Local Summer Fun on a Budget :: Free, Affordable, & Splurge-Worthy

We were on day 2 of summer; the kids were going crazy and driving me bonkers. I knew it was time to find budget-friendly activities to occupy and entertain my three littles. Having three kids at different stages in their lives can be challenging to entertain all at the same time. So I came up with a list of free, affordable, and pricey things to do this summer. If you do not stay within a realistic budget it can get way out of hand financially.


Free Summer Fun in Collin County:

*Splash Pads
– Splash pads are the best free creation in my opinion. There are a ton of them around everywhere. Ones in huge local parks but also some in neighborhoods that are more private and not as crowded. Most all of them have parks attached and areas to picnic. So grab your drinks and some snacks and make a day of it! A few of our favs are:
*Celebration Park in Allen
*Inspiration Park in McKinney
*Little Elm Splash Pad in Little Elm

* Local library
– If you do not have a library card yet you should definitely get one. They are free and can provide you and your family with a variety of fun things to do, learn, and utilize. Not only do libraries have books, audio books, and DVDs, but they also have camps for kids and fun, educational opportunities to keep them learning and engaged throughout the summer. Our library offers arts and crafts classes, anime club, book clubs, toddler time, and adult programs, as well. They also provide reading lists that are suitable for each grade level. The summer fade is real in kids during the summer. Help with the lapse in their learning throughout the summer and have your kid pick up a book!

Affordable Summer Fun in Collin County:

– Cinemark movie theaters offer a great summer movie camp deal. Ten weeks of fun films for kids for just $1 per person, per movie. They offer a special summer deal for the 10 weeks. You can purchase a punch card to see all 10 movies for $5. The Grinch, Despicable Me 3, Small Foot, Sherlock Gnomes, and Hotel Transylvania 3 are just a few of the awesome movies lined up for the best movie deal this summer. You can purchase tickets online or at the box office. We are for sure purchasing the summer movie pass. Such a good deal!

* Little Elm Beach
– Located at Little Elm Park on Lake Lewisville. Price is $10 per vehicle. Totally affordable! It is like a “beach” but not a beach. There is a playground, pavilions, grills, swim beach, sand volleyball, and picnic areas. You can fish, boat, swim, play, and eat all day. 

* Aquatic Centers
– APEX- located in McKinney. This place is one of our absolute faves! For our family of five, it is so affordable. Indoor/outdoor water fun includes lazy rivers, multiple slides, a toddler area included with mini slides for the little ones. Unlike a lot of places, here you can bring a bag of your own food and drinks. No extra expenses for snacks and treats needed. 

– Old Settlers Aquatic Center- located in McKinney. A great water place for little ones. It is safe with shallow water. They have restrooms, vending machines, and areas to grill. This is my kind of place!

* Perot Museum in Dallas. They offer so many fun and interactive exhibits for children of all ages, that will for sure entertain and engage their beautiful minds. They are also currently offering summer camps for grade kinder to 6th grade. Check them out online!

* Frontiers of Flight Museum- located in Dallas. What little boy does not love planes? I know mine do! Go check out this awesome museum displaying the history of aviation, jets and rockets. All things planes!

*Dallas Museum of Art- located in Dallas. Perfect spot for kids and adults of all ages. So much to see, so much culture. Gift shop and restaurant located inside. They also offer summer camps for children ages 4-10 years where they can learn, paint, sculpt, draw, design, and invent.

*Urban Air Trampoline Park- Urban Air is THE place to be these days for kids of all ages. I know my kids are absolutely obsessed with this place! If you pay per visit, it is pricey so the way to go is with a membership. For 3 kids and 1 adult, unlimited visits, unlimited attractions, stay and play all day costs $40 per month. This is the best deal. They have rock climbing walls, zip lining, dodgeball courts, trampolines, giant play maze, obstacle courses, basketball trampoline areas, and a café that sells snacks, drinks, and real food, too. This place is awesome!

Splurge-Worthy Summer Fun in Collin County:

*Dallas World Aquarium
– This place is huge! Such neat, cool, and interesting varieties of animals. A little pricey for admission but a neat experience for the kids. You can feed animals, see animal cams, exhibits, restaurants. So many species of animals from all around the world from sloths, different birds, seahorses, toucans, different reptiles and amphibians just to name a few. You definitely need to check it out!

* Dallas Zoo and Ft. Worth Zoo
– Dallas Zoo- Safari Nights with live music, plus adults-only Dino nights. Also offering wild adventure zoo camps for kids. Everyone loves the zoo, grab a picnic lunch, get the family together, and go see all the amazing animals and exhibits the Dallas Zoo has to offer.
– Ft. Worth Zoo- ranked the #4 best zoo in the nation! They also are offering zoo camps for every age, have a ranch and petting corral now open, plus, a stingray cove now open as well. Go see all the amazing wildlife from land to sea to air. I promise you will not be disappointed.

I hope you all have an amazing summer! Stay safe and take advantage of some of the super fun adventures listed above!

Hi there, I am Christina Cervantes Crafton, I am from the awesome DFW area and currently live in good ol’ Mckinney. I am married and we are blessed with 3 amazing, healthy and happy children. Our oldest is Tristan and he is 11; our middle child, our only little girl, Layla, she is 7 and our last and final baby is a wild man named Channing and is 2.5 years old. I am a stay at home and have been for a few years now. I keep busy with my toddler getting into everything you can imagine and being involved in my children’s school and their activities. Most of the time it is organized chaos (haha!) I am a graduate of the University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. Go Eagles! I love hanging out with my family and making memories together. We enjoy sunshine and being outdoors enjoying fresh air and mother nature together as a family. I love to have fun with my family, laughing, playing games, trying to prank the kids, watching movies together, taking walks together ,cooking and baking. We are a close family and I love my circus and my monkeys so very much! We live a busy but blessed life. We live and teach our children to live life to it’s fullest and always remember to be appreciative and to always smile. I am totally new to the blogging world so I look forward to learning and sharing with you all, my life, my heart, my experiences, my thoughts, and ideas. I am so excited!!!!