone and doing it with him this year. I'm looking forward to some rides with just the two of us, but also with our son and his girlfriend.

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Sierra

My husband and I will take the laptop outside to watch one of our favorite movies. We bundle up in sleeping bags, make popcorn, and enjoy a free movie under the stars! :)

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Mami2jcn

Our favorite frugal summer activity is hanging out at our neighborhood pool.

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Julie Wood

We love going to the public swimming pools and spending the day there with the kids. It is free for us!

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luke

A trip to the park, for either disk golf or some other sport, or if by myself, a walk, jog or bike ride, followed up with a 50 cent cone of ice cream at Micky D's.... if its super warm out, a trip to the movie theatre (my local one does $5 movies on Tuesdays).

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Elena

My favorite frugal summer activity is biking

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Chris

Bicycling on the towpath and having a picnic lunch.

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Gina

The best frugal summer activities are going to the beach, going to the movies, having a BBQ, lounging by the swimming pool, and hosting dinner parties.

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Julie Lundstrom

I like to get the family together and play lawn games such as badminton and have a BBQ.

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Monique

The free concerts they put on in the parks in San Diego are great, as are the weekly free museum days for residents. Plus I love how it stays light outside so late, feels like you've got extra time to play!

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Matt

I love to take walks around the park

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Carly Beard

I love going hiking. Most places that are good for a hike are an hour or less from my place, are free to enter, and cost gas and a packed lunch.

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Natalie

My favorite frugal summer activity is going on bike rides!

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MelodyJ

I like to teach myself a new art or craft during the summer. Supplies and kits run about $25 mostly.

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Kelli

My favorite thing to do in the summer is go on road trips which I try to do as frugally as possible. If I'm stuck at home I prefer to hang out indoors in the AC rather than being outdoorsy. Except for going to drive-in movies which is really cheap compared to seeing movies in regular theatres. You see two or three films for the price of one, can bring your own food and drink, and it's a lot of fun!

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Mary W

We like packing a picnic and taking the family to our county park. The kids love the playground and we like the walking paths.

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Susan P.

It gets so hot here in the summer that swimming in the community pool (free) or going to the beach (gas and parking + packed lunch = not quite free) are good options. We also like to picnic in the nearby county park in the late afternoon.

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Barbara

We have several gardens around our home that we enjoy. We plant a lot from seeds and like finding new plants to add to our collection through this inexpensive means.We also exchange plants and seeds with friends and neighbors.

My husband builds garden decorations of wood and stone. I have a miniature fairy/gnome garden, and we make houses and decor for the residents. This area includes mini plants and flowers.

We also enjoy just watching the local critters and photographing them.

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Guest

Biking, rollerblading, attending free concerts in the park taking along a small picnic and wine with friends, going to various free art fests that Chicago has aplenty in summer. Kayaking on the river (lake) $15 to $20 bucks an hour, easily affordable a few times each summer.

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Karen

We like to pack sandwiches and head to the local park to watch a Little League baseball game.

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Donna D

Planting and keeping up a vegetable garden and cooking up the veggies.

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Liz

I like going for walks or picnics

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Juli

Hiking! All it takes is some decent shoes, and you can choose a difficult or easy trek.

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Karen

We like to pack sandwiches and head to the nearby park to watch the Little League Baseball games.

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Ashley in NYC

I love visiting the parks and beaches. Many parks offer a calendar of free events, including concerts.

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Ernest S.

Favorite summer activity is swimming at our local community pool and spending time at the beach!

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Rebecca Ross

I like walking our dogs in the evenings.

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Sarah

I like to lounge at the pool at my apartment complex and read magazines.

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Elena Rodriguez

I love to take my daughters to the local pool. They have free entrance to those who live in the city and my girls have a blast!

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Emily

Long walks with my favorite podcasts by the water!

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BRB

We have a park almost across the street that has free concerts in the summer. That and walking to our farmer's market every wednesday evening.

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Michelle D.

I love to go on hikes, to the park or to the beach.

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CF

We go to the local pool or park.

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J. Pario

Roller-skating on the bike trails!

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Pam

Our city has movies under the stars during the summer and it's free. It's fun to take the kids and go.

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Pat

My favorite frugal summer activity is hiking the local trails.

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Laurajj

For frugal summer activities, we take advantage of our theaters cheap movies for the kids. We also enroll in our bowling alleys 2 free bowling games for kids all summer long! Great programs and cheap too!

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A Florida Mom

We love to go tubing down the river! I pack us up a water proof bag full of sandwiches & snacks, then go.
The other thing we love to do, is to take people who have never camped before, and take them over night camping. It's so much fun watching other families joyful reaction to how much fun camping real is on a dime budget.

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SKB

I love to go to the library - the AC is on COLD, and you have magazines, computers and books to enjoy.

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Anna S.

I have three favorites! 1) potluck get-togethers in friends' backyards (and living in NYC, it's extra special); 2) exploring new neighborhoods with my camera, and then treating myself to either an ice cream or some sort of iced drink/smoothie; and 3) packing up a picnic and a blanket, and heading to Central Park for some reading, games and people watching. All of these make me so happy and end up costing so little compared to many of the other things to do in NYC!

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Miss Kim

We love to go to the beach and spend the day there.

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Valerie

Watching movies at the local park during Screen on the Green nights. :)

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Guest

Hanging out at a local park, picnics, cook-outs and going to the drive-in movies.

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Michael

My favorite free summer activity is to go to the park or go for a walk.

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Lynda

park, hiking, and pool in the yard with the kids

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Ashley Park

Bike riding at the beach.

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Happy Love

I like blowing bubbles with the kids.

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Kat

We go swimming at the lake.

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April

We go to the park