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Fun & Cheap Summer Activities for Kids in Military Families


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Summertime is here, which means school is out and kids are ready to enjoy their time off and play. But, how many times have you already heard "I'm bored" uttered from the mouths of babes this season? Fortunately for them (and you), there are plenty of summer activities for kids that won't be too costly for you.

FREE Activities from Lincoln Military Housing

One of our central goals is to create opportunities that allow our military families to enjoy living with Lincoln. To help our residents feel more at home in our community, Lincoln Military Housing offers FREE events at each of our installations throughout the year. These social gatherings and activities are an excellent way for you and your family to meet your neighbors and make new friends.

Our dedicated community teams plan over 1,500 events every year for Lincoln installations across the country, spanning over varying interests. We hope that through our community events and providing information about other location-specific activities that are also free or inexpensive for military families, and you'll grow to love where you live.

5 Kids Activities for Summer

Take a Trip to the Zoo

Some U.S. cities have free admission or a donation request to city zoos. Others have military family discounts available for families who want to spend the day checking out the animal exhibits and shows.

In addition to the zoo, many theme parks, like Six Flags and LEGOLAND, also offer discounted or free admission to military members. Check out what's available near your home base, or do some research before you head out on your summer family vacation.

Schedule a Summer Camp

A considerable part of a child's summer memories will be the summer camps they attended. There are several free summer camps for military kids of varying ages. In many cases, transportation cost is also covered.

Think about setting your kids up on an adventure this summer. From whitewater rafting, hiking, camping, canoeing, and more, it's one great way for your kids to spend their summer vacation and have stories to tell for years to come.

Visit Your Local Library

Check out your local library's summer calendar because there are bound to be several events specifically for kids. From storytelling to arts and crafts to special appearances by favorite storybook characters, you'll have plenty of free summer activities fun for kids and adults alike, all while sitting in the cool of air-conditioning.

Additionally, your child can sign up for the DoD's annual summer reading program. This year's "Reading by Design" theme includes reading lists, incentives, and various scheduled activities and events. Encourage your family to use their imagination and get lost in a good story.

Camp in the Backyard

Children love to create pillow forts and play in tree houses, so why not entertain their sense of adventure and set up a camping post in the backyard? You can get an inexpensive tent for under $20 and have them bring their pillows, sleeping bags, and blankets for backyard fun for the whole family.

If you have a fire pit, set up a s'mores station, the ultimate summer snack! Even sans fire pit, you can still enjoy this dessert by stacking a marshmallow and piece of chocolate between graham crackers and popping in the microwave until soft.

Set Up an Art Station

Get together scraps of paper, watercolor paints, sidewalk chalk, and coloring books, and head outdoors where kids can draw to their heart's delight. Many basic art supplies can be found at the dollar store or in the dollar bin at local retail shops to create fun and cheap summer activities. Add buttons, ribbons, pipe cleaners, and sparkles to the mix, and they can design their paper plates for a project that will keep them entertained.

Store up the arts and craft supplies in a carrying case and bring them out for different themed days throughout the summer. They can create signs for their bedroom door, macaroni art, and seasonal decorations, all with a few inexpensive supplies.

Ready, Set, Summer!

If you're looking for cheap summer activities for kids that are fun for the whole family, start with this list of summer activities for kids and adults alike for a good place to start and inspire you to create fun memories all season long. Also, check our Kid's Activities Pinterest board for kids' arts, crafts, and more.

And, don't forget to check your military housing community calendar for upcoming picnics, pool parties, and games played at the park, which is all part of what makes summer the season every family enjoys!


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