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Fun in the Sun: 5 Budget-Friendly Outdoor Activities

​​The summer season is finally here, and there's no better time to enjoy the great outdoors! If you're looking forward to some fun in the sun, check out this list of fun, easy and inexpensive outdoor activities for the entire family.

Take a hike

Hiking is a great way to get out and get moving. Take advantage of nearby parks and trails to experience scenic views and fresh air. For a memorable summer trip, consider visiting a National Park—there are 61 across the country! Admission is free at most national parks, and the ones that do charge an entrance fee usually range from $3-$30 a vehicle. The National Park Service also offers several fee-free dates a year.

Host a potluck picnic

Dining outside is one of the best parts of summer! Instead of going out, save money by hosting a backyard picnic with favorite summer foods like fresh fruit, salads and sandwiches. You can help keep costs low by inviting friends or family to bring side dishes, desserts and beverages. If you have a grill, consider cooking outside whenever possible — it will keep your house cooler and help you save on your air conditioning bill!

Plan a scavenger hunt

Help young kids beat summer boredom by planning a fun and educational outdoor scavenger hunt. Create a list of things you can find outdoors, such as certain types of leaves, animal tracks or insects. Head to the backyard or a nearby park and watch your child explore!

Plant a garden

Gardening is another fun activity for all ages! Growing your own herbs, vegetables or fruit is rewarding, and it can even help you save money on groceries! Some easy-to-grow plants include tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, zucchini, basil, chives and strawberries.

Build a backyard movie theater

Nothing says summer like watching a movie outside. Save money on movie night by building a backyard movie theatre of your own! If you have a covered patio space or screened porch, you could set your TV system up outdoors. If not, consider getting a portable projector that you can connect to a laptop, smartphone or tablet. Then, hang up a white sheet for the screen. Set up comfortable seating, grab the popcorn and enjoy!

The summer months are filled with opportunities to make memories in the great outdoors. Which of these fun and budget-friendly activities will you try first?

​For more helpful savings tips, tools and resources, please visit Wright-Patt Credit Union's (WPCU) online Education Center.