Here are 4 inexpensive ways to have a summer to remember with your kids.
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1. Plan a weekly summer movie night.
Depending on your situation this could be anywhere from hanging out in your living room and popping popcorn, to setting up an outdoor movie (if you can access a projector and a bed sheet this is a ton of fun), to going out to the movies. Whatever the setup, just make it fun. Let a different person pick the movie each week. Add some snacks. Have a blast.
You could even make a point to spend 10 minutes after each movie talking about major themes. Why or why not? What was the hero/heroine like? How did the antagonist come to be the villain? What does the film want us to think about the human condition?
2. Search for all the state parks within a reasonable driving distance.
You would probably be surprised how many parks exist near you that you can access for free or at least very minimal cost. Simply type in your search engine of choice ‘State Parks Near Me’. Or, for national parks, visit the national parks website at nps.gov. Sit down as a family and identify 3 parks you want to visit throughout the summer and put it on your calendar.
3. Get to know your local library.
You’d probably be surprised how many great activities your local public library offers regularly and free for kids of all ages. Plan to read a book or two together for the summer. Take your child out for ice cream after each book is finished to celebrate the accomplishment and talk about the book.
4. Weekend bike outings.
Many areas now have rail trails that provide access to great biking experiences with some incredible scenery. But if you don’t have access to those, simply making a habit of regularly getting out and biking around the neighborhood with your child on the weekends can be a great way to make some memories. Pack a lunch and make a picnic of it while you’re at it!