• 50 FREE Activities Your Family Can Enjoy this Summer

    50 FREE Activities Your Family Can Enjoy this Summer50 FREE Activities Your Family Can Enjoy this Summer

    Are you looking forward to that final school bell of the year ringing so you and the kiddos can spend a fun and exciting summer together? Or does the sound of the end of the year school bell have you shaking in your sandals, knowing that you could be shelling out some big bucks to keep the family entertained this summer? If the thought of beating summer boredom also makes you think of draining your budget, you are going to want to keep reading. Luckily, enjoying fun and family friendly activities this summer doesn’t have to mean taking out a mortgage on your home to do so. With a little planning and creativity, you can easily enjoy a summer that is entertaining for family members of all ages while still keeping plenty of cash in your pocket. Below, you will find a comprehensive list of 50 free activities your family can enjoy! Yes, FREE!

    Don’t think this is possible? Take a look and see how you can easily keep your family entertained without spending a dime. Reading will be believing!

    50 FREE Activities Your Family Can Enjoy this Summer:

    1. Host a neighborhood dog wash. Gather your soap and buckets and offer to wash the neighborhood dogs for free or for a small donation you donate to your local shelter.

    2. Enjoy a backyard bonfire. Tell scary stories while you gather.

    3. Go bird watching at a nearby park. Look at pictures of the various birds in your region online before you go.

    4. Visit your local library for free story hours.

    5. Take advantage of free admission days at your local museums. Don’t know when these are? Just call!

    6. Take a nature hike and collect beautiful leaves you find along the way. Scrapbook them.

    7. Visit a fireworks display put on by your city or local parks.

    8. Take a picnic dinner to the beach after 5 p.m. which is when most stop charging admission.

    9. Take a tour of your local fire department. Just call ahead and ask.

    10.Make freeze pops at home using fruit juice, ice cube trays, and toothpicks.

    11. Rent free children’s movies from your local library.

    12. Enroll in one of the many free book clubs offered by stores such as Crate and Barrel and Barnes and Noble.

    13. Create murals with sidewalk chalk.

    14. Make your own bubble solution with dish soap and water and hold a bubble blowing contest.

    15. Volunteer as a family at a local animal shelter.

    16. Find free vacation Bible school camps in your area.

    17. Attend a free make and take clinic at your local Home Depot.

    18. Attend a free concert. Just look in your local newspaper for upcoming events.

    19. Watch a local sports team practice, or enjoy a free game if one is offered.

    20. Ask a local bakery if they will give tours.

    21. Attend a free crafting session at your local library.

    22. Watch the stars at night and look for various constellations.

    23. Hold roller skate races.

    24. Spend some time tending to a family garden.

    25. Set out the sprinkler and host a bike wash.

    26. Visit your local post office for a tour. Just call first.

    27. Have a bike parade around the neighborhood.

    28. Set up an obstacle course in your backyard.

    29. Enjoy the many free kid’s printables on the internet. You can visit sites such as ABCTeach.com and PBSKids.org to find all sorts of fun and free print outs.

    30. Have fun after a storm making mud pie.

    31. Enjoy a fun old fashioned water balloon fight.

    32. Gather old costumes and clothes and have a funky fashion show.

    33. Make your own kite out of newspaper and any scraps you have around the house.

    34. Play flash light tag once the sun sets.

    35. Go on a hunt for butterflies and make a journal or scrap book about the ones you spotted.

    36. Enjoy a family movie night with a Red Box movie. You can find free movie codes by doing a simple Google search for them!

    38. Gather your crafting supplies and make cards for your local nursing home.

    39. Organize a dog parade in your neighborhood.

    40. Visit your local zoo on free admission days. Just call ahead to see when these might be offered.

    41. Patronize eateries where kids can eat free with an adult.

    42. Organize a field day for your neighborhood that includes various skill games.

    43. Get creative with the leftovers in your fridge and have a cook off.

    44. Get out the nail polish and have a spa night.

    45. Have a fun sensory experience with a can of shaving cream. You can spray it, write your name in it, even dye it with food coloring.

    46. Visit a local pet shop to see and pet the various animals available.

    47. Take advantage of free educational classes or presentations offered by your local library.

    48. Go to a plant swap. Take some plants from your own yard so you can trade them for new ones at no cost.

    49. Find free music downloads then host a living room dance party.

    50. Make bird feeders by rolling pine cones in peanut butter and seeds.

    As you can see, this is quite a variety of free activities that can appeal to children of all ages. Plus, you may have noticed that some of them allow children to have fun while serving others and their community as well! So, which ones will you choose to try this summer? If you tried just one per day, that is nearly a month and a half of activities for you and your family to try that don’t cost a dime. Now that is a great value! Have fun!

    What else would you add to this list?

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  • Time Doesn’t Heal Grief

    Time Doesn’t Heal GriefI wrote the following letter to my dad 3 years ago for Lifetime Moms (which doesn’t exist anymore) on the 10-year anniversary of his passing. This letter was such good therapy for me 3 years ago and I realized that I needed to express grief that had been built up in me for so long. There is so much pain in this letter that I held on to for a decade. Writing this helped me heal in many ways. Time still doesn’t heal grief – but finding my voice did allow me to feel more peace.

    Since the original article is no longer available, I need to repost this – for my own therapeutic motives, but also because I received so many emails, comments and direct messages from others that had lost parents, or other close loved ones, and appreciated the voice.

    This is for you Daddy,  – and all of you that know what it is like to have your world turned upside down and inside out…

    Dear Daddy,

    It has been 10 13 years since you left this earth and a huge hole was fastened in my heart. I’m not the new blushing newlywed that I was – losing you only 4 months after our wedding made our first year of marriage a turbulent one. Those first few days, weeks, and months were so hard to deal with after your sudden and unexpected death. The grief blinded me and I don’t remember a lot of that time. I’m sure it was a copying mechanism my brain used to help me function through those long days and nights. But we pushed through – you were right to like Ben and bless our marriage. He has been a supportive husband and father. Yes, that is right; you now have 3 beautiful grandkids: 2 boys and a girl. Our oldest even has your namesake.

    Yet the past decade has taught me a lot – not just through the masters’ degrees (3 of them!!) I earned – but through understanding that life is not all rosy. I know you wanted to protect me from the evils in life, but the truth is, we can’t keep our children from reality and I got a hard dose of it when you past away.

    I’ve also learned that the idea that “time heals all wounds” is a bunch of crap.

    Time doesn’t heal – it just helps numb the pain a bit. Grief isn’t like other wounds that heal over time. It just continues to fester and just when you think you are done with the pain, it strikes again. Each birthday, holiday or family event I think of you and how you would have loved to be there with us. But those are just the obvious times. The times that other people may expect me to be still grieving. It is the simple things each day that make it a challenge and remind me that grief is never ending. Like when I hear a classic rock song on the radio, or see a movie I know you would have enjoyed, or see a little girl holding her father’s hand. It is all the times that I would have called you for your advice or just some reassurance on who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I’m heading.

    Even as a professional working mother in her 30s, I’m still your little girl and craving the assurance of your presence. I miss you and I always will because no matter how much time passes, the grief remains.

    Lovingly,

    Your Little Girl

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  • Family Fun Free or Cheap June 2016

    free and cheap family fun

    Well, summer is officially here! My kids got out of school 2 weeks ago – but it is the 115 degree weather this weekend that is telling me that we are in for a HOT summer! Luckily there are some fun free and cheap family fun activities that we can enjoy indoors while we are in the heat wave.

    Scroll down to find a round up of available free and cheap family fun activities that will keep your kids entertained and your wallet full!

    50-Free-Summer-Activities.jpgAnd don’t forget to check out my 50 FREE Activities Your Family Can Enjoy this Summer.

    Plus, check out these posts for more free family fun:

    Pin or bookmark this page and forward to your friends and family so they can enjoy all the freebies, too. Keep scrolling down and you’ll find a list of items for upcoming weekends, too.

    :: FREE Museum Weekend for Bank of America Customers

    Saturday, June 4th and Sunday, June 5th

    Bank of America’s Museums on Us is offering free admission to more than 150 museums nationwide. Simply present your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card along with a photo ID to gain free general admission to any participating institution. Cardholders only; guests are not eligible for free admission. For more information about Museums on Us, visit: http://museums.bankofamerica.com.

    Barnes & Noble

    Summer Reading Triathlon – Kids in grades 1 through 6 can earn a free book.

    Contact your local Barnes & Noble store to verify participation.

    Guitar Center

    Saturday, June 4th at 10:15 AM – Learn to Play the Ukulele

    Register at Guitar Center workshops.

    Kids_Workshop_2016_TrophySmartPhoneHolder_PSD-5ad2faa9

    Home Depot Kids Workshop

    Saturday, June 4th from 9 AM to 12 PM

    Kids make and take a Father’s Day Smart Phone Holder. Get more information and register at Home Depot workshops .

    Lakeshore Learning free craft class June 4th

    Lakeshore Learning

    Saturday, June 4th from 11 AM – 3 PM and a few locations offer crafts on Sunday.

    Kids design and take a birdfeeder craft. Get more information from Lakeshore Learning Free Crafts for Kids.

     

    KC---Chalk-Butterfly

    Michael’s Kid’s Club

    Saturday, June 4th from 10 AM – 12 PM

    Kids make and take a Chalk Butterfly craft. Cost is $2 per kid. Get more information on the Michael’s website.

    Williams-Sonoma Free Cooking Classes for Adults

    Sunday, June 5th – hours vary by store – Blender Essentials with Tess Masters

    Get more information at your local Williams-Sonoma store.

    ……… Coming up Summer 2016……..

    :: FREE National Park Admission Dates for 2016

    • August 25th-28th – National Park Service Birthday
    • September 24 – National Public Lands Day
    • November 11 – Veterans Day

    Find a list of participating national parks

    :: FREE National Parks Admission for 4th Graders

    Every 4th grader will get an Every Kid in the Park pass food for FREE admission to all of America’s National Parks. The pass will be good for one full year and will be good for the 4th graders & their families as most parks charge admission per car. This is part of President Obama’s Every Kid in the Park initiative.

     

    :: Bass Pro Shops

    Ongoing outdoor workshops in stores. Check your local Bass Pro Shop store for specific events, times, and details.

    :: Cheap Movies

    harkins movies 2016

    Harkins summer movie program has begun! 10 family friendly movies over 10 weeks all for just $1 each!

     

    :: Home Depot Workshops for Adults

    Saturday, June 11th from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM – Landscape and pest control

    Sunday, June 12th from 1 PM – 2:30 – Choosing the best door locks
    Get more information on Home Depot workshops.

    :: Kids Bowl Free

    Registered kids receive 2 FREE games of bowling, all summer long. Select bowling alleys all across the USA are participating. Get more information here.

    :: Lego Stores Free Model Build

    Register online for the 6/7 & 6/8 free LEGO Sea Plane Mini Model Build.

    Usually held monthly in stores, kids ages 6 to 14 can build a model and take it home. Contact your closest LEGO® Store for details.

    :: Lowe’s Build and Grow

    Saturday, June 11th at 10 AM, kids make and take a Captain America craft. Registration opens 5/30 and registration is required: Lowe’s Kids Clinics.

    :: Pottery Barn Kids

    Storytime on Tuesdays from 11 – 11:30 AM. For more information, visit Pottery Barn Kids events here.

     

    ……….Available All Year………….

    :: Apple Store

    Free workshops – learn the basic of Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Learn how to create slideshows with iPhoto. Edit home movies with iMovie and more! Find your local store and make a reservation for a free workshop here.

    :: Athleta Stores

    Free fitness classes, group runs and special events at your local store. Visit your local store page here for more information.

    :: Beauty Events in Stores

    Find free beauty events at local stores with free samples and demonstrations. Visit the website that keeps track of these right here.

    :: Factory Tours

    Find factory tours all across the USA, go here, The site has 570 tours and counting! Many are free but some may have an admission fee.

    :: Flying Lessons

    Young Eagles – kids ages 8 to 17 experience aviation and get free rides in private aircraft flown by experienced pilots. Get more information here.

     

    :: Home and Garden Shows

    If you like Home and Garden shows, this site will give you a free pass. Check the ACS Home Show site.

     

    :: Lululemon Fitness Classes

    Lululemon locations offer free yoga classes, go here for schedules and locations.

    :: Major League Baseball Clinics

    Through the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, kids can attend a free baseball clinic in many locations across the country. The free program is called Free Legends for Youth Kids Clinics.

    :: Microsoft High Tech DigiCamp for Girls (free)

    Microsoft is proud to offer technology programs specifically for youth. Find out more information here.

    :: Playground Finder

    If you find yourself in a new location and are looking for a playground, use the free KaBoom Map of Play, playground finder and just type your location into the search bar.

    :: REI Running Classes

    Learn or get back into running with training and techniques classes. Find our more at REI.com.

    :: Sephora: Free In Store Beauty Classes

    Join the Sephora Beauty club , and attend free beauty classes inside Sephora stores to learn everything from building a skin care routine to creating the perfect smoky eye. Classes are held on Sunday at more than 60 stores across the USA. Check with your local stores for schedules and times.

    :: Target – Free Community Events

    Target is also sponsoring FREE community events ranging from free museum admission, free theater tickets, family activities and tours at some of our countries most famous venues. Times and locations vary by city. Find free family activities sponsored by Target in your area right here.

    :: Wine Tasting

    Total Wine stores offer free wine tasting classes each weekend. Learn about specific producers, regions and varietals. Where allowed by law, participants receive special discounts on the wine being tasted. View the FREE Wine Tasting Schedule here.

    :: More Free Museum Dates

    This site, www.freemuseumday.org, tracks free museum days in the following cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, and the Seattle Area.

    :: Celebrate Crazy and Fun Holidays

    Make memories and celebrate fun holidays with your family. This week you can celebrate Go Hug Your Cat Day, Hot Air Balloon Day, Chocolate Ice Cream Day and more. See the schedule at Days of the Year.

    * For more ideas for family fun, be sure and check Groupon, Amazon Local and LivingSocial in your area. Join each site for free and start having more fun on a budget! These vouchers make great gifts too!

    Be sure and check out your local library and parks and recreation departments for free programs and events right in your hometown!

    (Big thanks to Lori at More with Less Today)

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  • DIY Father’s Day Gift: Nuts About Dad

    DIY Father’s Day Gift “Nuts About Dad”

    Easy DIY Father’s Day Gift: “Nuts About Dad”

    Looking for a last minute Father’s Day gift for dad from the kids? This DIY Father’s Day Gift “Nuts About Dad” is simple to make and will brighten dad’s day! Fill the jar with his favorite nuts (or a variety of nuts if that is what he prefers), attach the printable label and let the kids wrap the gift.

    They will love making something for dad and he will appreciate getting his favorite snack! This jar is perfect to keep at a desk to show off his kids’ handy work, and once the nuts are gone, it is easy to refill so that he can enjoy it year round.

    My husband LOVES cashews, so that is the kind of nuts that he will get. What will you give your hubby or Dad this Father’s Day?

    Here’s What You Need for this DIY Gift:

    • 1 Quart Mason Jar
    • Dad’s Favorite Nuts
    • Printable Label
    • Yarn, Ribbons, Twine for decoration

    How to Make the “Nuts About Dad” Jar:

    1. Print the supplied label and trim to fit.
    2. Using a glue stick, affix it to the jar.
    3. Fill the jar with nuts.
    4. Decorate with ribbons, etc.

    Have the kids write their names on the top or on another label on the bottom of the jar. Don’t forget to add the year so dad can remember exactly when he received this special gift. And that’s it! – easy right?

     

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