Fun, inexpensive summer plans? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 05-30-2013, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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With summer vacation right around the bend, I'm trying to come up with ideas of places I can go to keep the kids busy and happy that don't cost much, or anything.

How about if we share our ideas here? Here are mine:

Parks
Beach
Nature hikes
Children's museums
Zoo (depending on how close you are to one and how much it costs)

Anything else?
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#2 of 15 Old 05-30-2013, 07:38 PM
 
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One of our biggest forms of summer entertainment is to take the kids to any place with water.  Sometimes it's a lake with a public beach or the ocean beach, but most often it's some creek or small river.  I find a shady spot where I can sit and read - with my feet in the water if I'm hot - and the kids wade and catch things with nets and sometimes build with mud or stones.  That can keep the kids busy for hours, and it's usually completely free.  Wherever you live, there's probably some public land with a creek or river running through it that you can take your kids to.

 

Another thing we like to do is visit cemeteries.  There are lots of nice old ones in my area that are pleasant to walk around in.  The kids run around and I take a notebook and record all the weird names I see on gravestones.  (At the little cemetery down the road from our house, there are people buried whose first names are Salmon and Sardine.)

 

Picking wild berries is fun, too. We're hoping to visit family in New Jersey during wineberry season this year, because they're the best wild berries ever.

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#3 of 15 Old 05-30-2013, 11:27 PM
 
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Splash pads
Hiking/biking
Parks
Beach
Walk to the library/ice cream shop/haircutters
Backyard picnics/water play
Sidewalk chalk

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#4 of 15 Old 05-31-2013, 10:21 PM
 
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Bike rides...we just got ds a first bike balance bike !!!!

Water parks

dinner made on the grill and picnic in the yard

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#5 of 15 Old 05-31-2013, 11:03 PM
 
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Find bike trails, and keep on trek'n!!!

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#6 of 15 Old 06-01-2013, 05:24 AM
 
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I second parks and splash pads in a big way.

Also local festivals, farmer's market then picnic with fresh local fruit, library on those insane 40C days.

Maybe some fairly local attractions: I'd love to take 2 year old DD to Niagara Falls this year. Sure it's very tourist trappy but you can get away with packing your own food, skipping the souvenirs and only paying for gas and parking. They also have family passes to a bundle of things like the aviary and the butterfly conservatory which saves money. I think it may need to happen next year though because being 30+ weeks pregnant plus heat plus walking a lot (with steep hills) doesn't sound smart.
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#7 of 15 Old 06-01-2013, 05:29 AM
 
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Bike rides...we just got ds a first bike balance bike !!!!
Water parks
dinner made on the grill and picnic in the yard
DD needs a teeny bit more height before she will fit properly on her balance bike seat (got a fisher price one for half the price of the strider; I hope it wasn't a colossal mistake). She will still straddle it but be in front of the seat walking it around very slowly lol. DH and I both need bikes to go out with her anyways and I don't think that's in the budget for this year. How's he liking his bike and which did you get? (sorry for the thread hijack wink1.gif )
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#8 of 15 Old 06-01-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by skycheattraffic View Post

I second parks and splash pads in a big way.

Also local festivals, farmer's market then picnic with fresh local fruit, library on those insane 40C days.

Maybe some fairly local attractions: I'd love to take 2 year old DD to Niagara Falls this year. Sure it's very tourist trappy but you can get away with packing your own food, skipping the souvenirs and only paying for gas and parking. They also have family passes to a bundle of things like the aviary and the butterfly conservatory which saves money. I think it may need to happen next year though because being 30+ weeks pregnant plus heat plus walking a lot (with steep hills) doesn't sound smart.

I totally forgot about farmer's market though we end up buying food and exceed out "eat out" budget.

Totally hijacking the thread....but is about a summer activity..lol My little one is liking the bike ..he moves really slowly too. We bought "First Bike" and it came with an extension kit to lower the seat so ds could walk. It was expensive but grandma bought it....hehe. I will pm you!!!

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#9 of 15 Old 06-01-2013, 05:04 PM
 
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Don't forget about the library's summer reading programs. Lots of libraries have events during the summer that you can take the kids to.


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#10 of 15 Old 06-06-2013, 10:31 PM
 
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Wow, great thread!  ^_^ Those are cool suggestions. Indeed, incredibly fun and relatively inexpensive. I'm considering few of them. Most especially the above post. Summer time is reading time! thumb.gif

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#11 of 15 Old 06-07-2013, 01:53 AM
 
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Picking wild berries is fun, too. We're hoping to visit family in New Jersey during wineberry season this year, because they're the best wild berries ever.

hey daffodil...   where do you go in NJ to pick wild wineberries?  would love any info...thanks!!!

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#12 of 15 Old 06-07-2013, 01:59 AM
 
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also -- check with your local parks and recreation department...  mine puts on a series of free concerts/shows over the summer, s do a bunch of nearby towns...

 

for US -- the national parks do a passport program where you get a stamp every tme you visit one...  (ok, that ones not free - you have to buy the passport....oh well)

http://www.eparks.com/store/product/22515/*Passport%C2%AE-To-Your-National-Parks*/

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#13 of 15 Old 06-07-2013, 06:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by crazytownmama View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post


 

Picking wild berries is fun, too. We're hoping to visit family in New Jersey during wineberry season this year, because they're the best wild berries ever.

hey daffodil...   where do you go in NJ to pick wild wineberries?  would love any info...thanks!!!

 

One place we've found a lot of them is Tatum Park in Middletown.

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#14 of 15 Old 06-07-2013, 08:07 AM
 
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I'm also racking my brain for some fun activities.  I don't want to do the typical tourist-y things.  I saved a couple of pie tins so the kids could 'pan for gold' in our river.  I expect they will just find some pretty rocks, snail shells, marbles, etc.  You can look up how to do it on YouTube.  I'm also keeping an eye on the university to see if they have some kids activities.  Sometimes they have things like real archeology digs open to the public. 


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#15 of 15 Old 06-07-2013, 09:00 AM
 
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also -- check with your local parks and recreation department...  mine puts on a series of free concerts/shows over the summer, s do a bunch of nearby towns...

 

Yes, I forgot about that! Our city does movies and concerts in the park, and several are planned with children in mind. The kids love it! 

 

Also, we live near a California mission that does some cool kids stuff over the summer. EarthRootsStarSoul's post reminded me that panning for gold is one thing the kids can do there, and once a day they let kids feed the koi. Also, the grounds are just incredibly pretty, so we'll pack a picnic and just spend the afternoon there sometimes. Admission is something like $2. 

 

There's also a zoo with $2 admission that has only local animals -- coyote, mountain lion, bear, birds of prey. It's small and only takes about 45 minutes to go through, but again, it's on beautiful grounds that are a fun place to spend the afternoon if we bring a picnic and the soccer ball. 

 

DS is getting too big for this now, but when he was younger we would do the library storytime, which was very interactive and usually included a craft. 


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