The kiddos are off from school and you hear the oh so familiar “were bored, can’t we do something?!” But with everyone tightening their belts what can you do for fun without losing your house? There are some fun free or discounted things you can do to have a good time and not break the bank.
Free or really reasonable even for a family:
For young kids full on body painting is a hit. All you need is a roll of brown craft paper (usually about $3.00 for 15′-20′), some paint – water based, some fun things like trucks etc to roll through it, paper plates and kids. Put 1 color of paint on each plate, put the kids in their swimsuits and roll out the paper. Bring your camera; watching them run amuck covered in paint rolling and running all over the paper is a blast. Clean up is a bit tricky, but that’s what they make a hose for, when it’s hot out they don’t seem to mind.
Strawberry picking is always a summer treat, it’s reasonable, the prices are usually by the pound and you can snack in the field while you fill your basket.
Water balloons, need I say more? A few dollars can get you a few hundred; they go pretty quick so you’ll want a few packages. It does however take forever to fill and only minutes to use, but it’s worth it. Put them in a large clean bucket or laundry basket to move them to the battlefield.
Swimming, all you need to do is pack some sandwiches in a cooler and suit up. Many beaches are free, and many state parks have free beaches if you check online you can find out which ones charge and which ones don’t in your area.
Camping, it’s probably the most cost effective vacations ever. Even camping in your own state or backyard can be a blast. Who doesn’t love marshmallows and a hot dog on a stick? It is also great bonding time for your family without all the distractions of modern technology.
Fishing, all you need is a few worms and a pole (and a license, check your states rules with your local DEP or town hall). You can buy the worms for a few dollars or hunt them down yourself. Look in leaf piles, or your garden. You can also go out at night, spray the ground down with a hose, put a piece of red plastic wrap over the end of your flashlight and just start looking at the ground, they usually come up pretty quick. Make sure you put some moist dirt in the container and keep them cool so your worms stay lively until you go fishing.
Most libraries have discount passes you can reserve for free to local attractions like your local aquarium or museum, you just have to call and reserve the date for the pass, book early though, they tend to go fast. Also some carpooling sites like NuRide offer discounts if you carpool, where you can cash in points towards discount coupons for restaurants, stores, or attractions. The offers change frequently so check back often. AAA is also great, if you are a member they offer discounts on all sorts of local attractions, just stop by your local office and ask.