A young boy is smiling whilst having a water fight

12 Free Outdoor Activities for Kids


Explore free outdoor activities for kids in this Family Days Out Blog!

Signing your kids up for camps and summer activities can add up quickly. If you don't have a large budget or want to cut back on summer program spending, you have quite a few options for free outdoor summer activities.

Family Days Out has put together a list of 12 fun activities to help get your kids outdoors more. These activities range from solo activities to options for the whole family. Here are 12 free outdoor activities for kids to try during the warmer months!

Set up an Obstacle Course in Your Own Backyard

Creating an obstacle course doesn’t require any fancy equipment. You can use whatever you have on hand like hula hoops, baseballs, bats, jump ropes, etc. Set up stations in your backyard for each activity, and challenge your kids to see how quickly they can make it through the obstacle course.

This option is one of the fun outdoor activities that works for older kids and younger kids. You can also get your kids more involved and have them help plan out the obstacles. Planning is a great way to bond with your kids.

a dad is on an obstacle course in garden

Photo by Stephanie Ecate on Unsplash

Draw With Sidewalk Chalk

Having your kids play with sidewalk chalk is a great way to keep summer fun free. Whether they create hopscotch or draw images, they’ll have so much fun with chalk. You can even boost morale in the community by asking your children to write positive notes along the sidewalk for neighbors to read.

a child draws a roiller skate in chalk on the sidewalk

Photo by Brittani Burns on Unsplash

Host Family Game Nights on the Patio

Try taking your family game nights out to the patio for some summer fun. As you play your typical board games, you can enjoy spending time in nature. Grill up some BBQ favorites and spend the afternoon enjoying each other’s company and competing against each other in each game.

Have a Water Balloon Fight

Water balloon fights are one of the best free summer activities. It's a great way for kids to cool down during the hotter months. If you get too hot, you can even join your kids in tossing water balloons and make it a family activity! You'll need water balloons and a water source for this activity.

A young boy is smiling whilst having a water fight

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Create a Treasure Hunt

Setting up a treasure hunt is easier than you might expect! You can use items you find around the house, like containers of Playdoh or other similar goodies. Then, hide them in the yard and neighbor's yard (with their permission).

You can make the treasure hunt trickier by placing items in a nearby park. Accompany your kids to the park and offer clues if they need them. Take it a step further by creating a treasure map that shows where the items are hidden and see how many your kids can find.

a table top full of maps and treasure hunting materials

Photo by Suhash Villuri on Unsplash

Hike in Local Parks

Pack water bottles, snacks, sandwiches, and head to the local parks for hiking. Exploring the available trails is a great way to spend time outside as a family. Parks and nature reserves typically list the difficulty of each trail, so it's easy to choose a route that best matches your family's skill level.

Your kids will love spotting wildlife as you stroll through pretty scenery. Make sure everyone’s wearing comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing, and you’ll have a fun summer activity.

You can also bike ride on the park trails if you prefer. You’ll still get to enjoy nature when traveling on the paths by bicycle.

Hang Out at the Playground

Everyone loves the playground; that makes it one of the most fun summer activities! There's always plenty to do, from riding down the slides to swinging, playing tag, and more. Gather your kids and take them to the neighborhood playground for the afternoon.

small children play in a playground

Photo by Oakville News on Unsplash

Stargaze at Night

Stargazing is a great way to spend your time outside in the warmer months. Grab a few blankets (or one large blanket) and set up in your yard. Make sure the spot you pick allows a clear view of the sky. If you're set up under a tree, you won't be able to stargaze properly. Use this opportunity to learn about and educate on the constellations.

a man stars up at the stars

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Volunteer to Pick up Trash

If you’re looking for an activity that helps get your family outside and helps the planet simultaneously, you can volunteer to help pick up trash in the area. Check to see if you have a local community clean-up group committed to keeping the area trash-free and enquiring about volunteering.

If there isn’t a program already in place, you can also schedule times when you go pick up trash in local areas as a family. Ensure you bring a garbage bag and gloves for each family member.

Check Out Free Educational Programs or Community Events

Libraries, zoos, and parks often have free community events or educational programs during warmer months. Check the local bulletin to see which events are available for your kids. There are typically at least a few options for workshops or programs each summer that your kids can attend. Signing up your kids for free programs in the community might even help them find new hobbies they enjoy.

Catch an Outdoor Movie

During the summertime, many cities and towns offer free outdoor movie viewings. These viewings are always family-friendly and include classic movies. Bring lawn chairs, a picnic blanket, and mosquito spray, and you'll be ready to watch a movie or two with your family.

Some outdoor movie events even offer free popcorn, making this one of the top fun ideas for warm weather.

Swim at the Beach

Many states have beaches that don’t charge for access. You’ll need to research which beaches around you do not have a fee. If you're not a fan of water balloon fights, you can take your kids to any free local beaches for swimming and sandcastles. Bring a volleyball and picnic to turn this activity into a full-day event.

These free outdoor activities will help keep your kids occupied all summer long! Try one or all of these activities and note which ones your kids enjoy. You can always add their favorite activities to your next summer itinerary.

a little girl plays in the shallows of the sea

Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash

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