How to do fun things with your kids on the cheap

March 21, 2019 by David Riedel

When I was younger, my family went to Disney World so many times I’ve lost count. If I had to guess, I’d say I was there 25 times before I turned 18. We even met up there on multiple occasions when I was older (everyone but me lived in a different part of Florida so Orlando was a convenient place to converge).

I don’t earn Disney-trip money and neither does my wife. We go on about one big trip a year, and not one of them involves the Magic Kingdom (plus, I don’t want to be one of those families there with an infant; who is that fun for?).

When we’re not on a big vacation, we need lots of little activities to keep our older one from going out of his mind with boredom; if you have small children, you know weekends can be a grind. So around these parts—I live on the north shore of Massachusetts near Boston—we find as many free things to do on the weekends as we can. Here’s what I discovered this morning with just a five-minute Google search:

  1. Free astronomy after hours at the Boston Museum of Science.
  2. A post-winter beach clean-up (it sounds like a drag but it’s fun and it always gets my older one excited for summer waves).
  3. Every library near us has free activities, from puppet shows to storytime to singalongs to toy swaps.
  4. Walking local trails before the poison ivy and mosquitos come back.
  5. A free Minecraft club for kids (to me that sounds like torture, but hey, some people like it).
  6. A Disney singalong with a Disney-certified performer at the local mall.

Each of these things is free. Each is something my older child could get behind (except for Minecraft; he has no idea what that is).

Looking for something to do this weekend that’s different from the norm?  Google “[My county] free kids’ activities” and see what pops up. Chances are you’ll find something to make the weekend move a little faster, and therefore make your life easier.


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