Yesterday we talked about ways to cut costs when eating out, and today I would like to discuss a similar spending category: family fun and activities. I believe it is incredibly important to spend time as a family doing fun, active, and educational activities, but I don’t think you have to spend a lot of money to do them! In fact, you can live “extravagantly” in this category without spending a cent! Here are some more ways to cut your cost of living (we’re on number four, right?):
4) Go to museums on free days.
This is so cool: Target has a program called Arts and Culture in which they sponsor free days (or dirt-cheap admission) to museums and similar venues. Check out their website to see what’s going on in your city!
The Smithsonian will be sponsoring a free museum day to many museums around the county on September 24,2011. The list of this year’s museums is not available until June, but you can see a list of last year’s museums HERE.
If you are a Bank of America credit or debit card holder, you have weekend access to 150 museums around the country! Check it out HERE.
US National Parks offer free entrance days on specific holidays throughout the year. See a list of free entrance dates HERE.
Another tip: Many museums and parks offer free days, some once a week, some less frequently, but all it takes is a call or glance at their website to learn this information. You can also try searching for the phrase “Free Museum Days [your city's name]” in Google and you might be surprised what comes up!
Free Musical Events: If you enjoy classical music, there are no shortage of free events like pipe organ concerts in churches, recitals, and “music on the lawn” performances at local parks. Keep an eye on the bulletin board at your local shopping center or library. Also, you can do a Google search and include your city’s name in the search phrase.
5) Rather than piling up toys, give children museum or park memberships for birthday or Christmas gifts.
We are currently on our third different “membership” since having children, and we love that we can run over to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum for a day anytime we want and let the boys play and explore in a wonderful environment. In Georgia, we were given the Christmas gift of a family membership to Stone Mountain Park. I can’t begin to count the number of times we enjoyed that membership, taking train rides around the mountain with our two-year old, watching fireworks and laser light shows, hiking, picnicking, and enjoying God’s creation. For us, the visits were free every time! Also in Georgia, we gave our son the gift of a a membership to the zoo, and we have tons of wonderful family memories from days spent there.
Family memberships to places like the ones I have mentioned can be costly, so I recommend calling ahead to find out if there are times during the year when discounted memberships are offered. Grandparents might also enjoy giving a family fun-packed gift like this!
What ways have you found to cut your family fun expenses? Leave a comment below!
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