Friday, May 24, 2013

The Big Girl's Guide to Summer Fun On A Budget

The Big Girl Chronicles:  The Big Girl’s Guide to Family Fun On A Budget
It’s summertime!  If your little ones are anything like mine, they’re excited about trading in their structured classroom schedules for less restrictive summer hours.  And if you’re a single parent as I am, trying to keep summer fun can be a challenge.  The following are some budget-friendly suggestions that should keep your little ones having something to look forward to without having you to dig too deep in your pocketbook.
Check your local listings.
If you peruse the internet, websites like your local convention and visitor’s bureau usually list summer activities that are family-oriented and free.  You can also check the community events sections of your local newspaper where you can find things of interest that are both free and fun. 
Don’t forget about us!
Places that we tend to overlook often have special events to gain community awareness and enrollment.  These are places like your local library or museum.  Your local museum will likely host a fundraising drive that may include a free tour and activities for the kids.  And the public library occasionally hosts book signings or book readings with authors for people of all ages.  Some even have summer programs and activities that are usually offered free and are appropriate for the entire family.
Must love dogs.
If you’re a family of pet lovers but can’t afford to care for one in your home, why not contact your local animal shelter or humane society about volunteering?!  You can spend some time just playing with the animals or assist in bathing and care if allowed.    
Destination BBQ!

Pack up the grill and venture to your local public lake/ beach or park for a family bar-b-que!  Instant fun!  Don’t forget the frisbee! 

Keep learning throughout the summer.

Education doesn’t have to take a back seat to summer.  You can keep it fun and never stop learning.  If there are some interests that you or your children have, consider exploring those interests further by contacting a local office and inquiring of a mock internship for a day.  Or spend time volunteering doing those things that you wouldn’t get a chance to do during the school year.  And it’s always a good idea to try your hand at making a little extra cash with a lemonade stand, bake sale or other project. 

Uh Oh! Rainy Days!

Has the weather caused a downpour on your plans?  Those old tried and true indoor activities will save the day.  Whether it be preparing baked goodies as a family or a favorite board game, the weather doesn’t have to put a pause in the fun.  Why not, instead of watching a movie, create your own skit and record it to add to your family reunion entertainment!  Or create a cookbook of your favorite family recipes to give as gifts!  There are no limits!

With a little ingenuity you can keep your family having fun throughout the summer without having to shell out cash.  Keep if fun.  Keep it safe.  And have the best summer-on-a-budget imaginable!   

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