Parenting: Summer Family Fun!

Tips for Family Outings and Activities!

Travel can become a challenge when you are on a tight budget. This gives you a great chance to use your creativity. You can plan your family getaway to take advantage of low-cost activities.

There is no rule that you have to go far away to have fun! Even if you spend time at the beach, choose one that is in the city or close to a nearby city with lots of things to do.


Remember how important it is to hold a family meeting before choosing this mini-vacation. Find out what types of activities everyone likes. Make a list to help you decide which cities have it all. This is the key to finding a place that will have enough to please the whole family.


Consider the idea of using public transportation within whatever city you choose. Most major cities have subways or some form of mass transit to get around. If little ones are a part of your family at this stage, consider an easy to transport stroller.


Electronic-free times:

Many families are finding it changes everything within their family when they begin to use what I can Electronic Free Zones or Times.


Some families have a place within the house where they are parked at various enforced times. Some decide on eating together times where they can talk and catch up on the best things and the worst things that happened that day.

Some families have a certain time for electronics and then they are parked. Many families find it solves a lot of problems to have a place where they are parked for the night to keep their children safe from sites that are not healthy for them.


The amount of interaction between the family members usually becomes more frequent, including Dad and Mom’s interactions!


Some idea starters:

City Events: Look for cities in the area that hold annual events that are free and open to the public. These can include outdoor carnivals, fairs, fireworks and parades, balloon launches, fishing contests, competitions, etc. Carnivals always have games and rides for both the younger kids and the teens.


Do a helpful service project together:

Pick up the litter in a certain area that needs it as a family project.


Volunteer to collect canned goods for a local food pantry.


If old enough, serve at the feeding center for the homeless.


Collect toys for donations from their own stash or throughout the neighborhood. You will find domestic violence shelters can always use them along with book donations.


Check out what volunteer activities are available for your children’s ages. Perhaps an animal shelter – but have to have clear boundaries on what that means…i.e. can give extra petting or help with feeding but cannot adopt unless your family has decided to do that.


Go help at a nursing home – writing letters, singing or dancing, bringing your dog or cat if those are welcomed and bring smiles to many.


Tourist Attractions:

Again, remember to look up the free and low-cost activities including outdoor markets, street performers and ethnic festivals that are in various parts of the city.


Park Visits:

Look for the type where there are lots of places, concerts, possibly fishing, paddle boats or fishing. There may also be trails for families who are into hiking. Do remember, of course, the proper gear and repellents and sunscreen.


Guided City or Water Tours:

These are usually relatively low cost but can fit into the budget if you also do a lot of free activities. You could take a bus tour or boat tour and see the many interesting landmarks in that city.