free things to do with kids

These days I often find myself broke and unable to really do many of the things that I want to do with my kids. Every summer I make plans to take my kids camping and every summer flies by without at least one camping trip because I find myself without the money it takes to buy the tent, sleeping bags, food, and rent the camping spot (though this year I am determined to make it happen). There isn’t much you can do these days that doesn’t cost at least a week’s pay just so we can expose our children to some of the fun things we did as kids. However, I have found that it’s not impossible. You and the kids don’t need to be stuck inside all the time because you have no money.

Kids breaking the bank? 10 FREE things to do with kids! #momlife @RockinRandomMom Click To Tweet

So, here are my top 10 free things to do with your kids this summer:

  1. THE PARK. Now this could be any park really.  I am surrounded by several different types of parks.  One park that I like to take my kids to has a variety of different activities for the whole family to enjoy.  Some activities do cost money but many activities don’t so I take my kids to the petting zoo, the two different playgrounds, and they’re favorite is the water park.
  2. RECREATIONAL CENTERS. My town has a few of these, some indoor and some outdoor, and the only thing that costs money is the community pool (though in most places the kiddie pools are free).  They have a huge playground, two baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, and my personal favorite, the hiking trails that lead down to the gorgeous river. These trails also lead to a small water fall – beautiful!  So, if the kids get too hot and I don’t have money for the pool, I walk them down to the river and have a blast!  Just good old fashioned rivers and streams, enjoying nature.
  3. THE BEACH. Now these days a lot of beaches cost to get in or cost for parking but I have found a beach that is low cost and has so many different things to do.  Lake Wyola State Park in Shutesbury, MA. It’s a bit of a drive and they have a concession stand if you don’t want to bring your own food but this beach is a great place to take my kids on a hot summer day.  There is also a smaller one closer to home that’s fun too and it’s completely free and that one is called Puffer’s Pond in Amherst, MA. It also has hiking trails.
  4. DANCING IN THE RAIN. You can’t put a price tag on that.  You don’t even have to dance.  You can play football, catch raindrops in your mouth, or just run around…IN THE RAIN!  I love summer rain.
  5. While I enjoy my solo time hiking some of my favorite trails, I also enjoy taking my oldest son.  Last year I joined him and his class on a hiking trip and we had so much fun together that from time to time I take him with me on my trails.  It’s a great bonding experience for both of us and it gives us the one-on-one time that we don’t get often.
  6. Since sports in my area is too expensive, I grab a soccer ball, baseball, basketball, or football and play ball with my boys right outside.
  7. TAKE A WALK. In the evenings, as a way to relax after a long day, I take the kids and the dog for a walk with me.  Just walking gives us the opportunity to talk to each other about our day and for me, it is another bonding experience I get to have with both of them.
  8. DANCE PARTY! Now maybe I should have included this with Dancing in the rain but to me, they are different experiences. You can dance anywhere. At the park, in your yard, or in the privacy of your own home.  Have at it!
  9. JUST DRIVE.  When I was a kid, my great aunt would take us for a long drive, just to get out of the house and enjoy the scenery.  She would take us through mountains and she would purposely get lost so we had more time to talk to each other, play the I SPY game, and just BE.
  10. BUILD A FORT.Now, I live in an apartment, so building a fort outside my place isn’t accepted but if you are up for building one in the woods (It’s what we used to do as kids), or even one in your home (my youngest is always building something in my living room), you will make long lasting memories for you and your kids.

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