10 Fun & Free Toddler Adventures to Try This Summer

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


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I’m so happy to partner once again with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour to continue to grow our family’s knowledge about the steps we need to take in order to plan for Quinn’s future. Even though college is still many years away, it’s never too early to foster his excitement for learning. And now that summer is in full swing, we’re always looking for new activities and things to experience together, like the U.Fund Dreams Tour because not only do we get to visit fun local events and festivals, but we also get to ask questions and learn more about the savings process.


Quinn is quite the curious two-year-old and enjoys being out and about, exploring his surroundings, so we’re constantly on-the-go and taking him on adventures. These kinds of experiences can really add up financially if we’re not careful (i.e. tickets, transportation, snacks), so I wanted to share some of our favorite toddler-friendly ideas for free activities that are sure to fascinate the little adventurer in your life!

Visit a local farm – One of our favorite adventures is visiting Hornstra Farm to see the cows (and barn birds). It’s totally free, and it’s a fun way to teach Quinn about where his milk comes from as well as about the farm, people, and vehicles (!!) who run it.

cow kisses

Build an outdoor fort – Quinn loves building blanket forts inside so much, we’ve recently moved things outdoors. He absolutely loves it, especially since we can make bigger and better forts outside! We use our patio furniture, old sheets, and towels to build them. It’s so fun!

Go on a picnic – Eating outside when the weather is nice is the best, and it’s especially fun for kids. Just pack up your favorite foods in a cooler, grab a blanket, and go! You can even have a picnic in your own backyard!


Take a nature walk – We love exploring the wooded trails near our house because we always find something new and exciting. We also love our local nature/science center, which offers all sorts of free programs for kids. Quinn recently had the opportunity to measure a turtle there before it was released back into nature! So cool.

Plan a beach day – There’s nothing better than a day at the beach! Most of the time, it’s a free (or really affordable) day for the whole family. Bring your own snacks and toys and arrive early to take advantage of free public parking.

family beach day

Look for bugs  What is it with toddlers and bugs?! Haha! A super simple adventure: Just walk around the house (or into nearby nature/woods) and look for bugs with your little one. Quinn and I talk about what we discover and sometimes try to say the names. He’s sooo into bugs, I can’t help but get excited about them too!

nature walk

Visit the fire station – Visiting your local fire station might just be the highlight of your toddler’s summer! Most firehouses enjoy showing off their equipment and entertaining the kiddos, but be sure to call ahead to see if they allow visits.


Throw rocks into a pond or puddle – Sometimes, the simplest activities are the most fun! Throwing rocks into a local pond keeps Quinn entertained for quite awhile. He loves digging through the mud and then hurling what he finds back into the water. If you don’t have a pond nearby, a big ol’ puddle works too!

toddler throwing rocks

Go to a museum – A lot of museums offer ways to get free or discounted tickets. Check with your local library as well as this list of Free Fun Fridays where all sorts of different museums and arts institutions offer free admission every Friday this summer.

Visit the playground – Oh, how we love the playground! Quinn loves running around and playing, and we love watching him learn new things. It’s so cool to watch him attempt new challenges each time we visit.


Question of the Day

Toddler parents: What’s one of your favorite summer adventures? 




  1. Visiting the library is always a fun, free activity! Most libraries have toddler story times and summer reading programsfor older students. Bigger libraries often have daily classes, crafts, and other free activities. Plus books and puzzles galore!

  2. I’m not a toddler parent but I have taught many pre-k nature-based lessons for my previous job. One popular toddler activity is creating art with nature found on a trail walk and doing a nature scavenger hunt. You can find easy picture print outs online for nature scavenger hunts online!

  3. The only problem with most of those for us southerners is that they are outdoors and it is SO hot. Yesterday it was 95 degrees by 8:30 in the morning. I wish there were more indoor toddler places besides the children’s museum. Someone needs to invent more options!

  4. We live in SoCal, so the beach is a given for us even though it’s hard to find a free day sometimes. And the playground too! I need to check into free museum tickets though – we have a Children’s Museum here that I loved as a kid.

  5. Our Library offers museum passes so we can go to the Childrens Museum, Davis Farmland, etc at a great discount and we’ve taken advantage of those! But my toddler really seems to be content with playing in our backyard these days – I will have to try the fort idea, I think that is a great idea!

  6. Our favorite is the local splash pad! It has been HOT in southern CA lately and we have been visiting the splash pad multiple times a week to cool off!

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