Friday, March 27, 2009

Frugal Summer Fun with Kids

With the weather warming up and spring officially here, I've been thinking a lot about getting out more with my girls and doing some fun activities. I think it's so much easier to have frugal fun in the summer than in the winter. Here are a few of my ideas:

- The park - There's a reason that they're every child and parent's favorite. Parks and playgrounds are free, good exercise, a chance to socialize with other parents and kids, and tons of fun! Try checking out parks in your area that you've never visited before. There's a really neat park about 15 minutes from us that has a dinosaur theme!

- The pool - Many homeowners associations in our area have their own pools, but unfortunately ours does not. However, my girls are still so young that they'll have plenty of fun in wading pools in our own backyard. There are so many neat wading pools you can buy now, and of course don't forget the good old fashioned sprinkler! Last year we put a plastic slide in the wading pool, and my daughter and her friends had a blast. Also, a new community pool is opening in our town, for which you can pay per day. It will probably be a bit of a treat to go there, but it is much cheaper than having to pay a large annual fee to a join a pool.

- Local attractions - A friend from church told me about a spot a few miles away where she takes her toddler son to watch the trains go by! I'm definitely thinking that would make a great picnic spot when it really gets warm. There's also a farm in a neighboring county that is free to visit (check out Frying Pan Farm if you're in my area). I can't wait to take my girls to see the baby animals this spring. Do some research on your local attractions; I bet you'll find some neat things to do. They could be as simple as watching trains or trucks with a toddler or an interesting free museum with an older child.

- Free and discounted events - A small local movie theater in our town shows family movies on summer mornings for just $1 admission. There are also several free street festivals in our town on various summer weekends. And don't forget that most ice cream chains have a free or very cheap promotional night one day each summer! Freebies 4 Mom will be sure to have the scoop on events like that.

- Rainy Day Fun - My number one rainy day spot (besides curled up on our couch) is the library! Story time is great any time of year, and it's free. Our library also has tons of special programs that you can register for online. And of course, the library has books, DVDs, and CDs to refresh your collection of stories and music. Now that my older daughter is more able to participate, I really want to get back into doing some crafts too. I'll definitely be on the lookout for fun, frugal crafts for rainy or too-hot days this summer.

I hope these ideas inspire you to start thinking of fun summer plans. What are your favorite frugal summer activities?

PS - Check out more Frugal Fridays at LifeasMom.


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