We love to do activities as a family, but it can get very expensive! And frankly, until my kids will actually remember going somewhere, I am not about to spend $100 on a day trip to a theme park or fancy zoo. Well, at least not regularly. We took our son to the big, expensive zoo last year and he loved it! I was only a few months pregnant with my daughter, and I somehow managed not to vomit from the smells. It was a good day. But now, at 2.5 years old, he is so hot and cold, you never know if he will actually enjoy something. Sure both kids are still free at most of these places, but my husband and I aren’t, plus you have to pay for parking. It’s an easy $60 or $70 just for admission and parking! Last year we also did the “Day Out with Thomas” train ride, which the kid loved! It was a little expensive, but so worth it. He asked if he could go again this year, but we know better. Drive all the way there, pay all that money, and he’d probably throw a fit and refuse to get on the thing…you just never know with this one.
Yesterday we drove a little out of our way to go to a free zoo. They still have lots of animals, but admission and parking are free! Plus they have an amazing playground and splash pad. Our son, he didn’t care about the animals, even though for the past week all he did was talk about going to see them. He took one look at the playground and just wanted to stay there! So we drove over an hour for our son to play at a park. We have tons of park here in our own town of course. And this morning, the first thing he asked me was “Mom, can we go to the zoo today?” Not a chance kiddo!
There are so many inexpensive family activities in my area, so why spend a ton of money when my son is just as happy at a playground for the afternoon?
What are some of your frugal family activities? Are you saving more expensive things till they will appreciate them more, or at least remember going? Do set aside a portion of your budget for family activities?