September 4, 2017 at 8:05 am #3521
We moved to California from the midwest when I was just a young child. At the same time, my dad was busy starting a new business, so to say that the money was sparse in our family would be an understatement. My parents though love to be out and about. Maybe it was the California sunshine after spending a lifetime with winter blizzards, but whatever the reason – when we had a free afternoon we were out and about enjoying life. Enjoying life on a budget that included zero for entertainment! I have wonderful memories of my parents loading us three little kids into the back of our blue late 60s Volkswagen squareback and heading out for the day.
Our weekends were spent flying kites at the beach, listening to free concerts in the park, walking along the marina checking out the beautiful sailboats, parking at the end of an LAX runway as the planes roared over our car, trips to the local museums on free days, and wandering through the local Farmers’ Market. When my parents splurged, it was with a movie night at the drive-in. When you think about it, there really is a lot available for families to enjoy on a limited budget. Getting out and enjoying the weekend, does not need to cost a lot of money.
What are some of your favorite free or super cheap family outings?September 4, 2017 at 4:18 pm #3525
Great topic, Stacey! I agree with you about flying kites on the beach. When I lived in the SF Bay Area, this was a super fun, relaxing way for the family spend a weekend afternoon, and it cost us absolutely nothing. If you don’t live near the beach, local parks are great too. These days, I’m lucky enough to have access to park areas that have river views. Water views + free family activities = highly recommended!
Playing tourist in your area can be lots of fun too. Of course there will be the obvious places like museums or local attractions, but for my family some of the best days were the ones where we all just piled into the car and went “exploring.” We would go for a drive, somewhere off our well-beaten path, and “discover” a tucked away small town. We would have a great time walking around and learning about it. Cost: just the price of gas and maybe a snack along the way.September 11, 2017 at 5:33 am #3569
Cara, those Sunday car drives to no where in particular was a staple as I grew up 🙂 I have wonderful memories of those days.