The weather is heating up and the kids are out of school and in need of entertainment! What’s are busy parents to do? In the current economic environment, taking lavish trips to amusements parks or constantly going on day outings can put a strain on the wallet. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to have some summer fun without spending a dime! Check out a few of my favorite ideas:
- Free Museum Days: Most cities have a museum or two (or many!), and oftentimes, there is one day a month where various museums have free admission. It’s a great way to keep your kids educated and entertained even when they’re not in school. Visit your local museum website, or, if you’re a Bank of America customer, check out their list of free museum admission simply for having a BofA card!
- Stargazing: As a child, the sky fascinated me. My Dad would pull me outside to gaze up at the stars, or drive us out to somewhere with little artificial light (think countryside, 50 miles from any city), where we could enjoy all the natural light of the night sky. I learned the constellations and even saw the tiny pinpricks of satellites moving across the sky. Once, we even spotted the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights!) which was so incredible. Print a free SkyMap from SkyMaps.com for your child and start wishing upon a star tonight! Also, check out EarthSky Tonight for a simplified map of the constellations and planet visible tonight from your position on earth.
- Pitch a tent–in your backyard: You don’t have to leave home to enjoy a fantastic camping trip. Simply put up a tent in your backyard, toss in a few sleeping bags, some snacks and some evening ghost stories, and your kids will be giddy with excitement!
- Make your own water park: You don’t have to have a pool to cool off on a hot summer’s day. Set up a sprinkler and a hose, throw some bathing suits on the kids, and let them have the time of their life!
- Have a Scavenger Hunt: The ones take a little more work, but it’s worth it to see your kids running around in anticipation searching for hidden treasure. There are so many ways to do this, but the easiest is to hide different clues around the house, and even outside the house. Each clue leads to the next. Set your kids and their friends up in teams, or have each man fend for themselves. Prizes can be anything you choose for the winner, from a plate of cookies to getting to stay up a half hour later than everyone else!