Free Things to Do This Summer with Your Tween

Summer doesn't have to break the bank, these free ideas are fun and engaging

Volunteering is a wonderful way for your tween to keep busy this summer.
Volunteering, working, and reading are all fun free summer activities for your tween. KidStock/Blend Images/Getty Images

Summer can be a great time to bond with your preteen. But it can also be an expensive time of year for parents. If you're looking for fun on the cheap, consider these free things to do this summer. They're fun ideas for kids of any age, and they won't break the family budget. Plus, many of these ideas are engaging and/or educational. 

Fun Free Things to Do This Summer with Your Tween

Get Outside

Getting out of the house for a few hours can put your tween in a good mood, and it can be completely free of charge.

Consider a bike ride together, or visit one of your local parks for a short walk in the woods. If you own fishing equipment, it could be fun to spend a few hours angling for a catch together. Just be sure to wear sunscreen and bring bug spray, just in case. Encourage your tween to keep an outdoor journal -- where she documents here time and adventures outside. The journal can include journal entries, as well as art work or plans for other outdoor activities.

Visit the Library

If you're looking for things to do this summer, don't forget about your local library. Libraries are often under utilized, and they offer so much. Check your local library to see if it offers a free reading program for your child, or a tween book club. In addition to checking out books and magazines, libraries also loan movies and video games to their patrons. Find out what programs your local library offers to preteens - you might be pleasantly surprised.

If the library offerings are skimpy, consider asking the librarian for the opportunity to start a club for tweens, or bring in someone to teach kids to knit, scrapbook, or try out some other activity or hobby.


The summer vacation is a great time for your child to learn about giving back. Your local school, church, library, or service organization should be able to put you in touch with volunteer opportunities.

If your schedule is frantic, you can always take the time to make cookies or brownies for new neighbors, or bake homemade doggie biscuits for the local animal shelter.

Visit a Museum

Many museums and parks offer free days for families. Check with your local visitor's center to find out which museums promote free admission days for children.

Start a Business

All it takes for a tween to start a business is a good idea and a few informational flyers. If your child is ready to pet sit, be a mother's helper, or take on other responsibilities, starting a small business is a possibility. Have your child create a business card, or flyers, and then hand them out to your neighbors and friends.

Host a Party

You can throw a party with absolutely nothing, if you're creative. Have your tween invite friends over for a pot luck lunch, and then spend a few hours watching their favorite movies or playing their favorite video games. This is a good idea for those rainy summer days.

Make the Most of Memberships

Finally, if you're a member of your community pool or local YMCA, be sure to use your membership. You're already paying for it, might as well use it.

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