June 28, 2014

10 Places to Have Fun and Not Spend a Lot this Summer

I've been working on The Family Fun Saver for a couple months now.  I love sharing all the great community events and activities that families can go to in our area without having to spend a lot of money.  So here are 10 places to look for free or low cost family activities during the summer.

  1. Local Library - Our library has tons of kids programs from a children's summer reading program, to kids theme parties, to movies shown on an inflatable screen at the park.
  2. Park System - Stark Parks is amazing in the amount of events they have going on.  A lot are free but even when they aren't free, the cost is never very high.  Recently I took the girls to decorate terracotta pot bird baths. The cost was only $5 each.  Fishing derbies, family bike rides, nature themed children's parties, even a princess picnic are all on the agenda over the next couple of months.
  3. Community Events - Our city hosts a children's fishing derby at one of the local parks each year.  Then there is a small fair and a Main Street festival at the end of summer.  We skipped the fair this year since the rides and food are usually pretty expensive.  We never miss the Main Street festival though. And there will be a parade and Fireworks display for the fourth of July.
  4. Festivals and Fairs - The Italian Festival that is held at the Stark County Fair Grounds this weekend is one of our favorite events.  $5 per person includes parking, admission, live entertainment and RIDES!  Can you believe it?  $5 per person to ride rides all day!  We eat dinner before we go and just buy one or two Fair Foods to share as a treat to save even more money.
  5. Nature Centers or Gardens - There are a couple nature centers within a 30 minute drive from our house.  Pack a picnic and go for a hike to do some exploring.  Plus the nature centers usually host 1 or 2 events per month.
  6. Local Visitor's Website - One I use a lot is visitcantonstark.com.  I can always find lots of events going on.  I just have to sort through them to find the free ones.
  7. Summer Kids' Movie Programs - We have 2 theaters that host Kid Summer Movie Programs.  There is a specific showing each week that is usually an older movie but it only costs $1 per person.  And the downtown movie theater even hosts a free family movie the first Friday of every month.
  8. Museums and Zoos - A lot of museums and zoos run special promotions through out the Summer.  One of our local museums is hosting a Summer Science Splash event for only $5 per person.  Zoos and Museums will also usually have 1 day during the week that is cheaper than others or offer a resident discount.
  9. Drive Ins - Want a cheap night out with the kids?  Take them to the drive-ins.  We pay just $6 per person over 11 and $2 for kids 5 - 11 to go to a double feature of NEW movies at the drive ins.  And kids under 5 are Free! Go early, pack a picnic and a Frisbee or ball to play with before the movie and make a whole adventure out of it.  The kids absolutely love the drive-ins.  Take lots of blankets and pillows so the little ones can snuggle up and fall asleep when they are too tired.  It's a great family night.
  10. Lowe's and Home Depot - Both of these store's have a Children's Workshop once or twice a month for free.  It's educational as the children are learning about measurements, using tools and painting while having fun building something.

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