I'm rounding up my favorite activities to do with a baby/toddler/kids that won't break the bank. Even if you don't necessarily need to be kept cool like we do here in Texas, you DO need to keep your sanity while the kids are home from school! Here are some great, affordable ways to get out of the house and mix up your summer routine.
3Budget-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids
1) Get a membership to a community pool or splash pad. Prices will range depending on where you live and what the facilities are like, but if you have a driver's license in that community to prove residency, you get a discounted rate! Season passes are always much cheaper than buying daily rates, provided you go often enough. Many places have a picnic area for you to bring a lunch too, keeping your choices much more healthy and affordable.
Also, look for free opportunities in your area. Dallas has Klyde Warren Park downtown, with splash pad fountains, a massive playground, picnic grounds and food trucks. Most Minneapolis public parks have kiddie pools that are free to access; check for their open days and times.
|Splash pad at Klyde Warren Park... In the winter, because look at how cold those women look!|
2) Check out the story time schedule at your local library. Nearly every public library has a program like this, ranging from several times a week to once a month. Larger libraries will have story time sessions further broken down by age group. Pull up the website or head to the closest library and see what's going on. It's "free" and a great way for your kids to interact with other kids over the summer months in a learning environment. (Free as in, your taxes already pay for it. At least you're not double paying for it, right?!)
|Story time at public libraries|
3) Head out to the country! Just a quick drive out of most cities, and you'll find animal/petting farms, berry picking and even educational/historic farms. Most have cheap admission prices of $5/adult, and most are picnic friendly so you can pack your own lunch. The educational/historic farms might be my favorite! Dallas has Nash Farm with a full schedule of special events through the fall ($3/adult, children are free), and Minneapolis has Gibbs Farm, which is actually in the city at the U of M campus. Check your local area to see what it offers and go explore the country - or the "country"!
|Texas is known for it's black berry picking. Image source.|
What are some of your other favorite activities to do over the summer? How do you keep those kiddos entertained and your sanity in check? I'd love to hear any more great ideas you have!