Summer is awesome and all, but it sure can take its toll on our wallets. To combat fading bank account syndrome, we've compiled a list of activities that the whole family will love while costing absolutely nothing.
And if you're still looking for other cool stuff to do, be sure to check with your local library. They've got some really amazing programs on tap.
1. Climb Mount Baldhead.
Ascend the 282 steps to the top of Saugatuck's iconic hill to take advantage of eagle-eye views and trails leading to through the woods, over sand dunes and down to the beach.
Light up the Night in South Haven
2. Watch the fireworks over the lake.
Take your pick from a handful of premium firework displays in the early part of the month, including South Haven, Holland, St Joseph and Saugatuck. Get there early to save your spot, then sit back and enjoy the show.
South Haven's South Beach
3. Have a beach day.
Pack up the essentials and head to the sandy shores of your choosing, whether it's on the Big Lake or one of the smaller (and warmer!) inland lakes.
4. Meet the adorable critters of the Nelson's Wildlife Safari.
This live animal show is one of the best around, with plenty of delightful facts, laughs charming creatures that you will get to see up close -- and sometimes even touch -- at the Benton Harbor Public Library.
5. Watch a movie under the stars.
All you need is a couple blankets to cozy up and watch one of the family-friendly flicks lined up for the summer at St Joe's Whirlpool Centennial Park. Movies start at dusk.
Street performer in Holland
6. Check out the street performers in Holland.
From dancers to magicians, the downtown sidewalks of Holland are chock full of talent and entertainment every Thursday evening and the performers do not disappoint. Free, but tips are appreciated.
Zeelmania kickoff in Zeeland
7. Party on at the Zeelmania block festivals.
Bounce houses, crafts, music, free treats and more take over the street in downtown Zeeland on four Monday evenings in July, kicked off by a dazzling color blast. Arrive early and cool down in the free splash pad.
8. Explore a symphony orchestra instrument petting zoo.
Don't miss the rare chance to see and touch some incredible instruments of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra at the library in Watervliet.
9. Wander through the farmers market.
You don't have to bring a shopping list to the farmers market to enjoy a trip there. It's even more fun if you pick one that you've never been to before; we've definitely got a few on our list.
10. Enjoy live music with great views at Rhythm on the River.
Bring a blanket and listen to live tunes along the scenic South Haven riverfront during Foundry Hall's family-friendly musical celebration featuring local musicians, food and fun.
11. Cheer on the cardboard boats in St Joe.
The creative handmade boats (constructed only out of cardboard, duct tape and poly) head out on the water in pursuit of victory to raise funds for the United Way.
12. Head to a small town summer festival.
Dowagiac's Summer in the City and Cassopolis' Pioneer Days are just two of the celebrations worth checking out, with promises of kid-friendly activities and ample entertainment.
Zipline at the Outdoor Discovery Center
13. Go for a hike.
If you've got a recreation passport sticker for your car, any state park will do. If not, get creative and find a great free spot to soak up some verdant vibes and instantly lift your mood.
14. Mingle with artists at the Krasl Block Party.
This all-ages affair lets party goers meet exhibiting artists. at the Krasl Art Center in St Joe and partake in a variety of fun activities.