Summer vacation is a much-heralded season for school-aged kids, who feel the weight of the world lifted from their shoulders as the school bell sounds for summer break. Unfortunately, the same kids eager to embrace a leisure summer are those without a thing to keep them occupied. For parents, holding kids attention during easy summer months can be easier said than done. Not only is the bar set high for summer fun, but the costs of keeping kids entertained can quickly erode family entertainment budgets. To make ends meet, without sacrificing good times, frugal families enjoy summer recreation that doesn’t break the bank.
The secret to low cost summer entertainment is to look into your options ahead of time. By staying up to speed about local child-friendly entertainment options, you remain at the ready for impromptu good times. Special deals and promotions, for example, leave money on the table for moms and dads who are unaware of savings opportunities. To avoid boredom and cash flow problems simultaneously, creative parents stay one step ahead of summer spending, by carving-out plenty of opportunities for low-budget family-friendly fun. In the end, low-cost, creative good times can be more rewarding than expensive, high-profile events. Use these proven approaches to reel-in summer spending, as you set the table for family fun.
Organized Recreation Programs
Let’s face it: one of the advantages of sending your kids to school every day is that you are not accountable for entertaining them during school hours. During summer months, however, when school is not in session, parents scramble to occupy their kids without making large cash investments. Summer recreation programs, often organized by school districts and other community organizations, furnish structured alternatives for distracting kids during summer. Programs vary by location, but many are held at school, furnishing access to playgrounds and sporting equipment. In some cases, kids are able to participate at their own schools. And while there is a little something available to pique each participant’s interests, some recreation programs focus on particular sports or games; giving kids a chance to work on their abilities.
In addition to daylong programs, some recreation options include camps that facilitate overnight stays. Even such programs calling for admission fees are reasonably priced, and resources are often available for those who cannot afford to pay full price. And while physical activity is featured at many camps and recreation centers, some programs focus on music, academics and other specialties.
Garden as a Family
Summer is not all about the kids. Parents have a right to enjoy leisure summer months, as well. The key to a harmonious, low-budget summer vacation is to tap activities kids and parents can share; preferably those that also lead to productive outcomes. Gardening, for instance, furnishes a shared activity that family members of all ages can embrace. And though it is a good time for parents and kids, gardening actually contributes food to the pantry.
Gardening flows well with the summer cycle, because flowers and food crops are usually planted right around the time school lets out. As the summer unfolds, parents and children share the joy of producing healthy crops, which are ultimately harvested in the fall, close to the time kids return to school.
Free Local Attractions Furnish Worthy Distractions
Regardless of where you live, low-cost summer entertainment options are never far from home. In fact, some local attractions don’t cost a penny. Fairs, festivals, and even local parks are prime venues for letting off steam with the family- without spending any money. Use the local newspaper or Internet listings to plot your course throughout the summer. While some events are adult-oriented during nighttime hours, kid-friendly entertainment is generally offered during the day.