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Travel & Vacations Family travel and vacation ideas, fun activities, movie night, game nights, plenty of ideas for fun and relaxation.

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Old 06-19-2005, 08:33 AM
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chuckle Frugal Entertainment for the Whole Family

Frugal Entertainment for the Whole Family

by Fisher Swanson

There are plenty of ways to entertain your family without the high price tag. You don't have to visit amusement parks, pay an arm and a leg at the movies, or buy expensive video games. Here are several tips for some frugal family fun.

Board Games
Board games are a great investment. If well taken care of, they can easily last a generation. You can often find them at garage sales for a dollar or two, even the new board games. Every family should have some basics like cards, dominoes, chess, and checkers.

Movie Night
Rent a movie, pop some popcorn and entertain the whole family for a couple hours. Take turns picking out what movie to watch. You can order DVDs or videos from the library for free. Sometimes there is a wait but many libraries allow you to place holds online and receive notifications when your items are available.


Discount Movie Theatres
Most areas have at least one movie theatre that runs older movies for cheap prices. All you have to do is wait until the movie has been out a for a few months and it will eventually show up at one of these theatres. Ticket prices can be even less than a matinee and are sometimes double features. Drive-in movie theatres can also be great bargains.

Minor League Sports
If your area has a minor league team they can be a lot of fun to watch and much cheaper than their major league counterparts. The minor league stars of today are often the major league stars of tomorrow.

Playgrounds, State Parks and Local Parks
Most parks are free, especially if you are not camping. Pack a picnic lunch or bring some barbecue. Try out different parks in your area until you find your favorites. Bring a frisbee and a dog!

Support the Arts
High school plays, talent shows and community theatre are generally inexpesive and a lot of fun. You will be surprised at how much talent there is in your community. Churches also have plays and programs that are open to the community even if you don't attend that church.

Watch for Free Days and Free Events
Many museums, zoos and aquariums have free days. This is often one day per month such as the first Tuesday or last Friday. There are a lot of museums that are fun and have areas tailored towards kids. In art museums the ancient cultures exhibits are often fun for kids.

Open Houses, Openings and Festivals
Sports teams often have a free open house before the season starts. Also make note of free festivals and events in your communities. Check your local paper and chamber of commerce for upcoming events.

Zoo Membership
If you have kids who love to go to the zoo you should consider a family membership. It can be a great value if you plan on going often and have a zoo nearby. Similar memberships are available at museums and aquariums as well.

Farmers' Market and Swap Meets
You don't have to spend much money to have a good time at your local Farmer's Market. Most communities have them on Saturday or Sunday every week during the Spring, Summer and early Fall. You can buy some great vegetables for less than you pay at the grocery market and usually there is something fun for the kids to do.

Library and Bookstore Events
Next time you go to the bookstore or library pick up an events calendar. They often have live music or book readings that might interest your family.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Keep your eyes and ears open and you will find many more opportunities to have fun with your family without spending a lot of money.

About the Author
Copyright 2005 - Fisher Swanson is the co-editor of ThriftyFun.com, a site that publishes ways to save money


Printed from the FamilyCorner.com Frugality Corner newsletter. To join this newsletter and more: http://www.familycorner.com/services/lists.shtml
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Old 06-19-2005, 08:33 AM
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There are a lot of great ideas here!!
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Old 11-01-2006, 12:05 PM
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Yes there are, Tami!
Thanks for all the hard work you do here on Family Corner even if it means it sometimes takes us forever to find and respond to a thread!!

My favorite frugal place here in Bakersfield is our discount movie theatre.
If they didn't exsist we would probably never go to the movies!
It only cost's a dollar and 50 cents on Tueday night! I am going to see "Invinceables" this weekend.

We also have a stage theatre that puts on plays for FREE!! Though I have seen some very good plays there I don't take near the advantage of going there that I should.
I just don't think of getting online and seeing what there schedule is. I need to do that more often.

AND, we have a park right across the street that is especially beautiful this time of year with all the leaves just starting to change colors!!

hugs, train

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Old 02-26-2007, 10:36 AM
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my family likes to play video games we get together and play the we for hours .IT is a good work out.I am sore the next day I used muscle I forgot I had.
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:01 PM
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I like to find what I call "free entertainment". Meaning it might cost you gas but no money to enjoy whatever. We like to go for a drive in the mountains when the leaves are changing. Or we'll go to Ohio Pyle to look at the rapids. We even drove to WV a couple years ago to check out Cabela's. I don't care for hunting and fishing but this store was great.
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:41 AM
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My kids are very young (2 and 3), so it really helps that they really don't care what they are doing and have no concept of "low-budget" entertainment. But, my dh and I have already started installing the groundwork.

After supper, we like to go to the community skating rink and skate for an hour or so, we sometimes take little walks around the block to mail letters, or we play with playdo---that is good for at least an hour. We try to get down on the floor with them to play "their" games (trains, dolls, puzzles, water table fun, drawing, cutting with kid scissors, etc). It is cheap, fun, and the kids love it.

Hopefully, spending this quality family time together now will make it easier to do things in the futur when they are those "hard to please" teenagers!! LOL.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:24 PM
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We do puzzles, I bought a cheap small scrapbook and give MAddie any scraps and extra pictures. She has her own scissors and glue stick. She more or less glues the photos down and then cuts up the scraps and adds them to the pages. It is a good start.
We also like to garden, walk, visit with the neighbors and sit on the swing. We play guess the color of the next car that comes along.
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:09 PM
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A little late to the subject ;-)

Catalogs - this may sound odd, but as a kid my mom would give me out of date catalogs to play with - I loved them!!! I would "play" for hours. Kids can cut out pictures they like and make collages out of them. I would plan out how I would decorate my house when I was a grown up. Kind of a paper dollhouse. Then I would cut out pictures of animals and "make" a farm out of them. The imagination is endless!


Volunteering - as a family you could volunteer at an Animal Shelter: walking dogs, brushing/ grooming dogs & cats, and similar things.

The first list is great!

erica
in Monroe, wa
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