I have three kids. Three is a lot. I mean, it really isn’t but it suddenly seems like a lot when you’re purchasing tickets for admission of any kind. Or trying to find room for your groceries around three carseats. No, I don’t drive a minivan – I’m a cool mom. Just kidding. I promise that I’m jealous of your minivan sometimes.
Anyhoo… going places and doing things with three kids can be tough on the budget. Lucky for you, I’m here with all kinds of budget friendly options for your Summer Break. Three kids approved.
Maybe you live in a city that offers a plethora of cool things to do, like I do now. Or maybe you live in a rural area or suburbia, like I used to. Finding affordable things to do with your family can be done anywhere. Lately I’ve been on a mission to pack out our summer schedule with fun (and budget friendly) things to do. This is Jace’s first real summer vacation. He’s psyched to become a “first grader!” I’m psyched to get a break from homework packets and rigid weekly schedules. Let the fun commence!
So here are some budget friendly options for your summer!
Take it Outside
I used to think that this was only easily applied to my life because I’ve only had children in two “outdoorsy” states. Florida obviously calls for a lot of beach time, and Colorado calls for a lot of hiking, skiing, rock climbing… you name it. But I recently stumbled across a pin that caught my eye when it referenced a Summer Bucket List for Illinois. Naturally, I clicked because I am originally from Illinois and was wondering how a traveller might pursue my home state and not just Chicago. (Although Chicago is totally cool and you should definitely visit. 😉 ) But I was pretty excited to find that there are natural wonders to behold even outside the skyscrapers of Chicago in Illinois. I spent 13 years of my life in Illinois and there are still new things for me to explore there!
Obviously now that I have moved to an entirely different region of the county there is a long long long list of places I want to explore but just take a gander at this page and there’s probably more “natural wonder” near you than you thought.
The girl who cut my hair last time told me about a cool thing she and her boys did where they went to a different park (there are A MILLION parks in Denver) every week all summer. Just for a fun spin on a classic and simple family outing. I love it!
Use Technology to See What’s Going on Near You
Sometimes the painfully obvious answers are the best answers. Most museums, zoos, parks, theme parks (#hadto I am from Florida,) venues, you name it… have discounted or free days on their calendars. Just pop on on over to google and check out what your local area has to offer you. I have never paid full price to go to Disney World, and I have taken full advantage of the free days here in Denver, and we sought out free options while in Germany too. I’m really not into spending money that I don’t have to people, you’re probably not either.
Not to mention you’ll find details on all of the seasonal festivals and events happening near you. Now that I live somewhere with seasons I have noticed that the public approach summer with a seasonal zest that just wasn’t there during year-round summer in the south. Actually, winter in Florida is sort of anticipated because it “cools off” for a couple of weeks.
Pro Tip: Use your social media too. Literally everything has a Facebook/Instagram account or event these days. I have found so many local events on Facebook! And Facebook caters to your interests so the more times you click “interested” on a local event, the more they will show up on your feed without you even having to go looking for them!
Actually Use Your Local Library
This is a resource that I hadn’t taken advantage of until we moved to Denver. We can literally walk to our library now and we do. I suppose I can’t speak for everywhere, but the library here is so much cooler than just a stuffy old building full of stale smelling books and a grouchy shushing librarian. Our library has a little kids area where they can color or do puzzles, and they have a neat and colorful sitting area near the children’s books. They even have a retired airplane cockpit on the floor that the kids can play in. My kiddos love to go to the library. And it might just be the cool airplane parts that have them swooning… but it makes me feel good when they get excited to pick out some books too.
Also… it’s free and my kids leave with the same enthusiasm as when we leave the store and I’ve purchased them new books.
Now, I am definitely not a textbook Pinterest Mom, but from time to time it feels nice to actually use the thousands of pins I’ve saved on my Kid Crafts board! The options are endless and it really does delight the kids when I drag out my enormous craft box.
Or if Pinterest isn’t your thing places like Home Depot and Michaels have free or cheap kid friendly workshops where you can get your DIY on and get out of your house at the same time! Score! The kids and I are going to make flower pots this Saturday! (I’m sure I’ll document it on my Instagram.) I’m actually pretty excited. They even have “adult” style workshops for all of your home DIYers out there! I plan on taking advantage of some of these too.
So there you have it! My favorite tips to keep it interesting this summer. I hope that you can use some of them too. Now that my oldest is in school I really feel like the pressure is on to establish great family memories over the summer. Not to mention, my little native Coloradan winter baby has the palest skin I’ve ever seen and is in some serious need of s u n l i g h t. But in small doses because he’s kind of a ginger. 😉
Do you have any plans for your summer?! I’d love to hear. Let me know in the comments. 😀