I like to think of myself as a very funny mom. I regularly plan city tours and don’t mind jumping on the bed. But all the parents touch the end of the rope from time to time, and it is in these moments that I find myself spending money for the activities of the children who will occupy mine for a few hours. However, a trip to Chuck E. Cheese can seriously drain your bank account.
I’ve learned that the most expensive activities aren’t always the best. Sure, I can spend $ 20 on an arcade trip, but that only gives me a few hours of entertainment and not much to show off. That is why it is better to look for inexpensive and fun activities for your children; An added bonus is that they give you a few moments to yourself. In the spring, summer, fall, or winter, you can find free and inexpensive activities to do so that you too can be a fun parent.
Fun places to visit on a budget
1. Show jumping room
Show jumping gyms are more and more common and easy to find in many communities. There are usually two types: one made up of bouncy houses, and one that looks more like a gym. As a parent, I prefer the second type. It’s easier to watch my kids play so I know they’re safe and I love that they jump, climb, and burn for energy. Admission is only around $ 5. Call ahead and be sure to inquire about family specials or discounts.
2. Farm in operation
If you live in or near a rural community, find out if there is a working farm open for tours. Most people think of going pumpkin or the farm in the fall, but it can be just as interesting in the spring (baby animals!) And the summer months. Introduce yourself to your kids, observe the animals, and maybe even get some organic produce, eggs, and milk.
3. Local museums
There are tons of community museums available that don’t charge an entrance fee, so give your kids some culture and go. All it costs is money for gasoline and maybe a donation to the museum to keep it running. If you don’t have a public museum nearby, check out nearby colleges and universities, which may have a free or inexpensive art or natural history museum open to the public.
4. Target section at $ 1
Tired of whining at the grocery store? Give your kids a dollar or two and head to a store that has a $ 1 section, like Target. It’s stocked with small toys, books, and children’s art supplies, which means it’s a great way to keep your kids happy and crisis-free while you shop. I point out that my children need to buy a toy that will keep them active, such as paper dolls, coloring books or sports equipment. It only costs a few dollars, but it can keep your kids busy for the rest of the day.
Bowling is a great way to get kids active, but it can also be quite expensive, unless you find a place that has great deals for families. Many bowling alleys struggle to fill up during the day, so they offer great rates for kids or family days out all week. Take a look at your options and you might be able to go bowling for half the price.
6. Restaurant suitable for children
As long as you choose a kid-friendly place, you can get a free meal that’s healthier than fast food. A number of family restaurants allow children to eat for free with a paying adult, such as Applebee’s (Mondays), IHOP (daily) and Cici’s Pizza (daily for ages 3 and under, select days for ages 12) and less ). When you’re not spending a lot of money dining out, you can relax, let your kids order whatever they want, and bring pencils and place mats.
Fun things to do at home
7. Take a glow stick bath
Head to your local dollar store to find a ton of inexpensive glow sticks. I like to keep some on hand for fun, and I especially enjoy them in the tub. Fill the bubble bath as usual, then add glow sticks and dim the lights. The glow from the sticks gives the water a neon color, which makes it really cheap entertainment. Just make sure your kids don’t try to remove the liquid from the sticks as it can be poisonous.
8. Look for crafts online
I love to craft with my kids, but trying to get all the necessary things usually means a trip to the craft store, which can easily cost a bundle. Instead, order your supplies online. A party website like Oriental Trading offers craft kits for around $ 3 each (usually in packs of 12). They come with all the supplies you need, minus the craft glue, so you can make a few items with your kids and save the rest for another time.
9. make chalk paint
Do you have a can of cornstarch on hand? Prepare a chalk paint set and let your kids decorate their walk. It’s so simple: Mix equal parts water and cornstarch until dissolved, then add a little food coloring. I like to divide the mixture into paper cups to make a bunch of different colors. Then give out brushes, rollers, and whatever else you can find and kick your kids out the door. The paint gets wet and then dries dull, like sidewalk chalk.
10. Play smartphone games
If you have a smartphone, you have access to thousands of kid-approved games to play together. The best part? Many of them are free. Simply open your phone’s app store on your screen and search specifically for your kid’s age group, or browse educational apps. You can get trial versions of games that cost money, so you can determine if they’re worth buying for $ 1.99. Also be sure to read the comments of other parents.
Don’t get caught up in expensive activities on a daily basis. A visit to the amusement park, zoo, or indoor playground can drain your wallet. Instead, be creative and look around your area for fun things that won’t cost a fortune, but give you amazing memories to share with your kids.
Do you see yourself as a frugal parent? What activities do you like to do with your children at low cost?