It's a rare day when my husband has the time to relax and enjoy our children. On those occasions, I like to plan a little adventure so we can share our time together as a family. But, of course, I want to make sure we're not burning cash just to entertain ourselves. There's a very practical-Midwestern part of me that simply can't grasp the concept of having to max out a credit card just to share family time together! At the heart of it is probably a desire to teach my kids that they don't need to spend money to enjoy themselves. After all, the best tihngs in life are free anyway, right?
Ok, so this one technically isn't free, because you're buying the produce that you pick. But if you're going to be purchasing any of that produce at the grocery store, try skipping your typical Target run and head for the orchard. This time of year, apples and pumpkins are ripe and ready for the pickin'! Some orchards will even show you their cider-making process. I've found that many orchards have playgrounds and picnic tables to encourage families to spend the day. Pack a lunch and make it a date!
Take advantage of the resources offered by your local public library! Nowadays, libraries go way beyond books and offer movies, research labs, and even craft studios! Our local library has a "Make-And-Take" lab, where parents and educators can use equipment like a laminator or book binder to make their own teaching materials. Most kid-friendly library sections have at least a few toys to engage the littles when they need to work out their wiggles. Learning is fun - teach them young!
I have very distinct memories of putting on a magic show with my brother and the family dog. We tied a handkerchief around her head and set up a softball as her "crystal ball", and the dog was our fortune teller. I must have been five or six? My mom remembers that moment fondly. Maybe you could try a family talent show? If your kiddos are little, they can be the audience members while you goof around and do sock puppet shows! Or, if they're learning to walk or talk, show off those skills and encourage them. Anyone can be the star of the show!
One of my all-time favorites! Indoor camping can range from building a pillow and blanket fort in your living room, to setting up the tent in the dining room and roasting hot dogs in the oven. There's no wrong way to "camp" indoors - the point is to have fun and change up your routine. Parents love it because you're not leaving the comforts of home behind - you can still take a long, hot shower in the privacy of your own bathroom.
And the list goes on! We've done movie nights with yummy snacks, community gardening, and even simply walks in the park. There's no wrong way to enjoy one another's company - and you certainly don't have to be a spender to share the love!
What are you favorite free ways to have fun? Give me a few ideas on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3 - I definitely don't want to run out!