A fun summer for $25 a week. What can we do?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by ekatiel, May 22, 2010.

  1. ekatiel

    ekatiel DIS Veteran

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    So, I'm a SAHM of 2 boys (almost 4 and almost 6 years old). Preschool ended on Thursday :scared1:. It is now officially "summer" for us!!! I've budgeted us $100/month to spend on activities together. I've also included an extra $40/month in our restaurant budget (I figure that gets the boys and I either Chick-fil-a or McDonalds about once a week). SO, can you guys help me fill up our schedule with cheap/free activities? Here's what I've got so far:

    --Library at least once per week (our local library has activities planned twice a week in the afternoons).
    --Cinemark's summer movie club on Tuesday mornings ($5 for 10 movies), plus cost of snacks.
    --I'm going to buy season passes to a place called Palm Beach in Galveston (which is about 30 minutes away). Passes are $30 each, and it is WAY cooler than our local pool which is only open from 1-5pm and costs $75 for a family season pass. I will buy these passes in advance, so it won't come out of my "budget money"
    --Eat "out" once a week together and let the kids play in the play place.

    We live in the Houston area, if that helps anyone (Friendswood, to be exact). There aren't any "free bowling" chains around here. What else can we do? --Katie
     
  2. ajk912

    ajk912 <font color=purple>Dum..dum...dum...we are in the

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    That sounds like plenty. By the time you relax a bit, play board games or do laundry or do whatever you do..and then whatever required reading/homework your school requires over the summer..you won't have as much time to kill as you think. ;) We are usually just fine with a pool membership and our beach vacation. But one of my kids have extended school year, and then we have church VBS and then their fall activities usually start up again in August. We enjoy the downtime as much as possible!
     
  3. FoundMyPrince

    FoundMyPrince DIS Veteran

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    Home Depot Kids Workshops

    Lowes Build and Grow Clinic
     
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  5. teacup princess

    teacup princess DIS Veteran

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    I'm not sure about your area, but our Home Depot has free kids workshops (build a toolbox, birdhouse ect.) That might interest your boys and help kill a morning or two.
     
  6. Lisa_M

    Lisa_M DIS Veteran

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    Take them to the park or let them run through the sprinkler in your yard. Both free :) You could also have an arts and crafts day, like painting or making stuff.

    Happy Summer!
     
  7. casjen

    casjen DIS Veteran

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    zoo, or other fun kid spot. Admission is usually very discounted. I can request passes online 3 months in advance and the good ones go fast. Be sure to look into that.
     
  8. IndianaPrincess

    IndianaPrincess Mouseketeer

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    This is so nerdy that I am afraid to admit it, but it is ALWAYS a big hit here.

    Make a list of all your area dollar stores and then whenever you need a filler activity (or a once a week thing) you go into the dollar store and each person gets a buck to pick out anything they want!!!

    This can even lead into other activities like water balloon fight or kite flying! I'll admit I even enjoy spending my dollar! It's fun to have to only pick one thing!
     
  9. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member DVC Gold

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    zoo and or museum membership?
     
  10. rmom50

    rmom50 DIS Veteran

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    hi! our town has a free day at all museums. Once a month usually. check their web sites. i think if they are non profit they have to have a free day here. It's not always easy to find that info - may have to call. Also, if you have an Arts Council of some kind or tourism bureau or whatever - they usually have that info. You CAN find free stuff - we always did when my kids were younger! :woohoo:
     
  11. DisneyAndRedSox

    DisneyAndRedSox I still call it a WEDWay PeopleMover!

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    I second the recommendation of free or reduced passes at the library for museums and zoos. At my library we can book them online pretty far in advance.
    Check out the Entertainment Book, this time of year they are cheap and they have a lot of BOGO coupons, just used mine at a zoo yesterday and saved $18. My Mom has one and lets me take all the kids coupons and mini golf, etc...
     
  12. ekatiel

    ekatiel DIS Veteran

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    This is actually a GREAT idea!!! I love being able to take them to the dollar store and tell them that they can pick out anything they want!!!

    I will definitely check the library for discounted tickets. Thanks for the heads-up!

    My mom has an entertainment book, too. I'll have to snag hers and look through it!

    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys, keep 'em coming!! --Katie
     
  13. FoundMyPrince

    FoundMyPrince DIS Veteran

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  14. fakereadhed

    fakereadhed The Tag Fairy has me on "ignore"!

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    Join an area playgroup or start your own! Call all the preschool moms and plan to meet up once a week(or more) at a local park. I bet the other parents are in the same boat as you.
     
  15. Aunt Flancy

    Aunt Flancy Mouseketeer

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  16. 2TxAgs

    2TxAgs DIS Veteran

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    Fun/free things at home...

    Sheets over chairs can become forts or caves.

    Also, you can make obstacle courses at home - lay down cushions, chairs, etc.

    Bowling with a basketball - pins made from plastic soda/water bottles

    Food art - use pasta, beans, lentils, glue, sequins, etc to make pictures

    We used felt and markers and googly eyes to make finger puppets - pirates, polar
    bears, etc. I used a great book that I bought at a bookfair on rainy day activities for kids. Check at the library.

    Bean bag toss, 3 legged races, soccer, jumprope

    Cardboard boxes (especially big ones) can become cars, trains, forts

    Cook - make cookies and take them to the local firestation. Look at the firetrucks while you're there

    Go watch the big kids - when mine were little, sometimes we'd go watch the HS band practice, or we'd go to the skatepark to see the big kids skate. My son loved to see what older boys were doing.

    I second the sprinkler in the yard. Also, one of those slip 'n slides or a kiddie pool could be brought out each afternoon. Get water guns and let them go at it in the kiddie pool.
     
  17. pigletto

    pigletto DIS Veteran

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    Picnics. At the park, near a lake, in the back yard, in the rec room if it's raining. My kids simply love picnics.
    Make a fort out of anything. Camp in the backyard. Start a small indoor or outdoor garden with the kids (this one lends itself to a daily watering, checking, weeding activity and makes them so proud!)
    Chalk in the driveway, ride bikes, body paint with pudding (best done with a hose nearby!), visits to local parks where you can hike a little or play with a ball.

    I tend to focus on free or nearly free.. because at that age all they want is your time and attention.
     
  18. EnchantedPrincess

    EnchantedPrincess DIS Veteran

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    Hi! We are in Friendswood as well and probably doing some of activities at the Friendswood library as well. My kids also love Freeman library. How about picnic at the park - Challenger park is one of our favorites although occasionally we take the drive out to Bay Area Area.

    Edited to add: Have you been to Discovery Green downtown? There is a park with water fountains and playground. Really fun for the kids.
     
  19. zachsmomie

    zachsmomie Mouseketeer

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    What about making, and then playing with, homemade play-doh/fingerpaint? Sidewalk chalk, watercolor paint sets are cheap and if you draw write something in white crayon on a piece of white paper/index card and they color over it, it magically appears.

    Videotape them playing/at the zoo/water park and then play it back on rainy days. Kids love to see themselves on TV!
     
  20. cheriemek

    cheriemek Mouseketeer

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    I was going to suggest the same thing!
     
  21. Akmayeli

    Akmayeli Mouseketeer

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    We are in Friendswood also. There are several parks in the area so make a list and try out a new one each week. You could also go to JumpNJungle or Funmax for those really hot summer days. I'm not sure of their prices but I would go on their websites and see if they have any printable coupons. Also, as someone else suggested too start a playgroup or join one. I am part of one called Clear Lake Kiddos and my son has a blast just going over too other people's houses to play. Oh, also we got a zoo membership last year for $45 for the entire family. I thought that was pretty cheap. Last but nor least, my kids love to go to Kemah Boardwalk to play in the sprinklers by the aquarium.
     

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