Last Tuesday, I spoke of fun things that my girls and I were doing this summer that were free. Today I want to address things that we enjoy doing that are practically free, that cost us little more than gas or nothing more than gas money. Many of these items could be considered free because the activity itself is free, but I am including the cost of gasoline here. I know there are other families out there like mine who may not be able to do every activity because of the rising cost of gasoline.
1. Splash Pads
In the greater Detroit area, where we live, almost every community I have come across has at least one park with these. There is often no charge for admittance and it is a fun way to let the kids splash around and play without breaking the bank.
2. Vacation Bible School
If you are lucky enough to go to a church or live in a community where there is a church who understands that this is a significant outreach this can be a truly amazing time. We are lucky to have such a church here, Friendship Church. They welcome Chloe each day with open arms. She is always excited to show up and can’t wait to come back the next day. In fact this morning she was trying to convince me her two-year old sister needed to attend.
3. Local Farms
Go online and search for farms. I know from living in both the Detroit area and the Hampton Roads area even when you live in and near larger cities farms can be found that you can tour that are only a short drive away. One such farm here, Maybury Farm, costs just a small fee for a family of four to be admitted. Last year when we went two adults and two children could have spent the afternoon visiting for only $5. This is cheaper than the zoo and you still get to see the animals. In fact we were able to get up close and personal with many of them.
4. Make your own Popsicles
The girls and I enjoy making these and having them to snack on. Stay tuned on Thursday for my recipe for homemade smoothie bars. 🙂
Get out and discover new hiking trails. If you are not blessed to lived on a piece of property large enough for hiking, get online and search for places to go hiking with your kids. I find it a refreshing way to connect to God and nature. My children love the discovery of it all.
6. The Beach/ Pool
Take your family to the nearest beach or pool and teach your kids to swim. Splash in the water with them. I know in some communities you have to pay to use the pool or the lake but it is worth looking into seeing if there is a free option or a practically free option. I know many of my memories of childhood summers involve swimming.
7. See if your community has a children’s museum or art museum that offers free admission.
In our current community, I have yet to find one that does. I know there are towns and cities out there that have museums that do offer free admission to all but their special collections exhibits. These can be wonderful educational opportunities and even get fun on a hot day.
8. Story Time
Most local libraries offer story time for the young kids. This is another thing that is fun to do with little kids. We have attended story time at local libraries, The Virginia Zoo, and The Chrysler Museum of Art (just to name a few.)
9. Free Concerts
See what is near you. In some communities you can find big name artists that are putting on concerts that are of no charge to attend. In other communities that is harder to find but you and your family can throw a blanket down in the park and listen to a local band perform. Either way you are sure to have an enjoyable time. In fact I know plenty of people who would prefer the atmosphere of a quiet concert in the park over the other.
10. Picnic in the Park
Pack the kids up. Bring lunch with you and go eat at the park. You can sit back enjoy a shade tree. Watch the kids run around. Read together or toss a ball around with them. It is just another way to get out of the house and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.
So there you have it ten things you can do with your family Under the Sun this summer that are practically free or have the potential to be practically free.
***Do you have something you could add to this list? Please share. I would love to hear your ideas as well.***