Frugal Family Summer Fun

Blackberry Picking

I’m always trying to find ways to turn everyday events into something fun. Summer time is no different and frugal family summer fun can be had with a little research and perhaps an attitude change. Keep your wallet in your handbag for these ideas – they’re all frugal, fancy and fun! Don’t think of these activities as doing without or sacrificing – which is what most people think of when they hear the word “frugal.” Think of how you can have many adventures with your family because you haven’t spent all of your money on one event. Have more fun in life with these simple family outings and start planning your next outing!

Frugal Family Summer Fun

Pick: Pick berries or vegetables or peaches or whatever grows in your area. Find a local u-pick farm and get busy! While you’re actually gathering food for the winter or to preserve, you’re enjoying nature and fresh air. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. Don’t forget to bring your own water. Make jam or freeze your berries for future use.

Frugal Family Summer Fun

Picnic: Wherever we go, I bring food. Just pack sandwiches, a tablecloth (try and make it gingham) and water and you’ve got a picnic! Even when we went to Disneyland, I packed a backpack and brought food and water for my family. (Yes, you can bring food and water into Disneyland and yes, you will save a small fortune doing so and yes it will be much healthier than the food for sale there.)

Camp: Go camping! It’s the best way to escape and enjoy nature. Cooking outside, sleeping outside, and fishing and hiking are all fun activities that go along with camping. Kids love it, too, as long as you don’t forget to pack ingredients for s’mores! It’s so important to take a break from technology and just be present with your family. Camping allows us to do just that. Borrow gear to try it out before you decide if it’s right for you and your family.

Camping is fancy with a bouquet of flowers found at the campsite.

Frugal Family Summer Fun

Go Fish: Fishing is another fun summer activity to try. If you don’t know how to fish, ask a neighbor or someone’s grandfather to take you fishing. People who fish love to convert non-anglers into anglers. There’s always fishing equipment for sale at garage sales if you find it to be agreeable.

Fishing for your dinner

Parks: Parks, playgrounds and free concerts abound in the summer. Check with your neighborhood park system and find out about free events this summer. Many parks show movies outdoors in the summer, too. We had a lovely evening watching “The Sound of Music” at our local park with a picnic dinner and wine.

Libraries: don’t overlook your local library for books, music, and DVDs. Walk or bike to your local library and find out what free activities are offered through your library system this summer.

What’s a frugal family summer fun activity you like to do?

Go Gingham related links:

Strawberry picking adventures and how to freeze berries
Our first home exchange is here
Travel packing tips with a PDF chart are here
Frugal travel in San Francisco, CA is here
Home swapping and how to prepare your home for one
Vacation meal planning
Meal planning for campers
When traveling, I love to home exchange because it’s frugal and fun
Camp cooking supplies and what I use to cook with


Sara, creator of Go Gingham, is passionate about cooking and feeding her family healthy, real food. She's a green enthusiast, too, who loves to grow food organically. Sara loves to travel - especially by trading houses. An avid runner, she can also be found chasing after her chickens in the backyard.


    1. Cathy, blueberry picking is the best! While I love eating strawberries, the picking is killer on the back. Thanks!!

    1. Minnie! Thanks for the nomination! You are so sweet. Your blog is great, too.

  1. Great reminders, Sara! I just went by the library and picked up some DVD’s. Now that the video stores in our area are all but extinct, the library is the only place I know to get older, classic family movies.

    1. Thanks, Annie! It’s amazing to me how many great movies and TV shows our library system has. Hope your family enjoyed them!

  2. Tomorrow night Lone Fir Cemetery is having a free performance of Hamlet–we’ll be there! What better setting? And the weather is supposed to be beautiful!

    1. Great tip, Rita! Thanks. Hope you had an excellent time 🙂

  3. Berry picking makes a great date too. My fiance and I had lots of fun picking blueberries on the 4th of July and I’m still enjoying the results on my cereal in the morning. My fiance’s not a big blueberry fan, but he loved the thrill of the hunt trying to find all the best ones.

    1. Emily, it’s funny how “the hunt” can be better than the actual prize! Thanks and your fiance sounds like a real catch!!

  4. I really like the activities you posted but I miss one really essential summer activity: Swimming! I personally prefer swimming in ponds, lakes or rivers than swimming in pools since my skin sometimes reacts to too much chlorine in the water. Since I don’t have to pay any money for entrance I’m “living healthy” plus saving a lot of money 🙂 Love to you all, Kathi

    1. Kathi, that is a great tip! And you’re right, swimming for free is a great idea for those with sensitive skin and who need to avoid all that chlorine. Thank you for leaving a comment and sharing your Stylishly Frugal attitude with us! XOXO Aunt Sara

  5. My kids loves outdoor and yes water too. So we usually go trekking and swimming too and wife will just wait for us to prepare the foods.
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