Living in the state of "were going to keep raising gas prices and you can't do anything about it and oh you blinked, here's another $0.15cents - hahaha- fools" means more people are staying closer to home this summer and looking for low cost summer activities. Husband on the other hand, has finally gotten bitten by the travel bug (go figure!). So here are a few low cost ideas to get you through the summer.
Local Library - Our local library has a variety of summer programs, in addition to the summer reading programs. There are preschool story times (which I may take advantage of), craft days (which I've signed Eieny and Meenie up for. Hello Mommy and Moe morning coffee time! We've missed you!) and girl scout craft days - which you neither have to be a girl or a scout to attend. Only Einey meets the age limit though.
Swimming - We have several local lakes to swim at during the summer. Many are free, and aren't to far of a drive. We've brought the beach pass for the closest one though. not only is it real close, but it's also less crowded and is the only one which employs life guards.
Playground - When you have a brand new super cool fun for hours playground in town, what's not to like? The kids spend hours running around playing, can make themselves go on swings themselves now and love seeing which friends will be there that day. Call a friend to meet you there and it's an added bonus. The kids can play, the moms can sit in the shade of a tree and talk, all the while keeping an eye on the kids of course! Pack a lunch or a snack and water bottles to prolong the visit and get the most out of it. An extra special treat is after playing hard all morning - kids who don't nap may actually fall asleep in the afternoon!
Hiking - We've combined hiking with letterboxing (click the link below the post for more information) for endless summer fun! You can find our stamps all the way out to the Cape! The kids enjoy it, we enjoy hiking and it's easy to do. You can choose how long you want to be out in the woods. It's fun, cheap and educational! Just make sure you bring proper equipment - letterboxing stuff if your letterboxing, water bottles, insect repellent, sunscreen, and snacks like granola bars. Our hiking bag (always packed and ready for a moments notice) also has helmet lights (for looking into hard to see places and or course, if you get lost, a compass, and a whistle. We also always carry a cell phone at all times. You just never know!
Pick your own - This morning ,we took the girls to pick strawberries. We got just over 3 pounds for under $4.00! The kids had fun (unlike the last time we went to the crazy lady's farm). We definitely plan on going back - for more strawberries as well as Blueberries (which are ready from mid July through September!0. I even plan on freezing some so that the girls can have fresh blueberries in the dead of winter.
Summer Rec. offerings - Each year, our rec. department has a theme day. Two years ago - it was pirate day. Last year (and this year as well - due to part of the day being rained out last year) is cowboy day. They encourage the kids to dress up, send them on a scavenger hunt and give out prizes. Plus there are skits to watch, food to eat and games to play. All in all, it's a fun, cheap day!
Summer music series - Another activity we like is the evening summer music nights. Some nights are kids themed, others are not - but it's still fun to take them to Jazz night, or Celtic night. And nearby, they do river fire (not as big as Providence, but close by and the kids loved it)!. So I'm writing down dates now for local concert nights. It's always fun to pack a lunch and a blanket and let the kids enjoy themselves!
Throw a party! - Last year I threw a water party. I set up the sprinkler, put out trays of bubbles and huge buckets of water. There were relay races, there were water fights. We even dug for treasure from ice cubes! This years plans include a color party - tye-dying fun! - and an afternoon kids tea party. Eieny is planning her own pizza party. Unfortunately the date she picked, her best friends are both out of the state on vacation. Luckily, summer has just began!