Florida Summer Fun on a Budget

The summer months are upon us – so it’s time to find something fun to do with the family! Thousands of tourists are flocking to Disney World, Universal Orlando and our plethora of theme parks here in Florida. The great news is that you don’t have to fight with the crowds and spend a lot of money to have fun with your kids this summer.

Get outdoors with some of the Central Florida outdoor activities tips we shared – and also be sure to try these ideas below to keep you cool and having fun during the summer months:

Dust off your library card

Don’t forget about this great resource in your local area! There are more than 500 free county libraries throughout the state of Florida – so why aren’t you taking advantage? They offer parents and kids alike tons of activities to take part in, beyond just the simple act of checking out a book. Many libraries offer movies, entertainment events, craft workshops and more. Call your local library and get a schedule of summer events. They’ll be entertaining, out of the hot sun and – best of all – free.

Explore Florida “on the cheap”

Florida On the Cheap – and its city-specific sub-sites – provides a wealth of information on free or cheap events taking place for the whole family. The network of websites is updated on a daily basis and includes information on Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach and Tampa Bay. Whether you’re visiting somewhere new for the first time or want to find some hidden gems in your local area, these sites are a must visit. From art walk events in the Florida Keys to tours of Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory in Daytona Beach, this group of websites offer ongoing events to take part in around the entire state.

Live like an astronaut

Florida is home to the world famous Kennedy Space Center and if you haven’t been to the Astronaut Encounter Program at the visitor center, this summer is a great time to do it! The program is offered multiple times per day. Guests get to meet a veteran astronaut, watch a brief multimedia presentation and then ask all of the question they’d like about the astronaut’s training, missions and life in NASA. If you’ve always wanted to know about space travel, this is the experience for you. The visitor center also displays and information about what’s happening right now at NASA and at the Kennedy Space Center.

Get the scoop with location-based apps

Location-based apps can help you find a local restaurant – but they can also help you find what’s going on in your local area too. Apps like Circle, Eventbrite and Goby pair your location data with events that are going on in the area. You may find music performances, craft opportunities, cheap movie showings and more. While Eventbrite offers events that have official tickets available for purchase, Circle pulls in free happenings around you based on your location and the time, and you can sort results based on budget, distance and start time. Goby syncs with your Facebook likes and will suggest ideas based on what you’re into. You can also search events by type to plan ahead.

Play more games together

Turn your phone or tablet into a family-friendly game center with a few key downloads. Try Heads Up – the new app from The Ellen DeGeneres show. It’s kind of like Charades – but one person is the guesser and everyone else has to act out the phrase, character or word. It comes with tons of categories like animals, movies, music, accents, countries and food – so there’s something everyone will love. It’s just 99 cents on both Android and iOs. Marble Mixer is a fun action game for ages 4 and up. Available on both platforms, you can play with virtual marbles and target boards to your heart’s content. It’s perfect to break up an afternoon together.

Are you ready to stay cool and have fun this summer? Just refer to this article and you’ll be able to make it happen.