Simple. I push to keep things simple, I fight for a healthy margin. I make space for quality, uninterrupted time with my kids. As a working, single mom I have to be very purposeful about this or time will fly by and beautiful memories will be missed as the season changes.
This summer, we have purposefully scheduled adventures, at home and away, that allow us the margin to just be with each other, enjoying each other, and making memories.
Of course, we also have to do this on a budget. I thought I would share some of the fun things we have done and will be doing this summer, as a way to inspire you to get out there and have fun too. Money restraints don’t have to keep you back.
The world is out there, let’s go have some fun with our kids, enjoy this sacred time, and give them memories to smile about.
1. Go on a Nature Walk. We love walking around new areas and finding cool bugs, leaves, shells, etc.
2. Make some fun Outdoor Games. Pinterest is awesome for this! Making games and then playing them as a family is the best.
3. Sign up for free Summer Bowling. That includes 2 free games a day during the summer for each kid, at kids bowl free dot com.
4. Watch free Summer Movies. Most movie theaters offer free or $1 movies during the summer!
5. Sign up for the Reading Program at your local library. Not only did my kids enjoy reading, but the massive amount of cool coupons that came in their gift bag were amazing. We’ve been able to go out for meals at fun restaurants for pennies thanks to our summer reading program. And they are throwing a pizza party at the end to celebrate!
6. Have a “pic-a-nic”. My kiddos love bringing a picnic to a park and having a fun afternoon of playing. It also wears them out!
7. Have a Spa Day! My daughter and I love to pick a day, probably about once a month to do our nails, play with make-up, and have some time for girl talk. The boys like their video game time, lol.
8. Borrow new Bedtime Stories. This summer we went to the library and picked out a ton of books for bedtime. They love having a new variety of stories they’ve never heard before.
9. Make a Photo Book. All those cute photos on your phone can be downloaded into a photo book online for super cheap. The kids will have fun picking out the backgrounds and writing the captions.
10. Lowes and Home Depot Kids Clinics. Once a month at each store, you can build a super cool wooden craft. Even my big kids love this.
11. Love that Sticks post it notes. Our local radio station encourages this. Write sweet notes on post its and leave them all over town!
12. Go to the Free Museum Days. Our city offers one day a week where museums are free, and we make a day of it visiting multiple ones. Google to find out if your city does this as well!
13. Take advantage of free Pool Days and Splash Pads. Some of our local pools have days where the entrance is free, and splash pads are always free. Have fun getting wet and bring a lunch!
14. Go to Camp! My kids have been able to attend some fun camps with scholarships. Don’t be afraid to ask if you volunteering can help to offset the cost, or if they go on a sliding scale. A lot of times this is a great way to get in!
16. Attend a Family Camp! Lots of camps offer family weeks or weekends. Look for one in your area and don’t forget to ask about scholarships! There are also some specifically for single moms, for moms and sons, and for moms and daughters.
17. Send the kids to VBS! My kiddos were able to attend multiple vbs’s at friends churches and our own. They had a blast, and they were all free!
18. Go to an Outdoor Concert or Play. In our city, we have multiple places that offer free plays and orchestra concerts outdoors in the evenings. We bring our own food and really enjoy these.
19. Participate in a Craft Day at a school store, like Lakeside.
20. Have a Board Game Night. No matter the age there are some great games that everyone can play. We love Sorry, Uno Attack, Trouble and Checkers.
21. Take a Family Bike Ride. We usually take our bikes to a big park, but neighborhoods work too. It feels like an adventure to ride off with the fam and explore new areas.
22. Visit a Nursing Home. My kiddos and I have gone to nursing homes and read to the residents, my mom used to go and paint ladies nails. Call ahead and see where you are needed. They always love company!
23. Take a trip to Feed Police Horses. Downtown Houston has policemen on horse patrol, and their stables are open to the public. We go down there often and bring a big bag of carrots and peppermints. It’s so much fun!
24. Go to the Zoo. The zoo can be expensive, but many times there are coupon days and discounts for lower income. Do your research and go visit some animals!
25. Check out Groupon. Groupon has a huge amount of family deals for food, outings, hotel stays, and more… at a great discount. Get their app and be ready for daily deals.
26. Have fun at your local YMCA! The Y offers camp, swimming, horseback riding, basketball, cheerleading, you name it. And guess what? They go on a sliding scale, so your membership fee will be what you can afford. Check it out, you never know how great of a deal you can get!
27. Visit your City and State Parks! This is a super cheap and super fun way to spend a day or weekend. Tent camping is only a few dollars and totally worth it for the amazing memories. We’ve gone bike riding, paddle boating, canoeing, hiking and swimming at ours. Go have some fun!