SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks

{May 28, 2013}   Family-Friendly Fun: On the Cheap

English: Hand I'm bored Español: Mano I'm bored

So The Realest Chick called after my last post and said, “I have an idea for your blog.” She has kind of become my idea chick. She comes up with it and I run with it. And it is my first day of summer, so I have a few spare minutes.

“How about cheap family activities?”

OK. She may not have said exactly that, but it was close. And the gears in my head are grinding.

Some of the ideas I have may be specific to my area, but a quick search of our bff, Google, may point you the right way for your own place. My monkeys aren’t into team sports, so I’m not addressing that. Besides, I’m staying in the zone of cheaptitude.

The Local Library Because we prefer monkey brains not to turn to mush over the summer, I sign mine up for the summer reading program at the local library. There are different goals for different ages, and ours meets every Friday. This year, it seems there is something different each day being offered, also. I’m kind of stoked about the bubble-making! I have agreed to take the monkeys on Tuesdays and Fridays (Friday being the program day), and they’re allowed 2 books each at a time.  They’ll be in the prize zone in no time.

Movies Our local theaters have “Dollar Days.” I think nowadays, it’s actually 2 or 3 but if you feed the monkeys first, you’re golden.  Ours show older releases but do you think my kids worry about that?  Also, there is an organization in Shreveport that has a “Movies and Moonbeams” program, where they show movies every other week in local parks for free.  It starts around 8:30, so the sun should be down, hopefully taking the miserable heat with it.

Kids Bowl Free Love love love this program! Go to the Kids Bowl Free website, enter a bit of info about your family, find a local bowling center in their list, and you’re golden! Every Sunday in your email, you’ll receive coupons for free bowling. I registered the monkeys and they can bowl 2 games per day all summer. The only expense is shoe rental!

Ten-pin bowling in action

Museums Local museums are usually  a low-cost hit.  The Louisiana State Exhibit Museum over in Shreveport is one of my favorites.  In the main building, all along the walls, are dioramas with scenes from our local history.  Some of the displays change and they have things in the middle, also.  In addition, we have a wildlife museum and several art museums locally.  Many museums charge a negligible admission, with some being donation-based.

Angela checks out Louisiana

Angela checks out Louisiana (Photo credit: kristykay22)

Take it Outside  We’re so blessed living near the river and many parks.  I’ve taken the monkeys in summers past to a park a few neighborhoods over.  Picnic lunch, a kite, maybe some basketballs, and we’re happy happy happy.  There are also several lakes and pools in our area, as well as bike/jogging trails near the river.  We also frequent the local Farmer’s Market (haven’t made it yet due to scheduling, but we’ll get there!) and we’ve tried out a pick-your-own farm in Haughton.

Sunday Funday A few months ago, ol’ Grizz and I invited a few friends over to grill.  Real Chick’s husband was out-of-town for the weekend, Crazy Math Lady lives on take-out food, and we all worry about Pioneer Woman‘s sweet husband getting a solid, home-cooked meal with her being deployed.  It was a lot of fun, very kid-friendly, and turned into something of a regular occurrence.  SOme weekends the host house changes, some of the faces change.  Everyone contributes something, so it’s still low-cost entertainment.  Break out the cornhole boards and we have a party.

So these are a few activities with the House of Cheaptitude seal of approval.  What are some other cheap/free family activities?

~ Katie


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