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You don’t have to spend large amounts of money to have fun in the summer. It can get very costly when you have kids and you are trying to find ways of having family fun. There are other ways of having fun other than taking expensive vacations. Here are seven ways of having a great time this summer while at the same time keeping the cost to a minimum.

1. If you have a large backyard, or know some one who does you can have a fantastic time with all your friends, family, and especially the kids. Water guns have always been great fun to play with; there are many sizes and types and are not too expensive. Invite everyone to bring his or her own water gun. Water filled balloons are very cheap and great fun also.

Purchase easy to prepare foods like franks, hamburgers, soda, juice, and frozen popsicles. Have your family and friends help with the expenses of the food and the preparation.

Now get ready for the water splashing time of your life. You can divide individuals into teams that will go against each other. You can set it to music, with individuals taking turns being the disc jockey. When the music starts the water war begins ending when the music stops, which is reload time.

Make sure to tell everyone before hand to bring extra clothing. It would be a good idea to purchase cheap water goggles especially for the kids; they go for about .99 cents each. This may very well turn into a summer tradition that everyone will anticipate.

2. We all know how expensive it is to take a family with kids to an amusement park. The entrance fee alone is outrageous, not to mention the cost of food at these parks. Use the following tips to make your day fun while cutting the cost by a large margin.

Most fast-food restaurants carry discount coupons for nearby amusement parks. No purchase is necessary and you can save from $2.00 - $4.00 per ticket. Check the soda cans that you normally by, as they usually carry discounts also. If you are a member of the AAA auto club you get an automatic 10% discount on tickets as well as gift shops in the parks.

Bring your own food, most amusement parks have picnic areas where you can sit and enjoy a leisurely picnic. Have a picnic before entering the park and set a time for your family to meet by the picnic area for a dinner picnic. Carry a water bottle into the park. One of the easiest ways that you waste money in parks is satisfying your thirst. You can even get free water and ice at the drink stands; this is something most people don’t know.

3. Kids like fun, but fun doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Kids love to be creative and enjoy when their parents find creative ways of having fun. You can have exciting adventures in many ordinary ways like a trip to the zoo. Sometimes a trip to the zoo can be a little boring but if you add your creativity, you can turn it into an exciting adventure.

Purchase a couple of disposable cameras which are pretty reasonably priced at about $6.00 each. Divide your family into two teams. Make sure that there is at least one adult in each team. Before getting to the zoo create a scavenger hunt list. Think of interesting things that you might find at the zoo other than animals. You can even include a woman with a funny looking hat, a man with ugly mix-matched shorts and top. Be creative! Each team must take pictures once they find one of the things listed. This will be the proof of which team actually completed the scavenger hunt.

4. Spend a day at your closest sSeaport. You can usually find a nearby seaport and treat your kids to a fun filled day. Most seaports have very exciting and fun attractions for kids as well as adults. You can find many small stores that carry unique items associated with the seaport. Some have aquariums that you can visit, and malls with fun things to do and see without spending much money. During the summer months many seaports will set up a free outdoors mini-theater showing family rated movies. You may even be able to go inside some ships for a closer look or take a short cruise for very little money. This can be a very fun and educational day for both parents and children.

5. During the summer months you can find many fun filled festivals. To find these call your state department to receive a free booklet containing all the special events held throughout the summer months. You can actually plan many summer outings with the help of these booklets. Most of these festivals are free or charge a very nominal entrance fee. You will find a very large variety of festivals from hot air ballooning, rides and special attractions, fruit festivals, festivals that have petting zoos, and even some that hold contests that you can compete in. Don’t miss all the fun that your family can share at these events.

6. An inexpensive trip to the beach can turn into an exciting expedition. Plan your expedition before hand, you can search for unique seashells and beach glass that has been smoothed and polished by the sand and seawater. You can start a new hobby with your kids collecting the most beautiful shells and/or glass. Your kids can use these to build a collection or can turn them into craft projects. Many craft stores make a lot of money selling these for use in projects. Your kids will love working on craft projects using the shells and/or glass that they found themselves and turning them into solid memories that will last a life time.

7. Turn an ordinary picnic in a nearby park into a field day trip. This is a great idea if you have a large family or can get some other families to join in. Remember the days when nearing the end of the school year meant having a field day school trip? Remember how much fun they were? You can make a memorable day of sharing this experience with your kids. Divide individuals into teams. This is an especially good idea when you team up parents with kids. Enjoy a potato-bag race, relay race, three-legged race, broad jump, and the human wheel barrel race. Have your kids come up with fun ideas for races. If you want to go the extra mile, purchase inexpensive prizes for the winners.

If you use your creativity you can have a summer filled with fun, adventure, and lasting memories without spending a lot of money.