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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Free & Cheap Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer

Free & Cheap Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer

Summer is finally here! So how can you have fun with your kids without going 
bankrupt? It seems like prices are skyrocketing with recent price increases 
to Disney, Universal Studios, & Busch Gardens! Here are some free & cheap 
ideas of fun for your family this summer:

Summer Movie Express 2015 by Regal Movie Theaters

Did you know that Regal Movie Theaters have children's $1 movies every summer? 
It costs only $1 per person to see some great movies!  In my area, movies start at 
10 am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  You can choose from one of two movies 
playing each week.  Movies in my area start June 2nd! Go to: 
zip code to see the schedule for your local Regal Movie Theater.  Tip: Join the 
Regal Crown Club for FREE and get perks such as: featured candy for only $2 
on Mondays with paid admission, $2 small popcorn with a paid admission on 
Tuesdays, and receive one free refill with the purchase of a large soft drink and/or 
a large popcorn on the same day of purchase among other offers. {You must 
remember to show your card to teller when purchasing movie tickets to redeem 
these offers.}

Week 1
Nut Job & Annie

Week 2
Earth to Echo & Boxtrolls

Week 3
Paddington Bear & Turbo

Week 4
Rio 2 & How to Train Your Dragon 2

Week 5
Mr. Peabody & Book of Life

Week 6
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb & Penguins of Madagascar

Week 7
Madagascar 3 & Dolphin Tale 2

Week 8
Muppets, Most Wanted & Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Week 9
The Lego Movie & The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Summer Kids Series 2015 by Carmike Cinemas

Do you have a Carmike Cinemas in your area? Some of these movie theaters 
are hosting the Summer Kids Series where you can see a kids movie and get a 
small popcorn and small soda all for $4 per person! 
Check: http://www.carmike.com/Events/Category/8 to see if they offer this deal 
in your area.

AMC, Cobb, and other movie theaters also offer these deals.  Check their websites
for information in your local area.

Vacation Bible School

Does your church offer Vacation Bible School or VBS? My church hosts a huge VBS 
every summer and my son has been asking about when it will be starting all year 
long! VBS offers a fun way for your child to learn about God along with crafts & fun
activities.  Many churches offer VBS for free or for very little cost.  It typically runs 
for about four hours per day for one week.  Ask your church friends which churches 
have a good VBS in your area.  Take your child with a good friend or cousin of similar 
age so they can be in the same class.  Parents can even volunteer at the VBS 
because churches often need a lot of helpers.  Obviously, don't just drop your child 
off at any VBS-do your homework and make sure staff and volunteers are background 
checked.  Only pick those churches where you know people and where you trust the 
people there.

Parks & National Parks

A couple of years ago, my husband was laid off from his job.  It was a difficult time 
and we had a young son.  To keep ourselves busy, we began exploring many of the 
local parks and national parks in our area.  We discovered some beautiful places 
with splash parks, nature trails, bike trails, towers, beaches, kayaking, animal viewing, 
and free nature tours.  We couldn't believe we had not known about these places 
before! We still frequent some of the beautiful places we discovered.  Best of all- 
these places are free for all to explore!

Garden Memberships

Recently, I purchased a Groupon deal for an annual family membership to a local 
Garden for $25.  This Garden is a reciprocal member with many other Gardens 
across the United States which we can frequent for free or reduced costs.  Many of 
these gardens have playgrounds and designated kids areas.  Not only that, but 
during certain months we get free admission to other local attractions such as 
the local Science Museum and Aquarium.  If you use your membership to its 
fullest, you could save hundreds of dollars! Information about the Reciprocal 
Admissions Program with the American Horticultural Society can be viewed at: 

Get a local Theme Park Annual Pass

After the new year has started, many theme parks begin offering specials for 
residents of the state the theme park is located in.  Florida residents, for example, 
can get special 3 or 4 day passes for Disney World.  Busch Gardens and Sea 
World offers free membership for preschoolers of Florida residents! This can 
save a family with young children a ton of money! Check your state's local 
theme parks for these special offers.

Pool Pass & Beach

Summers get very hot around here so we want to cool off by getting wet! But we 
don't have a pool- sigh.  So, we get a pool pass every summer to a local place 
with pools, water slides, hot tubs, and a playground.  We are also lucky enough 
to have a beach nearby.  And it's completely free!

Visit Springs

Lately, I've begun doing some research on the local Springs in our area.  There 
are so many places we've never even seen! Some places offer warm Springs 
while many other places have the most beautiful turquoise colored cool water.  
Many offer tubing, kayaking, nature trails, and some places you can even swim 
with manatees! These parks offer very reasonable prices for admission and 
lasting memories of fun.  Explore what your State has to offer!

Go Camping

I've got a confession to make- I'm not much of a camper today, but my family 
took us on some wonderful camping trips growing up.  We would pick a State 
and meet extended family and friends at a designated KOA campground.  Everyone 
would pitch tents and pop-up campers next to each other and the kids would play 
games every night giving the adults some time to chat and laugh.  KOA 
campgrounds usually have pools and a whole host of daily activities to choose 
from like basket weaving (yes, I took this class), crafting, and line dancing.  
These were some of my fondest memories growing up and my siblings say the same 
thing.  No camping gear? Many campgrounds have small cabins available for rent.  
This can be a lot cheaper than a lot of other vacation ideas.

Join Macaroni Kid

Have you heard of Macaroni Kid? It's basically an online source of information 
related to children.  Check the website to see if they offer one in your area and 
join for free.  They post a lot of information on local free and cheap things to do 
with your kids locally.  It's a great resource.

Wow! This post ended up being a lot longer than I had anticipated! Hope you enjoy it!  

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