5 Fun and Frugal Summertime Activities for Grandparents and Grandkids
Summer may be coming to an end, but it’s certainly not too late to enjoy the warm weather and spend time with your loved ones having fun — without having to spend a lot of money.
This is the perfect time to make some lasting memories with your grandchildren before they head back to school. Whether you live down the street or across the country from your grandkids, you’ll find something on this list that works for your family.
What’s even better is that most of these activities are great for fall, too — or any time of the year! So what are you waiting for? It’s time to make the most of the summer and have some fun.
Stop by the library and get your grandkids involved in a summer reading program
One of the best things about summer is that nearly every library offers a summer reading program in which kids can earn prizes for reading a certain number of books. It’s a fantastic way to get your grandkids excited about reading, and visiting the library guarantees hours of fun for readers of all ages.
While you’re there, stock up on everything from best-sellers and beach reads to audiobooks and DVDs. You can also find out when your library will be hosting free activities such as book sales, lectures, craft clubs, and holiday events.
Purchase a lifetime Senior Pass and bring your family to any national park for free
Exploring a national park is an ideal summertime activity for nature lovers of all ages. American citizens and permanent residents ages 62 and over can purchase a lifetime pass for $80 that gives them free entry to every national park. The Senior Pass also grants free entry to everyone in the car with you, so you can take your grandkids to any of over 2,000 federal recreation sites.
And if you have a grandchild in 4th grade, he or she can get a special pass for a year’s worth of free visits, thanks to the Every Kid Outdoors program.
Take your teenage grandkids on a college visit
Visiting prospective colleges and universities is a wonderful way to spend time with your college-bound grandchildren. Not only will you get to enjoy a special road trip, but you can also help guide your grandkids towards a bright future by sharing your experiences and advice during this unique moment in their adolescence.
You’ll have the opportunity to tour some beautiful campuses while witnessing your grandchild’s joy at finding his or her dream school. At the same time, you can also invest in their education by contributing to a 529 college savings plan and pointing them in the direction of valuable scholarships.
Go camping, even if it’s in your own backyard
There’s something truly magical about camping. Toasting marshmallows, telling campfire stories, sleeping outdoors, and waking up at sunrise make for an unforgettable experience. Whether you’ve been pitching a tent since your own childhood, or whether it’s something you’ve always wanted to try, a camping trip with your grandkids is the perfect fun summer pastime.
Even if you can’t make it to a campsite, simply going for an evening walk to look at the stars and pitching a tent in the backyard is just as good! If you don’t have any camping gear, you can always find second-hand equipment for unbeatable prices on Facebook Marketplace, or you can rent it from OutdoorsGeek. And if you’d like to purchase new gear, using a free browser extension such as Wikibuy or Honey will help you find the best prices at online retailers such as L.L.Bean and REI by automatically adding coupons to your shopping cart.
Spend an afternoon in the kitchen with your grandkids (in person or remotely)
Teaching your grandchildren how to cook one of your favorite recipes is an experience that you’ll cherish, and they will, too, Whether it’s a traditional family recipe from your own parents, a new dish you discovered while traveling, or a kid-friendly dessert, whatever you decide to cook will be wonderful because you made it together. Grandkids of any age can get involved in some part of the food preparation process, regardless of whether they’re toddlers or teens. It’s an inexpensive way to have fun, especially because you get to eat your creation at the end!
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Even if you’re physically separated from your family members due to geographical distance or concerns about Covid-19, you can still use FaceTime or another video calling app in order to “be” in the kitchen with your grandchild, even if you can’t actually be there in person!
About the Author:
Margaret Lipman is a teacher, writer, and frequent Huggable contributor based in England. She enjoys writing about ways for families to live life to the fullest while also saving money.