The summer is a time for having fun. Having your children hanging around the house every single day when school gets out can get a little boring—and puts a lot of pressure on parents. But how do you entertain them without spending money? Here are some things you can suggest to have a blast this summer, without breaking the bank:Summer Reading Programs:
Libraries offer summer reading programs—some offer a point system, to be redeemed for prizes, pizza or ice cream. They are usually free or low-cost. Many also have daily activities like special story times or free movies. Save money on buying crafts to do at home by checking out the local library.
Parks and Recreation Centers:
Don’t spend money on doing things in doors on beautiful summer days. Take a day and go to a city or county park. Make it a weekly event, and rotate them regularly. Save money on expensive park snacks by packing a homemade picnic lunch or other refreshments—and plenty of sunscreen. It may be better hitting the parks early in the day or late in the afternoon to avoid extreme heat.
Local Festivals and Fairs:
Check with your city’s message board, website or a local newspaper for a calendar of events. Civil services like police and fire departments often hold fundraisers that offer games and activities. Carnivals, fairs and festivals are also numerous during the summer and you can save money on going to amusement parks.
Go to Amusement Parks Later in the Day:
You can save money by taking advantage of the fact that many amusement parks have special pricing after 5 p.m. Besides, some smaller children cannot take a full day at the park, so only a few hours may be enough to satisfy them.
Movie Specials and Matinees:
A growing number of movie theaters offer second-run movies for children—rated either G or PG—at a reduced price. Save money on renting movies, or going to full priced showings by attending these special viewings, some even include a small popcorn and drink.