CHEAP Summer Family Fun

May 31, 2018

In the Ozarks, it went from cold weather to a few days of Spring and straight into Summer temperatures. I was kind of annoyed with the lack of cooler weather but my husband reminded me that exchanging those cooler days for more humid ones means that we completely skipped Tornado season. (I’m down with that.┬á­čśÄ) Now that Summer is here, that means kids are out of school & fun summer activities are in full swing.

One of the misconceptions about having fun in the summertime with kids is that the more money you spend, the more fun you’ll have as a family but that’s not necessarily true! I’ve been learning lately that my kids want my attention more than anything. Not that they don’t like for us to go somewhere that costs money but they also want me to be involved and pay attention to them while we’re interacting. Here are a few of my favorite family things do to do on the CHEAP in the┬áarea while doing just that!

Disclaimer: These ideas are with my family and kids┬áages 4 and under in mind. If you have older kids, like elementary age, I’d have some other activities to add but I didn’t include them in this post because I’m tired ­čś┤. If you want to hear about those let me know and I’ll share in a separate post.


My favorites in Springfield are Phelps Grove (950 E. Bennett Street), Sequiota (3500 S. Lone Pine), & Nathaniel Greene (2400 S. Scenic Ave). One thing with warmer weather is trying to get to the park earlier in the day around – 9/9:30 am- so my kids can still play and explore before it gets too hot. Click this link for a┬ámap of parks in Springfield.


The Discovery Center (438 E. St Louis) in downtown Springfield is a great place to enjoy and explore on a hot summer day but did you know that with a Springfield-Greene County Library Card, you can check out a pass to the Discovery Center for 4 days for 4 people absolutely free?! True story! It’s smart to call ahead to┬áthe children’s department of your local library branch to see if they have any passes available before you head over there. They tend to go quickly!


Picnics are also a fun treat for the kids. Our new home has a little covered patio area which we’ve been using to beat the heat during outdoor meals. Dinner time is also a great time for a picnic if┬áthere’s not a┬ácovered area in your yard while heading to a nearby park.


On Memorial Day, our family ventured out to Splash Time at the Nixa Acquatic Center (701 N. Taylor Way in Nixa), where the picture for this blog was taken. It was super fun, from 10 am to 11:15 am, and $2 per person for my husband and I while kids 3 and under are free. McGregor Pool near Phelps Grove Park is for kids under age 6. It used to be free but I couldn’t find┬áany info online that says it still! I’m looking to broaden my horizons and explore more pools this summer. Click this link for a list of pools in the Springfield Area. We also thoroughly enjoy Jordan Valley Park fountain (635 E Trafficway St in Springfield). Nothing says summer like kids playing in a massive fountain.


Last year we went to the library at least once a week and participated in the Summer Reading program (myself included). It’s always fun to pick up a new book or a movie for FREE. They offer lots of family friendly events in the Springfield area. Check out this list of events!

Not to mention there are so many other fun cheap/free summer activities. Catching lightning bugs, drawing with side-walk chalk, bubbles, playing in the sprinkler, eating popsicles outside. Here’s a list of 100 family ideas I found on Pintrest.┬áNot all of them are free but it’s a start.

What are some of your favorite fun family activities for the summer? I’d love to hear them!