Last summer we went on two big trips with the family which was lots of fun but not cheap. This year we wanted to keep the summer fun within a budget since we spent a lot on our spring vacation. I thought about whether that would be difficult and realized it is completely doable. I realized that having fun doesn’t always have to come with a big price tag and there are still many fun things to do with the kids.
One great resource is the local library. They have all kinds of activities for kids of all ages. There are craft sessions and visiting entertainers and even Mad Science demos. They also have summer reading programs which encourage kids to read by giving them prizes. Our library even carries passes for various museums in the area which make for an inexpensive day trip as long as you manage your kids’ expectations on food and souvenirs. Some area stores even do free or inexpensive workshops for kids where they get to make or build something. I know I’ve seen some at Home Depot or Michaels that intrigued my boys
Now that the weather is nice, there are also lots of options on free outdoor entertainment if you look for it. I noticed that in our area (Princeton) there are events in the town or in the parks, such as musicians playing or movies being shown, etc. I realized a good place to look is the free local paper that comes that I used to just toss into recycling. Now I look at the calendar of events first. Or sometimes we just go into town to get ice cream and we take a ball to play with in the adjoining field. Simple fun and it works off the sugar!
The other great way to have fun with kids in the summer is to be social. I love to arrange play dates because then the kids see friends and they keep busy. Sometimes those situations even become a play date for the moms and everyone leaves happier. We live in a community with a pool so we try to take full advantage of that and invite friends to join us. It’s a nice way to cool off and get their energy out in a positive way.
So those are some of the things we are going to try this summer. Hopefully we will find time to do a bit of reading and studying here and there too. We also plan to make some trips to the Jersey shore to support the state and all those affected by Superstorm Sandy. I’m sure I will have my moments of frustration trying to entertain the kids and I’m sure they will tell me they’re bored at times as well. However, I think we have a pretty good plan and enough options for fun without breaking the bank! Enjoy your summer!!!