Here’s how to make the most of summer without spending a fortune.
The summer of 2020 has been bleak for many of us. The pandemic was raging. Unemployment was high and there was a lot of general uncertainty.
This summer, however, is shaping up to be better. The unemployment rate has dropped and coronavirus vaccines are available. Many states are relaxing social distancing restrictions.
There are many reasons to look forward to summer. But what if you’re a parent on a budget and have kids to entertain? Suddenly the summer becomes much more difficult. Here are some things to add to your list that won’t break the bank or rack up a huge credit card balance.
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1. Beach trips
If you live a short drive from a beach, you have a great opportunity to stay busy for hours. Just pack a blanket, food, drinks, and toys for your kids and sit back while they run and splash in a new environment. Many beaches are free to access. Others charge a parking fee or an entrance fee, but often the entrance fee is waived for very young children. Either way, it’s an affordable activity that can take up most of your day.
Hiking can be basically the same as walking, but you do it in the woods or on a scenic trail which is much more interesting than the usual neighborhood. The hike is generally free, although some state parks charge a modest entry or parking fee. But be careful with ticks. During the warmer months, they come out in force, so stock up on the repellant and check on yourself and your kids afterwards.
3. Departmental fairs
Although many fairs were canceled last year, they will likely be back this year. Admission to the County Fair is often free for young children, giving you access to shows and entertainment that could be a fun outing. Just resist the urge to pay for overpriced corn dogs and funnel cakes if you’re trying to save money.
4. Library programs
Many libraries offer free summer programming for the little ones. It is helpful to inquire about the options at your local library.
Can’t rock a big vacation this summer? Go camping. It can give your family a nice change of scenery and a new experience. Although camping is relatively affordable, there are costs involved. You need a tent big enough to house your family, sleeping bags for everyone, and a portable stove. The good news, however, is that if you invest in the right equipment, it could last for years.
Whether you are trying to recover from the financial impact of the pandemic or are simply frugal, there is is possible to enjoy the summer for cheap. Try these activities if you’re looking for a way to keep busy without spending a fortune.