Summer is here! I’m sure most kids are out of school and by now the euphoria of no school work and endless hours of freedom is starting to die down. By now, if you’re a parent, you are probably hearing the classic phrase “I’m bored”. The family vacation used to be a staple part of summer. Over time, partly due to the economy, most families simply can’t afford to pack the kids up and hit the road to some exciting destination. If you’re a parent, a grandparent or a babysitter I hope I can assist you with finding fun things for your kids to do this summer if traveling is simply out of the question. Don’t worry I will do my best to keep your wallets and purse strings in mind while composing this list.
- (Ages: 2 thru 8yrs) Build a fort. If you recently purchased a large home appliance then it probably came in a huge box. Just grab a few markers, duct tape, blankets and maybe even laundry baskets and see what you can come up with. If you need some guidance log into Pinterest to get some ideas. The younger age group love to use their imaginations. This is something that can occupy the kids for hours. Plus you can teach them how to build and construct things and work together to do it. Besides how many times have you bought your kid an expensive gift and all they wanted to do is play with the box?
- (Ages 9mon thru 9yrs) Let them splash on the pad. Many cities and towns have splash pads available at local parks. The splash pads allow your kids to run around and cool off from the rising temperatures. Make sure to bring sunscreen and snacks.
- (Ages 2 thru 10yrs) Linger in the Library. The library might not sound like the most fun place to be at any time of the year, especially the summer. However, many libraries have summer programs available for kids. Story time, movie time and other activities are usually on the agenda. This is also a way to keep your child’s mind engaged during their time away from school.
- (All ages) Movies under the stars. The Guthrie Green, here in Tulsa, hosts Movies On The Green all summer until September 24th. Most movies are family friendly, but use your own discretion on what is acceptable for your family to watch. Just grab a blanket and a lawn chair and enjoy the entertainment.
- (Ages 12mon thru 12yrs) Movie time! Many movie theatres host kid days, giving kids and parents the opportunity to come and watch a movie for a low cost (sometimes free). For example The Regal Promenade Palace will have its Summer Movie Express. Admission is only $1 and the event is for nine weeks and is held every Tuesday and Thursday. The Cinemark in Broken Arrow, OK will be saving parents a lil bit of change at the concession stand with $1 off of a movie snack pack Monday through Thursday. Broken Arrow’s newest theatre, the Warren Theatre, will have free tickets available to the public. Children 13 and under will receive a free combo meal. They will also have other fun goodies for kids to enjoy from now til August 4th. Of course I encourage you to check the website of the theatres to verify information and to find out movie showtimes.
- (All ages) Summer Sports. Sporting events are a nice opportunity to get out of the house and spend time with family. Baseball is typically in full swing around this time and so is women’s basketball. Find a team near you and go cheer them on. Most teams have a “family day” offered which includes discounts. This usually is an opportunity to engage with family and save a few pennies too.
Pricier Summertime Splurge:
- (All ages) Waterpark frills. Let’s be honest amusement parks are not the cheapest option and that includes water parks. However if you can afford to take your kids at least once during their summer vacation then I’m sure they would definitely appreciate it. The price of admission can vary depending on the location, amenities available and if you’re purchasing single day tickets or season passes. A good way to save money is to plan to eat before you enter the water park or after you leave. The concession prices can easily send you over your budget.
Of course if you really sit down and think about it there are plenty of ideas to keep the fun rolling for your kids this summer. There are sports camps, camping opportunities, church camps, museums and zoo activities.
Not from Tulsa? Check out your local city or town website to see what they have in store for the summer. I encourage you to branch out in your community to see what is available to your family, some of which can possibly be free.