Entertaining the entire family can be a costly task.? This summer bring on the fun and save by trying some of these family-friendly ideas.
- Play outside. Free outdoor fun is available year-round if you?re not afraid to use your imagination. ?Take advantage of public parks, trails and green spaces. ?Go for a hike with your family and try to identify native plants and wildlife. ?Bring the bikes, the kites and a picnic for an entire day of free family fun.
- Host a neighborhood game night. Take turns with families in your neighborhood or community hosting family game nights. ?Warm weather brings plenty of outdoor options for large groups of children and adults. ?Scavenger hunts and treasure hunts, charades or kick ball will guarantee a good time. ?A backyard movie night under the stars will bring all ages together, especially with sheets spread across the lawn and buckets of popcorn to share.
- Hit the books. Libraries are a great source for entertainment on a budget. ?Libraries now have more than books to check out.? Movies, video games, and CD?s are all available.? Libraries also host weekly and monthly events for all ages, and they?re usually a great source of information on local activities.
- Pitch in. Volunteering is a budget-friendly way to spend a few hours or entire weekend with your family. ??Check with your local community center or church to find family-friendly volunteering opportunities such as park clean-ups or food banks. ?Everyone will keep busy, stay active and give back to their community in a memorable way. ?Recognize your family work with an ice cream sundae finish.
- Take your family on a stay-cation. ?Turn your hometown into a vacation destination to save on transportation and lodging expenses. ?Plan to visit local tourist destinations and attractions.?? In the evening, get out of the house by cooking and camping in the backyard.? S?mores and stories will keep your kids smiling through the weekend.
- Visit national and state parks. ?National and state parks offer plenty to see and do.?? Also, they?re a bargain compared to large, commercial tourist attractions.? State parks are generally cheaper, charging one small fee for the entire vehicle and still offer plenty of exploration and activities.? Although national parks cost more, they have several free admission days throughout the year and aren?t as expensive as most commercial attractions.
- Pass on the extras. ?Inevitably, your crew will visit one or many commercial attractions this season. ?Amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, even national monuments can be a blast for your family.? Cut your costs to these destinations by calling ahead and checking their regulations on bringing food and beverages into the park. ?Save over $3 a bottle on water and even more by packing a picnic lunch. ?If you plan on visiting a water park, bring your own towels instead of renting them. ?Also, be to skip the souvenir shop on your way out.
- Become a member. If your family enjoys a certain theme park or water park, ticket costs could add up quickly. ?Consider purchasing membership or season passes to save you in the long run. ?Some memberships will save you money on admission to multiple museum locations, even overseas. ?These passes could also get you into installations, demonstrations and events through the entire year. Ask around to find the best deal for your family.
- Stay connected. ??Friending? your favorite spots on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter could save you money on your next purchase or visit since many will post exclusive deals for their followers. ?Keep your eye on the ?activities? and ?entertainment? sections of daily deals sites to get discounts in your area. ?Sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial regularly offer discounts on some of the coolest activities around the country, typically over 50 percent off.
- Get discounted tickets. ?Entertainment books, community drives and local papers will offer fan favorites at reduced prices. ?Look for promotional offers geared towards families, such as buy one, get one free or half-off tickets. ?AAA, group rates and other discounts may apply, so it never hurts to ask. ?Discounted tickets from online vendors are almost always cheaper for large groups than gate prices at many amusement and theme parks.
With so many frugal options out there, you and your family shouldn?t run short of activities this season. ?Try some of these ideas to save on family fun this summer.