How much will your summer plans cost you?

With the arrival of warm and pleasant weather and the end of the school year, it’s understandable that activity is high in the summer – especially when it comes to outdoor recreation. But with adventure may come costs – just how much will depend on your summer plans. To help you budget for the best summer ever, Rocket Loans found the average costs of many popular summer activities.

To find the average costs of some of the most common summer activities, Rocket Loans reviewed various studies, indices and ticket price listings. Prices range from just over $10 to hundreds – or, potentially, thousands – of dollars. You’ll find them separated by low and high cost.

Infographic for “Low-cost Summer Locales”.
Rocket Loans

Low-cost Summer Activities

The average costs for these activities are typically under $200 per person or, in some instances, for the whole group.

Going To The Movie Theater

Average cost: $12.17 per ticket 

Summer is the most lucrative season for movies and often the time long awaited blockbusters are released. A bonus of movie theaters is that they’re typically air conditioned, so going to the movies may be the perfect escape during heat waves. For lower-cost ways to enjoy a film, check your community calendar for free movies in the park or review the free movie section of your favorite streaming service. There are also theaters that will show older films at a discounted price.

Splashing Around A Water Park

Average cost: $39.82 per admission

Water parks provide a thrilling way to cool off with attractions for every age. According to a 2022 study reported by Travel and Leisure, the average entry price for a U.S. waterpark is just under $40. Of course, smaller, local water parks may cost less, and larger tourist attractions may cost more. It’s important to keep in mind that this is just the cost for admission. The price of food and beverage, tube rental and other features may increase the total amount.

Exploring The National Parks

Average cost: $19 per person or vehicle

Millions of visitors know there’s nothing quite like the natural beauty and wonder of America’s national parks. In 2023, the number of people visiting the more than 400 parks across the country climbed to 325,498,646. Though many national parks are free, some charge between $2 – $35 per person or vehicle, depending on the park. For a list of all national parks and their entrance fees, visit the National Park Service site.

Staying At RV Campgrounds 

Average Cost: $29.12 per night

A 2020 study by travel magazine Wand’rly found that the average cost to stay at an RV campground (public or private) was just under $30 per night. On average, a stay at a private RV park was $38.50 per night, while a public campground stay was $22.15 per night. Some lucky campers may be able to find cheaper stays – or even free nights. The study also found that 4% of camping in the U.S. is free. 

Enjoying A Round Of Golf

Average Cost: $43 per 18-hole round

Extended daylight, warm weather and the greenest of nature’s hues make summer the perfect time to play golf. This is especially true for the fanatics in regions of the country that experience cold winters, which keeps them off the course for 4 – 5 months. While private courses and country clubs typically cost much more, public courses charge around $43, on average, according to 2023 data from the National Golf Foundation.

Attending A Major League Baseball Game

Average Cost: $53 per ticket

With baseball season starting in late March/early April and ending in late September/early October, the majority of the 162 games are played in the summer. According to SeatGeek, a mobile-focused ticketing platform, tickets to a game cost just over $50, on average. To save on costs, try attending a weekday game or discount night.

Catching Thrills At The Amusement Park 

Average Cost: $79.09 per ticket

Vacation home rental company HomeToGo reviewed 41 of the biggest and/or most popular theme parks in the U.S. to create their 2023 Theme Park Index. From that data, we determined that the average cost of admission into an American amusement park is about $75. Of course, that depends on the location and the park. The study found that certain world-famous parks in Florida and California are much more expensive, with costs of entry over $100. It’s important to also note that this is only the cost of entry. Parking expenses and overnight accommodations will increase that price.

Rocking Out At A Concert

Average Cost: $70 ­– $200 per ticket

Whether you’re a fan of a pop icon or prefer to jump around in a mosh pit, summer is a good time to see your favorite musicians in the fresh outdoor air. The price of admission hinges on many factors, including the act, the source of your purchase and where your set is located. Even the type of music may impact the price. According to SeatGeek, the average cost for a concert ticket by music genre is:

  • Pop: $200
  • Country: $150
  • Latin: $144
  • Rock: $116
  • Hip Hop: $108
  • Soul: $102
  • Folk: $71
  • Techno: $70
Rocket Loans

High-cost Summer Activities

When the school year ends, many working parents often scramble to find someone to watch their kids. Avoiding these costs may not even be an option. Unfortunately, child supervision can be one of the most expensive costs in summer. Other high-cost activities may include furthering one’s education or improving a home.

These are the activities that typically cost over $200, on average.

Sending The Kids To Camp

Average Cost: $77.61 – $258.18 per person, per day

Summer camp is a core memory maker for kids of all ages. From archery and swimming to games and team building, attendants get to expel their energy and build social skills. Camp is a place kids can have fun in a safe, supervised environment – often, with meals included – while parents can enjoy the break. But camp can come at a cost, and the price tag depends on the type of camp you choose.

These are the average per person, per day costs of camp, according to a 2022 Camp Counts survey from the American Camp Association (ACA).

  • Nonprofit day camp: $77.61
  • For-profit day camp: $127.36
  • Nonprofit overnight camp: $140.13
  • For-profit overnight camp: $258.18

The most reported camp session length was 5 – 7 days. For these week-long sessions, the total average cost can range from $388.05 – $1,807.26. 

Scheduling Childcare Services

Average Cost: $192 – $766 per week

Working parents – or those who just need a break – may need to rely on others to help care for their children while school’s out. Whether it’s just for a few hours or weeks on end, child care costs can be high. According to, 2023 prices rose up to 13% from 2022. The caregiver networking site found that weekly costs for 2023 were as follows:

  • Average weekly nanny cost: $766
  • Average weekly day care cost: $321
  • Average weekly family care center cost: $230
  • Average weekly babysitter cost: $192

Taking Summer Classes 

Average cost: $390 per credit hour 

Some college students may take summer classes to catch up or get ahead, while others take classes to continue their education or just to learn something new. Either way, credit hours can be expensive – especially if they aren’t covered by student loans. If you’re paying for classes this summer, expect to pay close to $400 per credit hour, according to 2022 data from the Education Data Initiative.

Making Exterior Home Improvements

Average cost: Varies

While home improvement projects can be completed throughout the year, exterior work is typically preferred in nicer weather. And work done to the outside of the house may be able to provide a good return on investment. For example, a homeowner can expect a return on investment of up to 217% for standard lawn care service ($415 cost) per the National Association of REALTOR (NAR)’s 2023 Remodeling Impact Report.

Methodology: Finding The Average Summer Activity Costs

Rocket Loans compiled this data from various studies, surveys, prices listed directly from the source and the Cost-of-Living Index (COLI) from the Council for Community and Economic Research. The reported average costs are those found at the time of writing (May 16, 2024). All prices are subject to fluctuation and may change after this writing. Additional fees, including servicing fees, may not be included in the estimates. Costs are estimated averages, and the exact costs will vary significantly by various factors, including location, service and/or business used and consumer preference, to name a few.

This story was produced by Rocket Loans and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

Provided by Stacker

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