This past weekend we loaded up the car for a nice 2.5 hour drive for a mini stay-cation. Does that still count as a stay-cation? We stayed within our province, and really it wasn’t that far away; we were only gone one night….I’m calling it a stay-cation!
We headed to the London/St. Thomas area for the weekend to visit with our good friend Thomas the Tank Engine. Our little guy loves trains, and loves Thomas the most! I heard about the Day Out With Thomas events through a local parent resource, and knew that we just had to take him. A 25 minute train ride, plus petting zoo, play tables, pictures with Sir Topham Hat, and lots more. And the best part, since he is still under 2 years, he would be free! Our tickets were only $23 each, so for a fun-filled family day, it was pretty reasonable.
Since it was a bit of a drive, we didn’t want to attempt it in one day, so we decided to spend the night in London. Usually this is where things get expensive; hotel room, more meals out etc. Not for us! My husband used to travel quite a bit for work, and they were only allowed to stay in Starwood hotels, which meant that he earned points each time he stayed in them. I cashed in points a few years ago for my mom and I to spend a weekend away for Mothers Day, but other than that we hadn’t really used them. We had enough left for a suite! Which worked out perfectly; our son could sleep in his pack n play in one room, and we could stay up and watch TV in the other (who am I kidding, 7 months pregnant, and a day of walking around in the heat; I was asleep an hour after the kid!). Even better was the fact that the extra space gave our son tons of playing room, and he ran in circles through the bedroom into the bathroom and into the living room most of the time we were there!
We figured that since we were going to be there an extra day we should try to do something else fun; so we visited the London Children’s Museum. Yet another frugal family event! It only cost us $18 to get in! Now, the place is tiny, but the perfect size for our 21 month old to run around, and for this 7 months pregnant lady to waddle around. He had a blast playing in all the exhibits. Children’s museums are awesome! Everything is at his height, everything is meant to be played with. He really enjoyed the freedom.
So, we managed to save a few hundred dollars on the hotel, and the actual events we went to were pretty inexpensive as well. I had also done some grocery shopping before we left, so we had a cooler and a bag full of snacks (my child is not eating french fries the entire trip, I knew he would want some comforts from home, like yogurt, crackers, and bananas!). We really only ate out for 3 meals, 3 very large delicious meals, but that was our choice, and it could have been done on a much tighter budget. Plus, having the snacks in the car allowed us to drive right there, without having to stop to buy snacks!
My husband also got a chance to hit up 6 or 7 different second-hand stores while there; he is always in search of cheap video games! And I visited Cheeky Monkey to pick up some cloth diaper stuff for this next kid, as well as an infant insert for my Ergo carrier (didn’t have to pay shipping!)