Hooray! For many students school is officially over. It’s time to flip the page to a new month and begin thinking through the months of summer vacation. If you want to make the most of your summer – having a great time while not overspending, you need a good strategy. Here’s what you need to fill your days up with before it’s time to head back to school in the fall.
Local Festivals & Celebrations. From parades and fireworks to art and children’s entertainment, the greater Indianapolis area has it all when it comes to free local festivals and celebrations during June and July. We never miss the Greenwood Freedom Festival (June 28th this year) or PBS Kids in the Park (June 21st at White River State Park). From “Touch a Truck” events to parades, from art shows to free concerts there’s always something to do and see in Indianapolis. Start researching on your city’s parks and recreation website for festival and celebrations throughout the summer to lock those dates into your calendar now.
Summer Movie Programs. Who doesn’t love to head to the theater during lazy days of summer? From outdoor movies on the lawn at Garfield Park and special showings at your public libraries to “movie camps” at theaters like Cinemark and Canary Creek, you can take in a flick as a family for free or as little as $1 per person. Begin your research now to choose your favorite films and schedule which nights you’ll treat your family to a movie! There’s an awesome round up over on Indy with Kids.
Summer Reading Programs. Help those little minds grow during the summer months by signing up for reading programs that reward you for logging hours spent with your nose in a book. Always begin by seeing what your local library has to offer. Did you know there are often programs that even reward adults for reading? Bookstores like Barnes & Noble, Half-Price Books, and even online retailer scholastic.com also offer great incentives for reading during the summer months. Take a few minutes to print out the reading logs and/or update your online account so you’re reading to begin counting those minutes when the last school bell rings.
Free Classes and Affordable Summer Camps. You should become incredibly acquainted with the inside of your library this summer. With a number of offerings for kids and adults alike, there’s a class or club for almost every interest. Learn and connect with your community without spending a dime. Local city parks and recreation departments along with churches also offer a number of great day camps at a low cost. Even the Apple Store hosts a yearly free summer camp. Don’t forget to research Vacation Bible School offerings, too!
Have a Homemade Summer. From building your own sprinkler (ours is over six feet tall and constructed from PVC pipe) to projecting a movie on a sheet in the backyard, homemade memories are the most treasured in our hearts. You could hold your own scavenger hunt (head to Pinterest for ideas) or make your own sidewalk chalk. Each day is ripe with opportunity. Don’t forget to look for a recipe for the perfect popsicle and chart out a new bike route. Make a list of local parks you’d like to visit and strategically mark one off each week of the summer. The simple things really are the best and might even become favored experiences over pricey theme parks and weekend getaways.
No matter what you choose to do this summer, begin planning now. Intentionality in your calendar and checkbook will keep you from overspending and missing out. You can have plenty of fun without plenty of cash during June, July, and August. Do your research. Mark the dates. Get creative. Make this summer memorable and affordable.
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