I’ve posted a little lately about spending time with family doing activities that aren’t expensive and that don’t require a trip out of town. I thought today, in light of summer and in celebration of families spending quality time together, I’d list a few activities that you can do around town that won’t break the bank-or send you packing.
1-Already posted about the library. Seriously, if you haven’t been in a while, get there! Libraries have changed over the years. They offer such wonderful opportunities-books, which of course are so important, but also activities and events.
2-Local parks and/or the beach. Pack a lunch and head out for a few hours – or the day. We’ve been doing this a lot lately. Even the older kids enjoy a day at the park with the parents. Pack your sporting equipment, frisbee, sand toys, bike, scooter. Play a little, ride a little, take a walk, eat lunch together on a blanket.
3-Set up a tent! Camping doesn’t have to take place three states away. Great and inexpensive campgrounds are available in almost all town/cities. Or, set it up in your backyard for a trial run! Cook smores over the open fire, tell stories, do a little fishing, and connect with your family.
4-Museums. Think the kids won’t enjoy them? Think again. Kids really seem to love anything unusual or interesting. Check out some dinosaur bones, explore a cave with ancient writings, take a look at some photographs that someone has taken-and then go outside and take your own! Tie your trip in with something that the kids can do after, like building a dinosaur (I’ve seen some great science kits in department stores and teaching stores) or taking a bunch of pictures, having them developed and then scrapbooking them.
5-Have a play date. Kids older? Doesn’t matter. Invite over a bunch of friends and set up games for them to play. Cook out. Younger kids enjoy things like wheelbarrow races and arts and crafts.
6-Arts and Crafts. Speakinf of arts and craft activities, you can find a ton of inexpensive ones at places like JoAnns and Michaels. Even Target and Walmart sell craft supplies. Check out a great craft book from the library and then take the kids to the store to spend a few dollars purchasing the items needed to make that craft. A few of my favorites with my kids: foam, which can be used to create a variety of projects like bookmarks and signs; puppets, which can be made with socks, paper bags or felt; and birdfeeders, which can be done cheaply by rolling a pinecone in peanut butter and then bird seed.
7-Have a water day. Set up a slip and slide, a small pool, a sand table and splash away the hot months.
8-Set up a lemonade stand. One family down the street does this a lot and the girls have so much fun with their little cash register (plastic), their pitchers and their drinks.