If you have taken your family to the movies lately, you know how shockingly hard it can hit your wallet. It is possible, though, to enjoy free or even inexpensive family outings if you are willing to put a little time into researching and follow some simple guidelines. Some of the following ideas can be contingent upon whether you live in a small town or a city. However, it can be worth the expense of gas to drive a little farther for a cheaper family excursion.
Enjoying your family within the beautiful surroundings of your geographical area can bring some serious unadulterated joy to your life. It can be easy to forget that being in nature is often enough; there are no concession stands or retail stores to distract you into thinking you may need something more to complete things. Take your family on a hike or bike ride that culminates in simple picnic. After the picnic, climb trees or collect fall leaves, or go for a swim in the lake. Camping can also be a great bonding experience for a family outing. Equipment can get pretty costly; however, it is possible to borrow from friends or even rent the equipment. Another great idea for a family outing is to forage for wild foods like nuts, berries, and mushrooms. If you are new to this, join a local club that goes on regular excursions and teaches people how to find and identify wild edibles. The membership fees are usually very inexpensive.
Outside markets have made an insurgence in America. A good flea market can truly be a fun family outing. Flea markets, especially, are full of stalls with inexpensive trinkets, books, jewelry, game cards, and food. To keep it from just being a full-on spending spree, give each family member a set amount of money to spend for the day. Most of the entertainment value comes from browsing through the unusual items on display. Or if you live in an urban setting, you may have a China Town nearby; that can be a real cultural experience.
*Concerts and Festivals
If you do the research online or in your local entertainment periodical, you will find that there are indeed free festivals and concerts. The way that most people tend to overspend is on the refreshments. Eat a big meal at home before you go and then bring water bottles along. You may still want to spend a little on a treat, like ice cream or something, but you will save a lot by not going to the concert or festival hungry.
It really depends on where you live, what kind of museum you want to go to, and what day you go. Most cities have special days when the museum is free of charge or discounted. It can be crowded on those days, so go as soon as it opens. Don’t forget about arboretums and botanical gardens. These nature venues often have special educational days for children and families. Even if the ticket costs more than you’d like it to, you can feel pretty good about there not being an overabundance of retail and concessions. In fact, there may be picnic tables for those who’d like to picnic there.
Most people forget about skating. Roller skating rinks usually have fairly inexpensive entrance fees that may or may not include skate rentals. The concessions are always pretty cheap as the food items most youngsters go for are popcorn, hot dogs, and sodas. This can be ice skating in the winter and roller skating through the other seasons. Some skate parks are more geared towards inline skating and skateboarding, which teenagers especially enjoy. Overall, skating is fun for all ages and can contribute to quite a lot of falling and laughing. If you don’t enjoy skating, don’t worry too much, rinks usually have air hockey and old time arcades. That’s fun, too!
There’s no reason why a family outing has to be costly. With some preplanning and creativity, the family can enjoy some real entertainment, whether inside or outside. Allow for some possible fussing at first, as most kids have become locked into the idea that family outings should mean malls and movies. However, once you get to your destination just watch how the whole family delights in the fresh experience of some outings that have really been around for some time.