We’ve been planning and saving for our first family Disney trip in 2018, and it’s coming up quicker than I thought! In our house, we can’t have “ALL THE THINGS” all of the time, so we have to give and take somewhere—which has been a really good opportunity for Reagan to learn priorities! Last week, we did a “spending freeze” on our activities meaning we intentionally planned to not spend any money on our entertainment, trying to find the free things around us locally. It is totally possible. And we still had a lot of fun and made sure to invite friends! Here’s what we did to give you some ideas of what to look for near you:
Library: While renting lots of different books is awesome, I’m sure your local library does even more than that! Ask the front desk if there are weekly classes or activities for kids—they’re usually all free. Ours does some fun classes—the girls’ favorite being yoga story time! It’s darling to watch them attempt the poses like downward dog all while being read a story about dogs.
Splash pad: This is one of my favorite water activities, especially for little ones that can’t swim just yet but still want to run around, splash and explore the different features—all while mama has peace of mind because it’s a hard surface beneath them and not six feet of water. 😉 We have three locally that I know of and all are completely free and attached to public parks.
Lake: If you have a lake nearby, especially a man-made lake, check for sandy play areas—it feels like you’re at the beach! We’ve lived in DFW for four years and just found out about this idea THIS year, and the nice one we go to is completely free, including parking! It is good quality sand (aka not rocks) and we usually pack lunch and stay for at least two or three hours.
Church playground: Everything is bigger in Texas, including the churches. We have a few “megachurches” near us that have indoor playgrounds for the kids—think Chick-fil-a or McDonald’s playground on steroids. And, again, completely free (even if you don’t attend their congregation). It has been a lifesaver on the days here when it’s even too hot to be in the water. Free and indoors? The best.
Movie theater: A lot of movie theaters have summer movie programs for kids. The idea is that you pay around just $5 per person and get a pass to watch a different movie each week for the entire summer. It’s a great indoor idea and a steal at $5. But an even better deal than $5 is FREE! A movie theater near us does a free movie every Tuesday. The tickets are first come, first serve at 9 a.m. so I try to get there at 8:50 and at that point there’s already a line. Totally worth it, and we’ve always had great seats. This movie theater has the reclining seats. Heaven!
I hope some of those ideas help to keep kiddos entertained while saving you some $$$! I’d love to hear any other ideas you have!