Black family having fun on the beach

How Much Summer Activities Cost A Family Living On $70,000

by Angie Grace

Raising a child supposedly costs you a quarter of a million dollars, but it can honestly be more daunting to face the idea of spending $80 on bottle nipples in a single month. Expense Report gives us a look into the spending, scrimping, and wishing that defines parenthood, from what moms spend on birthdays, to childcare, to sleep, to self-care (we wish!), and beyond.

In the summer, an innocent family weekend can easily turn into one giant price tag, as expenses for vacations, camp, and outlandish amounts of sunblock pile up like so much sand in your shoes. Wondering how much a family of six spends on summer activities? This Californian family.

It's that time of year again, the dreaded "What do I do with my kids all summer?" time of year. Honestly, each year I have these great plans for all four of them. I plan to sign them up for summer camp, day camp, sports, or some sort of classes each year and always wait until the last minute. My daughters, 12-year-old Anneka and 10-year-old twins Mia and Laila, are self-proclaimed gamers. They would honestly sit around the house all summer playing Overwatch on the Xbox if they could. This year, I'm not going to let that happen!

Last year we bought a family membership to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles and took advantage of it almost every weekend. We also enjoyed going to the California Science Center, which is free. Both places are definitely on our list for the summer of 2019.

Family: A mom and dad in their 30s and 40s

Location: Los Angeles, California

Annual Income: Approximately $70,000

Number of Children: 4 (2, 10-year-old twins, and 12)


Our son Kai, now 2, is old enough to participate in certain classes. We would like to start him out in swimming, which is a mommy-and-me class. The older kids want to learn how to swim, so we're signing them up for swimming lessons in a class together.

The girls are all for taking tennis this summer also. They said they'd like to try something new and Wimbledon got us excited.

Swimming: $25 per kid (x 4)

Youth Tennis: $100 per kid (x 3)

Classes Subtotal: $400

Beach Trips

Each summer since moving to Los Angeles, we try to spend a considerable amount of time going to the beach. We live in The Valley, so the beach is about 40 minutes away, depending on which beach we choose to go to. We usually like Zuma Beach in Malibu, but at other times we go to Venice Beach or Santa Monica. It takes a lot of money for gas, snack stops, and lunch on the beach. And we always seem to have to buy more beach toys each year either because a toy is left at the beach each time or the toys get lost in the house during non-beach season.

Beach Days Subtotal: About $250


Membership To Museums

We are definitely a museum family! We love going to look at art, history, dinosaurs, anything. My kids love to learn and it definitely knocks out an entire day. When we get home in the late evening, the kids are usually tired from all of the walking and excitement. We usually have no issues getting them to bed! On top of the cost for the family memberships, there are also several museums that are free, including LACMA, the Broad and the California Science Center. We plan to visit all of these places often, on top of the ones where we'll buy memberships.

Natural History Museum: Family Membership $119

Aquarium of the Pacific: Family Membership $159

Museums Subtotal: About $300

The Bucket Fund (Miscellaneous)

Of course there are other expenses that go along with all of the summer fun! I made an estimate to account for eight weeks of beach, museums and classes.

For all of the class fees, tennis rackets, and other miscellaneous things that may come up, it's good to have a cushion.

Misc. Subtotal: About $200

Total: $1,150

Current prices may vary.