Saving Money and Having Fun, too! Finding Free Kids Activities and Adventures

imageBy Jessica Azar
I’m a week late writing this post, but since it will be a topic that I will be revisiting, I’m going to go ahead and write it!
The High Roller and I started looking at our finances and realized that we are spending way too much money on frivolous things, like going out to eat a ton of times during the month, or on entertainment, when there are obvious alternatives right in front of us…. They might require more planning and effort, but they’re there. We are trying to regroup and refocus on accomplishing our financial goals, like completely paying off our vehicles and saving enough to start building our new house… So changes must be made!
The thing is, a few years ago, when Butch Cassidy and Sundance were very, very small, money was very tight for us and we found all kinds of ways to save money and make do with much less. Over time, as our income has improved, we’ve allowed our spending to grow alongside of it, and while a certain amount of that is just fine (I believe in enjoying some of the fruits of your labor in the present) we have let it get out of control. I used to coupon nonstop, dry a lot our clothes on a line out back, keep the air conditioning off if we could get a nice breeze in the house, cloth diaper…. The list goes on and on. And while I won’t be going back to all of those (unless it’s necessary) I’m reminded that I have a ton of options and resources at my disposal. Therefore, instead of spending a ton of money on entertaining the kids this summer/spring, I’m on a mission to find all of the free or activities with very low costs involved that I can for us to enjoy. I will be detailing those adventures here in blogposts! While I do to expect all of them to be huge, life changing successes, I know we can have a lot of fun. I would love to here your ideas on free kids activities, as well!

Last week was Spring Break for the Princess and Sundance, so last Tuesday morning I took them (and LLL) downtown (Montgomery, Alabama) to go to a couple of places that they have enjoyed in the past! To begin with, we went to the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association “Mooseum”… image Here kids can learn lots of different things about the cattle industry… Ranging from Rodeoing, History of the industry, Beef as a food… And the best part is that it’s all Hands On! And FREE. They got to Dress Up in Cowboy/Cowgirl clothes… Weigh themselves on a cattle scale (and see how many of them had to stand on it to even weigh as much as a calf) play in a kitchen area… They had lots of fun.

After that, we walked across the street to the Alabama Department of Archives. imageThey have an amazing Hands On gallery for kids called “Grandma’s Attic” where they can play with all kinds of toys and items from the past… Like typewriters and rotary phones… And dress up in old clothing! There are also crafts available at different times, and the day we went they were letting the kids make very easy kites. It included a lesson on the history of Kites and the importance of Montgomery, Alabama in the history of aeronautics (did you know that Wilbur and Orville Wright opened the first ever school to teach flight here, in Montgomery?! In 1910! I actually knew that, but many people don’t) so it was a great lesson for them. I watched LLL stand up for herself when a boy about Sundance’s age tried to take something from her, too… She yelled NO!!!! And then pointed the opposite direction and yelled GO NOW!!! And the kid listened. Sundance was on his way over to handle the situation, but his baby sister beat him to it. I’m scared of her teen years. We also walked through the amazing new lifelike history of Alabama exhibit. It starts with the Native Americans in Alabama and goes all the way through the Explorer and Pioneers, through the War Between the States through the Civil Tights Era on into the present. Sundance was amazed with the life size canoe that was in the Native American area… And has been drawing it ever since. All of the things we saw provided many opportunities for questions and discussions, and we all had a great time…even LLL, whom I had to keep from squealing too loudly over all of the things she saw. I can’t wait to have more adventures with them! There’s definitely more for us to explore in the downtown area…. Probably an entire Summer’s worth if I tried!

What are your favorite kid-friendly adventures that are free or cheap? Do you have any special memories from childhood associated with them?

Comments are closed