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Whether it be the children’s friends or mine summer time seems to be the time of year when we gather the most.
10 Thrifty Summertime Friendship Gatherings
1. Backyard Fire Pit Gatherings
Backyard fire pits are not allowed in all areas, and banned during dry season in others, but if you are allowed one they are so much fun. Just the other month friends of ours invited us over to enjoy a backyard fire and we sat and chatted around it for hours.
Smores are almost a 100% must for any summer fire, so to keep them inexpensive have each friend you invite bring an ingredient.
2. Meet In The Local Park
Meet in the local park in the cool of the morning or evening and let the children play together.
For years my circle of friends would make a schedule every year for June, July and August of different parks we would meet in on a set day once a week all summer long. That way all the major parks got explored.
3. Hold A Potluck Style Ice Cream Sundae Social
Next time ice cream goes on sale, buy a bunch and then set a date for an ice cream social with friends. Early evening after dinner is usually best. Have each guest bring a sundae topping. Get the paper bowls and spoons from the dollar store. Spend the evening in the backyard hanging out and eating sundaes together.
4. Go Yard Sale Shopping Together
To have enough room for purchases and people this idea might be best to be limited to one friend per yard sale day, unless you have a large vehicle, then the more the merrier. For large community sales, you could meet all at one spot , say a local church parking lot in the area, and then take one vehicle around the community wide sale, and as needed go back to the central spot you parked your cars to unpack it all.
More and more lately I am seeing people zoom around from sale to sale at community rummages in golf carts with friends, so if you have one or you know a friend that does, this might be a fun option for you.
5. Attend Local Free Summer Events Together
Your local library probably has a summer reading program, and if it is like our area it includes free live performances of events like animal shows and puppet plays. Many movie theater chains often run free movies once a week for kids. There is also free summer bowling in many areas. Don’t forget those summer holiday parades, car shows , and music productions, and farmer’s markets as well.
6. Sweet Tea And A Little Something
When my children were little I loved having friends and their little ones over in the morning hours before nap time to enjoy some sweet tea and perhaps a few cookies. It was a simple gathering, but a great time of fellowship for both my children and I.
7. Walk The Local Trails
Walking is free and it also provides a great time to talk. You can bring along smaller children is strollers, or pack bikes for preschoolers, who can’t quite walk at your speed yet but can match your pace and even create a bit of a speed walking challenge for you when they bike.
8. Meet Up For Kid Friendly Happy Hour Specials
I am talking about family friendly happy hours here. Like Culver’s 2 pm to 4 pm buy one get one free shakes and concrete mixers happy hour. There are other restaurants that offer cool treats for half price during the afternoon and this makes a great stress free gathering for all involved. Easy on the wallet too.
Thrifty Tip: I know that Steak and Shake has an happy hour that includes 1/2 price milk shakes from 2pm to 4pm, you can cash in your Swagbucks for Steak and Shake gift cards for some summer fun with friends. Not familiar with Swagbucks see my plan of how you can earn $30 a month in gift cards from Swagbucks with no need to fill out a single survey.
9. Find An Inexpensive Source Of Water Fun
Water fun with friends and summer go hand in hand. Sure the community center water slides are a great splurge day but lets face it most of us can’t afford to go there several times over the season to play with friends. There are a few ways to save on local water parks though, for instance in our area groupon has run a 50% off sale for up to 4 tickets 2 summers in a row and the reading program at our local Library gives out free passes as a price. We often have combined the two so that our friends can join us at little cost as well.
If a inexpensive pool can’t be found even a day spent watching the kids play in the sprinkler while you and your friends soak you feet in the kiddy pool can make for a relaxing way to spend a summer afternoon.
10. Play Some Fun Backyard Games
Chances are someone in your group of friends has a cornhole set, or a ladder toss set, or perhaps a ring toss set? These are games that our friends love to play while the children are busy playing on the swing set and whatever else the backyard has to offer. If your friends don’t have these games check out pinterest for some fun DIY summer backyard games. Hold a tournament and give out dollar store prizes to the winner.
Wanting to raise a bit of cash for a few summer fun get together splurges. Read my 10 Ways to Make Cash While Tossing Clutter for ideas of how to come up with some cash selling things you already own and no long use.