Even in rough economies, summer fun doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate. A pup tent & a back yard is all you need for a night of memory making.
My brother invited us over to "Camp Lopez" on Sunday night. We had a bonfire (notice a trend w/ us & fires? lol) and roasted our standard bonfire fare: hot dogs & marshmallows! We set up the accommodations: aka tents. My middles, my brother, his wife & their 2 boys all 'camped out' over night.
We cheered on a race between my oldest & uncle & auntie to see who could set up their tent the fastest. The kids ran around, K had a grand time shouting "Look! Look!" every 10 minutes, to be sure we all could see him climb on the tire swing himself & get it moving. We snacked on fresh fruit topped with plain yogurt and granola. Once we started the bonfire, the roasting foods started. My sister-in-love also invited her nieces which was a nice surprise for Birdy since she is usually the only girl between her cousins and brothers.
Once it got dark, we even caught glimpses of nearby city fireworks shows. The Mr. & I went home to our own comfortable beds while the middles stayed up late giggling the night away. The next day the 'cool' uncle & auntie took the whole crew to the park for some major tree climbing and bike riding.
We all already owned tents so that didn't cost us any extra. I also had the giant marshmallows left over from the last bonfire but my sil provided more s'more making supplies & the hot dog dinner fixings & wood for the fire. Over all, the costs were pretty low for a priceless night of back yard adventures.