Not Taking a Family Vacation This Year?

Looking for fun family activities for the summer but not wanting to break the bank on a big vacation? The good news is that there are many options for creating wonderful summertime memories for your kids. Here are 9 free or almost free ways to keep your kids entertained all summer long.

1. Set up a water park in your back yard.

An inexpensive kiddie pool, a few homemade water slides, and a cooling station made of cheap PVC pipe are all great ways for the kids to keep their cool on those hot summer days.

2. Camp out at home.

Camping is a relatively inexpensive family activity, but those campsite fees and RV hookups can still add up. If your budget is tight, grab the tent, build a campfire, and toast up some weenies and s’mores in your own backyard.

3. Grab some jars and start a bug zoo.

Kids love bugs, and catching those critters will keep them occupied for hours. When the catching is complete the kids can set up their own bug zoos with just a few empty jars and hole-punched lids.

4. Host a backyard movie night.

Take advantage of those warm summer evenings and set up your own cinema in the comfort of your backyard for an evening family and friends will enjoy. You’ll need a projector, a DIY movie screen (a white sheet hung on the house or garage works great!), and a favorite movie picked out. Grab some pillows and blankets, movie candy, a bag of popcorn, and enjoy the film!

5. Attend events at the library.

Book readings are great summertime entertainment, but they are also a good way to get your kids excited about literature. Check the schedule at the Beaver Area Memorial Library and attend some of the free events—it will keep the kids (and you) entertained. Learn more at or call the library at 724-775-1132.

  • Summer Reading Challenges Ends August 12, 2023 Opportunities available for all ages! Complete a reading log of 1800 minutes to earn a badge and receive a ticket for our end-of-summer raffle.
  • Lego Club Fridays at 3:30 p.m. Come create masterpieces with Legos and we’ll put them on display! All ages welcome. No registration required.
  • Art Club Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. Come create at the library! New projects offered every week. Open to all ages and no registration required. 
  • Inky’s Mystery Library Puppet Show Saturday, July 29 at 10:30 a.m. Inky the Cat and Albert the Dog have a mystery to solve! Join the Pittsburgh Puppet Works Theatre for a fun adventure. Registration is requested by contacting the library.
  • Chess Club Meets the third Thursday of every month from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Do you like keeping company with kings, queens, bishops, and knights? Beaver Library has started a chess club that meets at the library on the third Thursday of each month. No registration is required, and players of all abilities are welcome.
  • Camp Kindergarten Families with children entering Kindergarten this fall are invited to join Mrs. B and the Beaver Library for learning fun! Simply stop by the library and check out 1 of 5 “Camp Kindergarten” Kits located in the children’s section. Participants completing 3 or more kits will receive a “Cruise into Kindergarten” prize at the end of the summer.


6. Check out some reading material while you are there.

While you are at the library, enjoy a vast selection of entertainment options, starting with the kid-friendly books on all those shelves. Let the kids pick their favorites and get ready for a summer full of free entertainment and engagement.

7. Take a hike.

If you are tired of watching your kids watch their phones, hand them their sneakers and head out for a hike. There are so many great trails to explore throughout Beaver County and beyond.

8. Churn up some homemade ice cream.

Nothing hits the spot quite like a cold bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day, especially when you churn up that creamy goodness yourself. Homemade ice cream is a wonderful summertime treat, and a fun activity for the whole family.

9. Enjoy a weekly board game night.

If your kids think every game requires an internet connection and a steady supply of electricity, why not introduce them to the games you loved when you were their age. Hosting a weekly board game night for your kids and their friends is a great way to get some free entertainment.

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