Summer Fun on a Budget

Community | 07/05/24
Hikers waving at camera.

When kids are out of school for the summer, having options for cheap or free family fun is essential. Luckily, Middle Tennessee has plenty of possibilities for entertainment on a budget. 

Get Outside and Move

Middle Tennessee isn’t lacking in outdoor recreation choices. Several state and municipal parks in the area offer fantastic hiking opportunities, playgrounds, or even splash pads, and pools.

If getting out into nature sounds appealing, we have you covered with a list of the best Middle Tennessee campgrounds that include fun and unique outdoor experiences. For those who would rather stick closer to home, find a local park or take a stroll around your neighborhood – simply find a reason to get outside, stretch your legs, and breathe in some fresh air.

Attend a Festival

Summertime is festival season in Middle Tennessee, and not just around the July Fourth holiday. County fairs dot the calendar in July and August, including the Wilson County – Tennessee State Fair from August 17-26, and there are countless other celebrations all summer long. The best part is most of them are free or cheap to attend. 

Find a complete list of Middle Tennessee county fairs by clicking here.

Start a Puzzle or Play a Game

If the heat’s too tough to beat outside, stay indoors with a puzzle or a board game that the whole family can play. It’s been proven that focusing on a puzzle or playing board games can help promote better brain function, as well as giving a boost to family bonding. You could even put a friendly wager on the outcome – the loser must do laundry for a month, perhaps?

Have Some Educational Fun

Public libraries have tons of free educational options for kids during the summer, as well as reading challenges for any age that can give you an incentive to pick up a new book. If you enjoy discussing what you’re reading, consider joining or starting a book club.

For other educational fun, there are free activities for kids held regularly at the Adventure Science Center,Nashville Zoo at Grasmere, and Frist Art Museum in Nashville, as well as the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring in Murfreesboro. Also, check with your local YMCA about summer camps. The YMCA of Middle Tennessee offers day, ranch, and overnight camps at Camp Widjiwagan in Nashville.

Learn About Budgeting and More

Ascend is committed to educating the community about proper financial stewardship and offers free access to a range of financial education tools that can teach you and your family about financial basics, budgeting, checking and savings accounts, and more. There are interactive lessons, videos, and worksheets that you can work through with your children so you’re learning together.

This summer is also a great time to set up a youth account, which can help establish wise saving and spending habits early. Ascend offers savings accounts for children 12 years of age and younger, and a checking account may be added for those aged 13-17. Click here to learn more. 

By taking advantage of these affordable options, you can ensure your summer is both fun and memorable, all while staying within your budget. So go ahead and make the most of this season with your loved ones!

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