Water parks are always lots of fun.

Tomorrow is the last day of school for my daughter. My son has been out of school for about a month now. For the next two months we’ll be trying to have fun and stay cool, and do it without spending a lot of money.

These are some of the activities we’ll turning to this year in the name of frugal fun.

Water Parks

Water parks are popping up all over the place these days. We have three in our county, and I’ve heard rumors that there’s going to be a fourth sometime soon. I’m not talking about the big water theme parks that cost an arm and a leg for a day pass. I’m talking about the water structures at the neighborhood park. I’ve found that going in the late morning is a great time. Most people flock to the water parks in the afternoon, so it’s less busy in the morning. Pack a picnic lunch and make it a day!

Neighborhood Pools

Many cities have public pools that aren’t very expensive. Take your kids down there for a day, and let them swim for a while. Many of these pools also offer inexpensive swimming lessons, but sign up early if you want to get your kids into a class. The classes generally fill up quickly.

Go to the Movies

Several theater chains offer discount movies during the summer. Our local theater offers 10 movies for $5, if you purchase tickets in advance. We usually only go to one or two, so we pay $1 per movie instead, which is still a bargain. Just don’t buy concessions, or it won’t be a frugal activity!

For more information about summer movie programs, visit Cinemark, AMC, and Regal. You also might want to call your local theater to see if they’re running a program. Many of the smaller theater chains run summer programs as well.

Read a Book

Libraries are a great place to go to beat the heat during the summer. Our library has a reading program where kids can enter drawings to win prizes when they read a certain number of books. This year they’re even holding a drawing for a Wii for those who complete the 12-18 year old program. Too bad my daughter is only 10. She’ll enter the drawings for her age group, too, as will my son.

Barnes and Noble also has a summer reading program where kids can earn free books. Kids in 1st through 6th grades are eligible to earn a free book when they read 8 books over the summer. Not a bad deal!

Barnes and Noble and most libraries also offer various story times for children, as well. We usually try to hit one or two during the summer. Some libraries even offer craft time for the kids!

Check Your Local Paper

You can find a wealth of information in your local newspaper. Three cities in our area offer free movie screenings in the park on Friday and Saturday nights. Fourth of July weekend is also packed with lots of free fun activities too. If you keep an eye on the local paper, you can often find lots of frugal, fun, and even educational activities for your kids.

I like to plan at least one special event per week. It breaks up the routine and keeps the kids from getting on each other’s nerves. Well, not completely, but it does help.

What do you do for frugal summer fun?

This post is being submitted to the Money Life Network’s Summer Saving Series. They’re giving away a $100 Amazon gift certificate! To find out how you can enter, visit the Money Life Network.

Photo by Just Taken Pics.