five inexpensive ways to have fun this summer

Summer fun as seen on Fox 5 news

Summer is in full-swing which means that, if you’re like me, you are in desperate need of things to do with your kids. Here is a list of:

Inexpensive Things to Do With Your Kids This Summer:

1) Set up your house like preschool/kindergarten with various stations, like sensory tables, craft areas, and music stations. I found a great list of 107 items to put into your sensory table.

If you’re not crafty or organized enough to do the above, there are pre-packaged kits like “Kiwi Crate” that comes to your doorstep with all the activities inside it already. You pay $19.95 a month and each month a new activity kit arrives with new, creative crafts. I received one the other day and will be doing a full review later this week.

2) Do a Children’s Spa Day with dollar aisle stuff from Target for
mani/pedi’s and make homemade mud masks. Check out this recipe from for a mud mask made of avocado, yogurt, and banana.

3) Send them on a scavenger hunt around the house, a park, or a mall. For older kids, invite their friends to play along and make it a competition, like Amazing Race, to really up the ante.

4) Go to the library. Carlsbad Library and a few others have awesome reading programs that encourage kids to read & practice book reporting skills – FOR FREE! When we signed up at the Dove library, the kids each got a book to keep, a free kids meal voucher for Benihana and a free pass to LEGOLAND California. Check your local library to see if they have a program like this one, and if not, you can make-up one of your own.

5) Go for a picnic – We are lucky here in San Diego to have endless possibilities for places to picnic. Here are some of my faves:

- Seaport Village: This little gem is not just for tourists. There are tons of fun things to do in addition to having a picnic like, including riding bikes or scooters on the board walk, shopping in the fun shops, and riding the carousel. And don’t forget about Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I have a gift basket of goodies from Seaport Village to give away (see details below).

- Padres Park in the Park – This is a blast, especially for the day games. Bring your own food and the tickets are only $5.00.

- La Jolla – Picnic anywhere on the grassy areas along Coast Blvd, then walk along Coast Blvd. to see the Children’s Pool and the seals, window shop at all the shi shi shops, and then get one of the newest, hottest items, a gourmet ice cream bar from Bardot.

To see my segment on Fox 5 news on this subject, check out the Morning News tab on the Fox 5 site.


To be entered to win the Seaport Village gift basket, just leave a comment telling me one fun thing you’ve been up to this summer. Comments will be closed on Wednesday, June 27th at 11:59pm PST.

Here are the contents of the gift basket:

Product: Blood Orange Olive Oil & Tangerine Balsamic Vinegar                            Store: Seaport Oil & Vinegars (they have over 40 oil & vinegars on tap daily for your tasting pleasure)

Product: Tote, “Ruby Slipper” nail polish, Frisbee Store: Del Sol (everything changes color in the sun. tote, logo turns rainbow, nail polish turns red, and frisbee turns blue)

Product: Life is Good t-shirt, fashion scarf Store: Seaport Island Fashion (newest addition to Seaport Village)

Product: Watermelon licorice, salt water taffy   Store: Candy Shack & Yogurt

Product: Large Easy Flyer Kite  Store: Kite Flite

Product: Chargers hat, Padres socks (youth & adult)  Store: Sports Headquarters

Product: Lavender, Chamomile & Sage Relaxing Foaming Bubble Bath Store: Presenting the Soap Opera

Product: 4 free ice cream cone coupons Store: Ben & Jerry’s

Product: $25 Seaport Village Gift Certificate (valid at all stores & restaurants), VIP Shopping Pass, 4 meal vouchers.  Store: compliments of Seaport Village

Summer Fun in San DiegoUPDATED on Thursday, June 28th: Winner of the Seaport Village basket is Laura Frontiero.Congratulations, Laura and thank you to all who entered!



  1. 1
    Jessica says:

    Our library in Nashville has the same thing, and my oldest loves it. Although they didnt get a free book they did get a free pass to the fair in August. My favorite thing we have done this summer is spend the day on the lake. I love watching the boys splash in the water on the sandbar or riding in the boat. Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!

  2. 2

    Great ideas! Enjoyed your segment on Fox 5.
    If you are looking for unique free art project ideas and with Summer themes come and visit my art resources website for parents, teachers, and librarians at
    Join the Summer Art Club (free)

  3. 3
    Nicole W says:

    Been trying to get outside more this summer, though it’s very hot! The early morning hours are bearable and it’s nice to get out and enjoy summer for once :)

  4. 4
    Randy says:

    Been hiking to san diego’s hidden waterfalls (three sisters, cedar creek) this summer . Best to start early in the morning and get back before noon. Love the trails and the views.

  5. 5
    Stephen Mares says:

    Lowes has 2 free build and grow workshops every month on either Saturday or Sunday register at . Home Depot has a build the first Saturday of the month. We have been building with them for over a year. Lego store has a free build on the first Tuesday of the month.

  6. 6
    Rachael says:

    It seems that my 2 year olds most favorite things to do this summer are 1.) swing at the park or 2.) feed ducks! Therefore, pretty much every weekend were either searching for ducks(love the babies at seaport village!) or at the park for a fun afternoon.

  7. 7
    Christie says:

    Mostly I’ve just been trying to get outdoors as much as possible…hiking, jogging along the bay, strolling through the neighborhood and finding cute little boutiques, visiting the SD fair, brunch/happy hour at a patio bar…there’s so much this city has to offer, the list could go on!

  8. 8
    Joanna says:

    the funnest thing I have done is going to seaport village and grabbing a pretzel before heading to go check out the stone balancing man! Don’t forget you are allowed to bring in a closed water bottle under 20oz per person and juice boxes or milk if you have kids in addition to food!

  9. 9
    Lacey m says:

    So far this summer we have been trying to stay cool! We live in AZ and the summers here are incredibly hot! When I’m not working we spend the mornings outside and the afternoons inside! Some days we have movie days, I’ve invested in some of my favorite old Disney movies and my 2 year old loves them as much as I still do! When I’m off on the weekends we try to do family things with my sisters and their kiddos!

  10. 10
    Breonna Tiffany says:

    I’m looking forward to visiting Seaport Village, Balboa park and La Jolla.

  11. 11
    Juli W says:

    Love watching summer baseball! Can’t wait to be in San Diego and then to LA to watch the Padres and Dodgers play!!

  12. 12
    Elena K. says:

    Going to check out the crazy crowds & events during Comic Con! It’s my annual tradition. I missed out on tickets this year, but there’s always plenty to see & do in the Gaslamp. Where else can you eat lunch next to Stormtroopers, take pictures with zombies & get free swag? Can’t wait!

  13. 13
    Kairi says:

    While we were in San Diego we loved going to La Jolla beach. It is free and fun. Our son loved to spend time in there.
    Here in Tucson we try going out in the evenings when it gets a bit cooler. We go to the park to play basketball or soccer or ride a bike.

  14. 14
    christine says:

    The best thing we did this summer (and inexpensive) was an “at home” camping excursion. We hiked the local trails looking for wildlife, ate food/drinks out of a cooler, practiced casting our fishing poles, telling “fish we caught” stories along the way and finished the day off with smores and sleeping in the tent in the backyard.

  15. 15
    Kevin says:

    For summer I went to the beach

  16. 16
    Patty says:

    Hi there,
    Seaport Village sent me over here and I am glad they did! What a great blog. Also being 40ish….enjoyed the video! My favorite thing this summer, and we do it a lot, is go to Seaport Village and have a picnic. We bring the pup because it is such a dog friendly place. Beautiful view and great place to stroll along the boardwalk.

  17. 17
    Jane says:

    It was my first time, and I loved it! :)

  18. 18
    Laura F says:

    Feeding ducks and riding bikes around discovery lake in San Marcos! It’s a little-known gem.

  19. 19
    Susan Payton says:

    Alas, my son is in year ’round, so he’s not out for another month. But I thought I’d let him pick a theme for each day for a week, like Wear PJs day (every day in our house) or Bake a Cake Day. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with! And thanks for the idea, Mary. Think I’ll add Seaport to the list!

  20. 20
    Stacey says:

    Love this post, I am definitely going to do the mud mask next week ! I took my 4 and 7 year old hiking up Palomar mountain. It was such a fun experience, and I felt energized doing it with them. We have also been swimming alot !!

  21. 21

    I’m in Coronado. There are so many things to do here. You can go to Spreckel’s Park and across the street is the library with tons of activities. They have story time twice a week. A few weeks ago, they had a show and tell with exotic animals and a marshmallow roast after. All free!

  22. 22
    Jessica says:

    The San Diego Zoo (or, as my son calls is, “Animal Zoo Now?”). ;)

  23. 23
    Vixen says:

    So far this summer, we have had 8 zillion birthday parties and moved. Although moving wasn’t all that fun. We haven’t had a free weekend yet to do anything super fun yet! But we have plans. Great plans.

  24. 24
    Marc says:

    My favorite so far this summer is having a bonfire at the beach and roasting marshmellows.

  25. 25
    Danielle says:

    We’ve been heading out to different beaches each week! OB, PB, Kellogg Park, Coronado. It’s been fun checking out everything SD has to offer.

  26. 26
    Angela says:

    I know it’s too late to enter, but I wanted to leave a comment to say, THANK YOU! I saw Kiwi Crate in an email recently and loved the concept. I’ve been wanting to go back to their site, but I forgot the name! Thank you for sharing and leading me back to them ;) great ideas…We love playing with chalk, blowing bubbles and playing with water guns in the front yard!

  27. 27

    We took the kids to the Lake and went skiing and tubing! So fun!

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