Whether you have personally been impacted by the bad economy or not, we are all wanting to save money. I think that "just in case" mentality can serve us well. But how to get there can be difficult to figure out. So here's my 2 cents. I hope this list provides at least one or two new ideas of fun activities for you and your family, friends... This list should provide options no matter where you live!
My Favorite Summer Activities:
1. Minor League Baseball Game - Much less expensive than Major League games and just as much fun. You can usually find one of these teams closer to home and the kids can easily get autographs too. (About $10.00/person)
2. State Parks - Find a great state park for a day trip. Just pack up a picnic and bring some walking shoes, frisbee, ball and glove, or any other items for outdoor activities you enjoy. (Minimal fee for parking.)
3. Library - It's a great place to cool off on really hot days and curl up with a book. There are also movies, magazines, and music. Most also have free activities for kids. (FREE)
4. County and State Fairs - A lot to do at the fair, so the trick is to find the deals. They always have discounts you can usually learn about on their websites. Enjoy ice cream as you walk around, listen to music, see the animals and visit the petting zoo. Just bring food or eat before you go and stay away from the rides. (Price varies.)
5. Camp Out - My favorite is a backyard camp-out as it takes little preparation and you have everything you need inside. Set up a tent with sleeping bags. You can even do Smores on the BBQ! (FREE)
6. Playground Hunt - Get a map of your town (or a nearby town) and set out for a day of playing at as many playgrounds as you can find. Be sure to take a picnic lunch with you so you don't stop to buy food. My kids love this and will spend 5 min. at some parks and over an hour at others. (FREE)
7. Plan a Day Trip - Get out a map of your state and find a place within 3 hours of your home and make a day trip. You can often get to the mountains, beach, a lake, or a great attraction. We have gone to a wild animal safari, the beach, and our favorite - the mountains. Nothing better than a snowball fight in July! (About $40 for gas, but can vary.)
8. Go Swimming - You can either find a lake or river or go to your local pool. *Be safe. (FREE-$6.00/person.)
9. Visit a Museum - If you research museums, you may be surprised how many there are in your area. Just be sure to research admission as they can vary greatly. (FREE-$28.00/person)
10. Go on a History Hunt - This is a scavenger hunt for historic markers in your town. You can either visit a few historic locations or create hints for older children to find (you drive them). Fun and educational for everyone! You can have a picnic lunch at the final destination. ($5.00-15.00 for gas).
*I hope this list inspires you with new ideas to enjoy the rest of your summer.