Top 5 summer youth events that cost under $5 total

Youth ministry budgets are often slim, but that doesn’t mean your youth group fun has to be. Summer events are great for building relationships, earning trust, and meeting pre-Christians. Here are five summer youth events I’ve done that cost $5 or less total.

1. Movie night on the big screen
Hang a big white sheet on the side of your house and setup a projector and sound system from church in the grass or driveway. Invite kids to come over at dusk and watch a movie on the BIG screen with their own lawn chairs, blankets, bug spray and snacks. I did this last week. Here’s a picture of my setup I posted on Twitter. Always fun!

2. Swim party
My wife and I are blessed enough to live on a great swimming lake, so youth kids swim here pretty often to cool off during the summer. A guy in our church even made volleyball poles for us to use in the lake, too. Suh-weet!

3. Photo scavenger hunt
Get a bunch of adults to drive teams of teenagers around town with their digital cameras taking pictures of things on a predetermined list. Meet up someplace afterwards where the group can watch all the pictures together on a TV or projection screen. Here’s the list I used with my group this year, along with all the pictures they took.

4. Night games
If your church, a family you know or a park near you has a lot of wooded area, meet up at dusk to play some night games, like Capture the Flag, Sardines, Mission Impossible or even Hide and Seek. Encourage them to come dressed up in camouflage gear and dark clothes. Afterwards have a bonfire and a time of worship.

5. Mall madness
Mall Madness events are great if it’s unbearably hot outside and you all want to be in air conditioning. I already blogged four Mall Madness ideas. All four of them are dirt cheap or free.

Other ideas from the community

I asked on Twitter for other people’s ideas for good summer youth events that cost $5 or less. Here are their suggestions:

ruthEbabes: waterfight…. huge pile of water balloons and some buckets and tada!!!! Mad cheap summer fun!

Shelby_Craig: Laser Tag…we just did a laser tag at $5 a game and then went to a local gymnastics and took over the place for $5.Total trip $10

Saraeden: we do all-nighters at the church. Guitar Hero, movies, contests, games . everyone brings snack – 7pm to 7am … free … awesome. and parents volunteer to come in and cook us breakfast.

Briandurr: It’s still tough to beat the old stand-by video scavenger hunt & watch the videos afterwards over pizza. or the “Dive-In Movie” watching Jaws from the pool. (& grab Jr. High girls feet when the shark shows up)

mikelovato: we’re doing an event next friday called Frisbee Friday (not original to us) just show up at a park to play ultimate frisbee – free

lilkup: park, ultimate frisbee, wiffle ball, (should be more, but can’t think)

Josh Cook on my Facebook wall: Going to the park is often our best cheap outing. Picnic. Bring a lunch.

What ideas do you have that could be added to this list?

Posted on July 21, 2008

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