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5 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids

One of the more challenging obstacles that parents face during the summer is finding activities to do with kids to keep them engaged.  Luckily, Oshkosh has plenty of family-friendly and budget-friendly options that will give kids a summer they’ll never forget.

Splash around at the water park

Pollock Community Water Park isn’t just a boring old pool…it’s a water park! Equipped with two large inner-tube slides, lazy river, splash pad, play area and walk-in pool, the kiddos are guaranteed to have a blast splashing around in the hot, summer sun. Parents can enjoy swimming in the lap pool, perfecting their dive on the diving boards and sunbathing in the grassy area. General admission passes are good for unlimited use of the water park facilities and season passes are available. The on-site concession stand has great snack options such as hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, ice cream treats and more. Carry-ins are prohibited but you may get your hand stamped and leave the park to enjoy your picnic at one of the surrounding picnic tables. Pollock Community Water Park is open through August 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Make sure you check out their special event dates for even more fun!

Daily Admission

Child (2 & under) – FREE

Youth (3-17) – $3

Adult (18 & older) – $4

Seniors (60 & older) – $3

$1 off after 5 p.m.

Kick back and enjoy a movie

Kids Dream Summer Film Series is happening all summer long at Marcus Theatre. Enjoy a family-friendly movie every Sunday, Monday and Wednesday for only $3! Each movie premieres at 10 a.m. and you can find the complete list of what’s showing here. Marcus Theatre also features other family-friendly fun such as Disney’s Enchanted Tales and $5 Movie Tuesdays.

Miniature golf

Enjoy a day of putt-putt fun in the sun. Settlers Mill Golf & Games provides 18-holes of pure mini golf excitement. Surrounded by more than 45,000 gallons of water including waterfalls, streams and river, mini-golfers will find the course both scenic and challenging. Conveniently located in front of the Outlet Shoppes, kids of all ages will enjoy perfecting their putt-putt skills and challenging friends to some friendly competition. Settlers Mill also has indoor arcade games and a snack shop with ice cream, candy, chips, juice and soda. Open daily through August, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (10 p.m. on Fri & Sat), open hours vary in September depending on weather.

Daily Admission

Child (4 & under) – Free with at least one paid admission

Youth (5-11) – $6

Adult (12+) – $9

Seniors & Military (ID Required) – $6

Create a masterpiece

Get your creative juices flowing at the Fire Escape or Art Spot. Kids can express their inner artist and create one-of-a-kind artwork to take home to their parents. Paint pottery, board art signs, canvas painting, fused glass, jewelry making, mosaics and more. Each place offers a variety of awesome art options for kids (and adults) of all ages, along with art camps and kids classes.

Enjoy a day at the park

Did you know that Oshkosh has a free zoo? That’s right, FREE (donations are appreciated)!  Located at Menominee Park, right on Lake Winnebago, kids can learn about animal diversity and habitats. The eight-acre zoo carries 30-50 animals during the season including goats, llamas, otters, elk and wolves. Daily hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through September 29. The Little Oshkosh Playground is also nearby and is a great place to let kids play and burn off some energy. After spending time at the zoo, enjoy a train ride around the park or take a spin on the whip at the Children’s Amusement Center. Get out on the water on an aqua bike, kayak, canoe or paddleboard, which are available for rental for just $7-9/hour. Mini, non-motorized pontoons are also available to rent out at $12/half hour for four people. The Children’s Amusement Center is open daily 1 to 7 p.m. through September 2.

Daily Admission

Zoo – Free

Playground – Free

Train ride – $1.50/per person

Whip ride – $1.25/per person

Aqua bikes, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards – $7-9/per person/hr.

Non-motorized pontoon – $12/half hour (group of 4 people)

Summer is too fun to be boring and Oshkosh has so many fun activities for families to enjoy and take advantage of. Get out there, have some fun and don’t forget to tag #visitoshkosh during your summer adventures so we can share your fun with everyone.

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