With gas prices on the rise, we are all looking for alternatives to expensive outings. Parents are sitting at home feeling guilty about not being able to take their children on the trips that they went on as a child. Being part of a one income family, I feel the frustration.
I’ve put together a list of FREE or Cheap family outings to keep the adventure, alive.
Let’s Be Chauffeured
Pick a day for a bus, train, subway or streetcar trip. Ride the vehicle and check out the sights. We like to take the bus. Each time, we decide on a new route. The bus drives us all over town, and we discover places we didn’t even know about. Most of the time, we bring a snack, and a drink, and just sit back and enjoy being “Chauffeured”.
The Garden Shop
Take your children to the biggest garden shop you can find in your area. Walk around and pretend you’re in the jungle. I know! You think you’ll look silly. You won’t. Most parents will be looking at you, thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that? Those kids are having a blast!”. If we have a few extra dollars, we will pick out a plant, before leaving, and they can take that home to plant in the garden.
Garage Sales and Thrift Stores
My girls LOVE this! On a Friday, the girls and I map out some local garage sales. We check the paper, and look on Craigslist. Bright and early Saturday morning, we pile into the minivan, and I give them each with an envelope with $5, in it. That is their $5! The goal of the day is to see what great item, or items, you can get with that $5! My husband comes along for the ride, but every time, is impressed with our finds. My girls had learned how to barter at 4 and 5 years old…making mommy proud!
Price: $5 per child
Fire and Police Stations
Most Fire and Police stations give free tours. Kids LOVE these tours! They learn so much about what our local police and firefighters do. Often the police or fire department will give the kids a coloring book, or deputy, badges. I do recommend calling before hand, to make sure they’ll be prepared for the tour.
Up, UP and Away!
Check your local yellow pages to find a local hang-gliding class. Take your children to the field that they practice, and let them watch the hang-gliders and parachuters. This is a great Summer activity. We pack a lunch and leave the house around 9. We have a blast watching the people flying.
With a little research, you can find many Free activities for your family. Get creative. Be different. Those are the memories your children will charish.