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Embrace and Enjoy the Last Days of Summer: 51 Cheap (or Free) Ideas for Family Fun

Summer is winding down. But it's not over yet -- grab your family and have some fun with these 51 ideas!

Yep. It’s almost time to go back to school. Almost time to put away the white shoes, which, according to some fashion law, you really shouldn’t be wearing after Labor Day. Almost time for those autumn leaves to start to fall.

But…NOT YET! Give the last bit of summer all you’ve got! Here are some ideas for how to make the most of the remaining days of summer. If you have any of your own, I’d love to hear what they are so I can share them as well.

  1. Go for a walk in a scenic place.
  2. Make homemade ice cream (http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/homemade-ice-cream-in-a-bag-684806/) or ice cream sandwiches (http://www.instructables.com/id/Ice-Cream-Sandwich-Recipe/).
  3. Make popsicles in exotic flavors (http://laurasbestrecipes.com/2010/07/100-homemade-popsicle-recipes.html).
  4. Visit a farmer’s market and make a pie with fresh ingredients (Warrenville’s Farmer’s Market is Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. at Courtyard Banquets on Route 59).
  5. Catch fireflies.
  6. Build a fort or tree house.
  7. Go swimming.
  8. See how many laps you can swim without stopping.
  9. Run through a sprinkler.
  10. Build sandcastles on a beach.
  11. Have a neighborhood water balloon/squirt gun fight.
  12. Make a bird feeder (http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/bird-feeders7.htm).
  13. Go bird watching (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/Page.aspx?pid=1189).
  14. Watch both the sunrise and sunset in one day.
  15. Walk in the grass barefoot.
  16. Have a picnic.
  17. Make friendship bracelets (http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Friendship-Bracelet).
  18. Play hopscotch and four square.
  19. Take outdoor photos.
  20. Draw a mural on the sidewalk or driveway with chalk.
  21. Make fresh lemonade (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/lemonade-recipe/index.html).
  22. Have a garage sale.
  23. Dance.
  24. Start a band.
  25. Fly a kite.
  26. Go to a baseball game (the Kane County Cougars play through Sept. 3) (http://www.kccougars.com/schedule.html).
  27. Go fishing (you can fish for bluegill, catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike, rainbow trout, and walleye at Warrenville’s own Blackwell Forest Preserve) (http://www.dupageforest.com/page.aspx?id=306).
  28. Camp out in a tent (in your backyard?).
  29. Volunteer to do community service (http://www.dupageco.org/volunteer/).
  30. Participate in a charity walk (http://www.dupageblog.com/category/charity/).
  31. Go to the Illinois State Fair in Springfield (Aug. 10-19; Aug. 19 is $2 admission day) (http://www.agr.state.il.us/isf/).
  32. Make your own movie.
  33. Attend a festival (http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120513/entlife/705139988/).
  34. Host one more end-of-the-summer BBQ.
  35. Make fresh orange juice.
  36. Play tennis.
  37. Put together puzzles on a table outside.
  38. Read a book on a hammock.
  39. Play hide and seek or Ghost in the Graveyard.
  40. Visit downtown Chicago and play tourist.
  41. Play lawn bowling.
  42. Make a slip and slide out of a tarp and then slip and slide.
  43. Take in an outdoor concert (the ones sponsored by the Warrenville Public Library District at Bob Walters Commons on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. are free!) (http://www.warrenville.com/programs/concerts.pdf).
  44. Take a bike ride in a scenic location.
  45. Play mini golf.
  46. Visit the zoo.
  47. Watch a movie at a drive-in theater (http://www.driveinmovie.com/IL.htm).
  48. Stargaze (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/howto/basics/).
  49. Ride a roller coaster.
  50. Make up crazy songs and sing them loudly.
  51. Pot some plants; bring them indoors.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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