1. Take a free factory tour.

From brewery tours to candy factories and candle makers to toy companies, hundreds of factories and other businesses across the country open their doors to visitors, often times for free or a nominal charge.

2. Make homemade ice cream.

Homemade ice cream is easy and quick to make with a neat method using two different sized plastic bags, one placed inside the other along with ice and rock salt.

3.Go fly a kite.

Kite flying can make you feel like a kid again, and building your own kite from inexpensive materials you might already have around the house is half the fun.

4.Have an epic water gun fight.

Rinse out plastic squeeze bottles from dish soap and shampoo to use instead of store-bought squirt guns for a good old-fashioned backyard water fight.

5.Gaze at clouds.

There's nothing more relaxing than laying on your back in the summertime on a lush, green lawn and gazing up at the clouds drifting overhead. Make a game of it by snapping pics of formations that remind you of something then playing 20 questions with your friends to see if they can guess what you're thinking of.

6.Camp for free.

Camping in the great outdoors is almost always inexpensive, and there are even plenty of places where you can camp for free -- including in National Forests outside of designated campgrounds. Some restrictions might apply, however. SeeFreeCampsites.netfor a nationwide directory of free campsites.

7.Learn how to swim.

Swimming is not only fun and good exercise, but knowing how to swim is an important safety skill. During the summer months, inexpensive or sometimes even free swimming lessons are offered at some public pools. Start by checking with your local parks and recreation department.

8.Explore your local library.

Libraries aren't just about books anymore; they're multimedia resources with computer access, e-books, audio books, DVDs and free programs for people of all ages. And why not use their air conditioning -- rather than your own -- to keep cool this summer?

9.Learn a foreign language.

Whether you're traveling abroad this summer or just want to learn a new language, the website of the British Broadcast Corporation offers free online courses -- including audio and video teaching tools -- to help you master 40 foreign languages.

10.Host a watermelon seed spiting contest.

Watermelon is synonymous with summertime and, with practice, spitting the seeds can become an art form.

11.Volunteer your time.

Volunteering is not only a great way to help others, but it can be a lot of fun and a chance to meet new friends.

12.Dive into a swimming hole.

Swimming in a natural lake, river, stream or hot spring is literally cool fun