Did you enjoy your Memorial Day? We weren’t sure if we would make the parade or not because the weather forecast looked ominous. BUT the rain held out…we made it to the Memorial Day Parade!
My oldest loved seeing the bands and the “Soldiers,” which were the Veterans. The twins did not like the loud noises, but loved the candy. Of course. So, after a sugar filled day, they are finally sleeping. Or at least in their beds. So…As promised, for Money-Saving
Monday Tuesday, here are some ideas for families this summer.
Festivals and Parades No matter what weekend it is, there is some sort of festival or parade in Wisconsin this summer. From church festivals to Summerfest, there is something for everyone. Church festivals are usually free to get in, the food and rides aren’t too expensive, and there’s always free music to dance to. We have bigger festivals on our Lakefront, and those come with an admission charge. Often, they have promotions going for free entry, plus you can get tickets in advance to save money. There’s always free music and entertainment there. The food and drinks can get pricey, so we always eat before, and bring snack for the car. Since the kids had so much fun at the Memorial Day Parade, you can bet we’ll be at the 4th of July Parade too.
Story Hours In our area, we have tons of libraries. Each has different story hours for different age groups. A couple even have outdoor story time. In addition to reading the kids books, they often have activities, songs, and crafts. One library has a “Yoga” story time. We haven’t tried that one yet, but movement and stories sounds like a good combo to me. In addition to libraries, check out your local Barnes and Noble. The one at our mall has a story time for preschoolers, and also has special events. There is one coming up called, “Peanut Butter and Cupcake Storytime,” and also a special Dr. Seuss “Oh The Places You’ll Go.” I LOVE that book, so that one is marked on our calendar. The best part of these story hours and activities is they encourage a love of reading, which is so very important. Plus, they’re all FREE. Bonus.
Parks and Playgrounds In Wisconsin, we only have a couple of months of nice weather, so we try to get outside as much as possible in the summer. It’s really fun (and FREE) to check out new parks in the area. It’s also fun to check out parks that are a little outside your area. Last year, we found Imagination Station. It takes a little over a half hour to get there, but it is totally worth it. In addition to playing at the playgrounds, bring lunch or snacks and have a picnic. Or take a nature walk and look for treasures. That’s one of my oldest’s favorite things to do. Although, don’t tell him I disposed of his rusty bottle cap treasure when we got home.
Hang out with Animals In our area, we have one big Zoo, but it is not free. We do have an annual pass that we get as a gift from my In-laws each Christmas, which is awesome. So, it is free to us. It’s great in the summer because in addition to seeing all the animals, they often have special events and live music. If you go to the zoo all the time like we do, a pass would definitely worth the investment. In some surrounding areas, there are some free, smaller zoos and inexpensive petting farms. They are especially inexpensive if you check out Groupon first because they often have reduced price tickets.
Go Camping Even though it’s usually in our own backyard, the boys go camping a lot in the summer. My husband has a VW Bus, so it makes it even more fun. They build a campfire, roast marshmallows, and watch for fireflies. So, if you don’t want to spend the money driving to a campsite, paying for a campsite, and all the other preparation involved, camp in your backyard like we do. The kids love it, plus mom can use her own bathroom.
Go Old School with the Movies Many Drive-in movie theaters have gone out of business around us, but many cities and organizations put on outdoor movies in the summer. No longer do you have to hook a speaker up to your car, but you just get out a blanket or chairs, and snuggle in for a family movie. The movies are either free or at most $5, plus you can bring your own snacks. Outside watching a movie sounds like the perfect night to me.
Make Something Doing art projects or gardening projects are fun to do in the summer, but I’ve got an idea to make it a step more fun and easier for you. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s have kid’s workshops/clinics. Kids 5 and older, along with their parent get to build something together, get a cool apron, and get to keep their creation all for FREE. It’s a great father/son activity, and they take place mostly on Saturday mornings. Just click on the links for more information.
Well, I hope that gives you a good start to getting busy and enjoying this summer with your little ones. I know we’ll be busy!