30 Days of Summer Fun on a Dime – 2018 Edition

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30 Days of Summer Fun on a Dime

Every summer Fun 4 Kids in Buffalo compiles a list of cheap things to do this summer with kids in WNY.  Many of them are totally free.  We’ve got at least 30 days of your summer covered!  This year we’ve made a list of cheap or free things to do outside in WNY with kids this summer, PLUS we’ve added a list of indoor activities and things to do at home.  Enjoy and have fun this summer.

Cheap things to do with kids this summer in WNY

  1. Free Summer Wednesdays at Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum – Free admission and rides are just $.50 (Kiddieland is outdoors).
  2. Visit Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls for Satruday Free Family Fun. 
  3. Green Acres Free Family Movie Night & Glow -in-th-Dark Nights
  4. Check out one of the many Parks and Playgrounds of WNY.
  5. Cool off in one of the local Wading Pools and Splash Pads in WNY.
  6. Stock up on locally grown produce and get the kids to help at U-Pick place in WNY.
  7. Get moving and take everyone on a Family Friendly Hike. 
  8. Reinstein Woods – They host numerous family friendly free events daily.  Check their calendar for dates/times.
  9. Canalside – Canalside has free games, a beach and playground that is available daily.  They also host a number of events, many that are free, throughout the summer.
  10. Head to Lewiston for Free Family Saturdays  and Free Family Movie Night At which take place at Artpark on scheduled dates throughout the summer.
  11. Buffalo Bills Training Camp Schedule  – Visit the Bill’s training camp and watch the players in action.  (The 2018 schedule had not been posted as of 6/11/18).
  12. Movies in the Park – Visit Buffalo Olmstead Park’s Site for a list of which parks are hosting movie nights and event details. 
  13.  Spend the day at one of the Beaches of WNY.
  14. Visit the Ollcott Beach and Carrousel Park.
  15. Watch the fireworks at Niagara Falls.  Fireworks displays happen nightly in the summer.  Click here for the full schedule.
  16. Visit Old Fort Niagara.  Children 5 and under are free.
  17. Fitness in the Parks – There are free fitness classes happening throughout WNY at various parks and there are several available for kids and/or families. Here’s a list!
  18. Events at the Boulevard Consumer Square – The plaza on Niagara Falls Boulevard where Target, Old Navy, Lowe’s, etc. are in host a number of free events throughout the year and there are a few already listed for summer.  Check their Facebook page for details. 
  19. Check your local Wegmans – Several of the Wegman’s locations offer kid or family-friendly programming including fitness, music and movies.  Unfortunately the only time I’ve seen information about these events is by seeing it in the store so take note the next time you’re shopping!



Free or cheap things to do at home with kids this summer

  1. Have a water war. Water blasters are usually $1 at Dollar Tree and you can reuse them throughout the summer.
  2. Go camping in your backyard – no car packing required!
  3. Have a sidewalk chalk art competition. Buy some sidewalk chalk from the dollar store and have your kids make their best artwork, everyone wins a prize!
  4. Go on a nature scavenger hunt.  Here’s a link to a scavenger hunt board on our Pinterest page.
  5. Make homemade playdough.  Here’s a link to a recipe on our Pinterest page.
  6. Set up a lemonade stand.
  7. Make cookies and deliver them to the local firehouse.
  8. Have a picnic!
  9. Make a homemade water slide using your swing set slide.
  10. Take a bike ride and explore your neighborhood.
  11. Make slime – It’s all the rage and it’s pretty easy to make with this simple recipe. You can find more recipes on my Pinterest page.
  12. Make a homemade slip and slide – Here’s an idea of how to do it. 
  13. Make an American Ninja Warrior style course in your yard. Here’s some ideas on how to do it. You don’t have to get as elaborate as this blogger did but instead you could focus on using items you already have or things that are really low cost like pool noodles, rope, etc.
  14. Try squirt gun painting.  Here’s how. 
  15. Do a summer reading challenge.  Learn how.

Too hot? Or just want to stay inside?  Here are some free or cheap things to do inside this summer.

  1. $1 Movies at the Regal Cinema on Transit.
  2. Michael’s Craft Store – Camp Creativity – Please note – Classes options, dates and times vary by location.  Please visit their site to find information about your specific Michael’s store.
  3. $3 Movies at Four Seasons Cinema in Niagara Falls.
  4. Kids bowl free all summer – There are a number of bowling alleys throughout WNY that participate in kids bowl free.  Click here to search by state and get a list of all participating sites in NYS. 
  5. Check your local library – most of the libraries in the Buffalo & Erie County system offer free activities daily.
  6. Free Family Film Series at Dipson Theatres
  7. Just Fun Family Entertainment Center in Hamburg – Daily specials and buy one, get one free deals.
  8. New York Power Authority – Admission to the Power Authority is free and there are a number of things to see and do.
  9. Check Groupon – Groupon always has a number of local deals for kid-friendly places.
  10. Go out for dinner to one of these restaurants that offer kids eat free on specific days.

As always watch our calendar! We are always posting events that are cheap or free as we get them in.

Did we miss something you love to do over the summer?  Tell us.