5 Free Summer Activities to Do in the Community

By Tiffany Chaney

Whether you’ve lived in your area for years or just a few weeks, getting to know your community can feel a little awkward. It’s like making a new friend. Outside of work and home life, your habits may limit you to a certain routine. 

Trying free summer activities in the community, like watching a movie or a play in the park, give you an opportunity to do something new, fun, and frugal.

In this list, you won’t see anything new in terms of location, and what’s offered will vary by community. However, you may find some unique suggestions for new things to try regarding these five free summer activities.

1. Community Center Pool

Swimming in the pool at the community center probably brings back a few childhood memories. However, it’s not just an activity for the little ones or seniors. 


Pool Activities:

  • Bring allowed toys to the pool, and have fun with friends and family. 
  • Read a book or listen to a podcast as you catch the sun by the pool for a change of scene. 
  • Use this time to swim as another form of exercise.

2. Fitness Classes and Activities

Many locations offer free or sliding scale fitness classes; whether it’s a private gym, YWCA/YMCA, dojo, community center, community theater, or dance studio. 

Did you know that some dance studios also offer self-defense classes for women? Some community centers offer their own organized fitness or outdoor sports activities. Even community theaters may have you running around while you improv or offer stage combat as a class. It’s worth visiting the website or social media pages of locations like this in your community to see what’s on the calendar for the summer.

Fitness Activities:

  • Attend a self-defense class at a dojo or dance studio.
  • Join an outdoor sports activity or class at a community center.
  • Take advantage of a gym’s free class pass for the day.

3. Art or Cultural Museum

We are guilty of talking about visiting the museum but not doing it. While not all museums are free, many do offer a free museum day at least once a month that make their offerings truly accessible to the community. Additionally, many museums also organize both free and paid exhibits, as well as lectures. Visit the website of your city or preferred art or cultural museum online to learn more, or give them a call. 

Art/Cultural Museum Activities

  • Collect a list of free museums and plan a Museum Day. Visit as many museums as you can.
  • Go to a free lecture at a museum.
  • Learn about an artist or historical figure in advance. See if you can relate their life to their artwork or how much your knowledge matches the tour guides in a sort of “personal trivia” challenge.

4. Park

Your city website should have a list of all parks, hours, and locations online. There are many types of parks. Many parks are greenways or feature extensive gardens or some artwork installations. Parks also offer free activities during the summer, such as a film in the park, or you can bring your own activity.

Park Activities

  • Picnic in the park with card games.
  • Visit a disc golf park.
  • Try to identify plants in the park with the help of an app or book.

5. Volunteer

Summer is a time where people may also suffer from food insecurity and other needs, not just in the winter. It’s an excellent time to give back. Donating is always a nice thing to do, but volunteering helps connect you with others as you build your community together.

Volunteer Activities

  • Volunteer at a food bank or other food insecurity program in your city. Some programs place 24/7 community fridges in neighborhoods, and you can volunteer to stock the fridges or help harvest produce at farms that donate to the program.
  • Use skills that you’re good at to better the community. Teach a computer class at a senior center. Help underskilled job seekers with their resume if you have a background in HR. 
  • Volunteer for the community garden or at your local library and read to kids.

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