Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Frugal Summer Activities for All

Nathaniel has exactly 10 more days of school left!  Let the countdown to summer vacation begin!

I received a request from a friend to list some budget-friendly activities that she could enjoy with her love when he visits for two weeks at the end of July.  I decided to make a list of all types of activities that you can use as either a frugal, but fun, date with your significant other OR as a family event.

With my kids home with me all day, every day during the summer, we will be trying lots of these activities.

1.  Spend a day volunteering - There are homeless shelters, animal shelters, food pantries, and hospitals all around that could definitely use some of your time to help out.  With little kids, you may want to call first to see if children are allowed to volunteer, but what a great way to teach them about love, compassion, and giving to those in need.  Here is a link to some volunteer opportunities for children around the Metro Atlanta area.  Thaniel and I will probably ask to see if Daddy's work place could use a couple hours of our help packing CD's and DVD's this summer.

2.  Create a mini me - Use white butcher paper, wrapping paper, or a poster board to trace your body and draw/decorate with paint, makers, fabric, glue, yarn, glitter, anything your heart desires.  Talk about what your kids want to be when they grow up, how they imagine they'll look like in 20 years, etc.  Make it lots of fun and be creative!

3.  Water Fun - We don't have a pool since we don't live in a subdivision, so we will resort to a kiddie pool, sprinkler, and water balloons. This summer is gonna be hot!  We will definitely be playing with water a lot.

4.  Bake & decorate a cake/cupcakes together - I like to bake.  But what I love even more is the creative aspect of decorating.  I am very much an amateur and YouTube taught, but it's fun for me.  Be creative and think of wacky ideas for cakes and figure out what kind of edible materials you can use to create it!

5.  Story time at bookstores or the local library - Barnes & Noble has story times for children.  You can go to their website, locate the store closest to you, and look up their store calendar.  Grab a tall iced coffee with two shots of white mocha (yumm), and enjoy the story with your kiddos.  Your local library should also have story time available, so also check with them.

6.  Dollar Movies - You can either enjoy a movie at a Dollar Theater, or hit up the mainstream theaters and take advantage of the dollar movies for kids during the summer.  Regal Cinemas has a summer movie program that airs PG rated movies on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10:00 am for $1.  Click over to this link to see if your local Regal Cinema is participating and when the start date is.

7.  Hike & Picnic - There are parks with trails all around us that we can enjoy.  Pack a picnic, put on some good shoes, and get out to enjoy the outdoors together.  When you reach the end or the top of your hike, celebrate with a great picnic.  For those local to me, Mulberry Park is just right down the street and beautiful.  If you're willing to drive about an hour or so, Amicalola Falls is gorgeous.  The views are breathtaking.

8.  Fishing - For the outdoor loving kids and couples, fishing can be lots of fun.  If you're not necessarily the outdoor loving type but want to fish and don't have the patience or (in my case) the knowledge on how to, I recommend going to a fish farm where you catch the fish and pay for it by the pound.  I recommend Rainbow Ranch Trout for my local people.  Guaranteed bite!

9.  Catch free live music at local parks or amphitheaters and pack a picnic  -  We used to live close by to downtown Suwanee and loved all their family nights and live music nights in the park.  We used to pack picnics and sit on the grass while listening to jazz  or we'd stop by a favorite restaurant and get something to go.  There's always cool, little events going on, too.  Go check their event calendar and make a date out of it!

10.  Cook a meal together - I love trying new recipes in the kitchen.  I think a date night with your love, or even your kids, is a great time to do that.  Remember to keep the difficulty level appropriate, but also be a little more daring than you would normally be.  Kraft's website has tons of easy to follow recipes you can try.  If you're up for a challenge, Food Network has some that will probably be a little more daring for you seasoned chefs.  YouTube is also a great resource for new recipes, too!  Just look up whatever you want to learn how to cook, and there's usually a detailed video with recipe and instructions below showing you all the steps.  It doesn't get any easier than that. 

To follow up to this post, KB and I have agreed to do $20 Dollar Date Nights and think of affordable and creative things we can do to spend time with each other.  All of our note-worthy ones (ones that I think other couples will enjoy) will be posted on here in the future.

What are some other cheap and fun things you do together as a family?  Or that you do together as a couple?  


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