Friday 5: 5 (Almost) Free Fun Activities With Kids!

FRIDAY 5 | | February 5, 2010 at 7:21 pm

I am cheap. So sue me. I hate paying for something if I can get it free, or at the very least cheap. Don’t pretend you don’t too.  After suffering this week with a horrid stiff neck (I would kiss my chiropractor if I could just turn my head) and I finally tackled Mount Laundry (with those piles of clothing from Atlantis) I felt I deserved to give some bloggy love right here. So this week’s chapter of the Friday 5 series is dedicated to places I frequently take my kids to. I know the parks etc are free but please remember I live in the-snowing-capital-of-the-world “Boston” so I need my stack of indoor places.

  • Bookstore story-times! I love Borders the best, and though Barnes And Noble have a decent story time and coloring pages after, Borders does a complete art craft. They are twice a week and free (my favorite word). I believe many stores have them, like Pottery Barn Kids (they have a card which gets stamped each time you go there and get something at the end, which I never attended enough to find out what). but I find it a little cramped and something about being surrounded by overpriced toys does not make me comfortable (I don’t care how adorable they are, I still don’t feel too comfortable ina place out of my price range). Also being around books in a book store makes me feel great (have you noticed bookstores starting to stock more toys these days?). CHeck out your local listings.
  • Do-It-Yourself-Hardware stores classes. The Home Depot and Lowes kiddie programs to help build something new each month is seriously a wonderful treat. If you don’t know about it, they provide you the tools to build something small but useful 1 day each month. I love the Home Depot which we attend more for the lovely apron and at completion you get the matching badge for your apron and even a certificate. Oh, did I mention it is free?
  • Kidtoons! Preschoolers and toddlers are a little young for the regular movies and in fact most of the kid movies have many adult undertones and are way too long. I hate forking out that ridiculous amount for a ticket and then if that has not killed you the concession stand will (what do you mean skip it? tell that to my kid). I have been thrilled ever since I discovered Kidtoons, they are preschool aged and have the regular Pre-K shows from television and are short. They are only held on 2 days, one weekend per month and just one screening on each of those days but worth marking in your calendar, I do. Ok, so they are not free, but get this $3.50 is what a ticket costs. Yes, that is right, 3 freaking dollars and 50 cents for you or your kid. It gets better. With each ticket you can get a popcorn and drink for $3.50. Now you don’t need to be a mathematician (though hubby has done the math and approves) to realize that with $28 you can have a family of 4 at the movies and each with popcorn and a drink. The shows are ones like Curious George and Super Why (February episode).
  • Craft Store classes. Many of the local craft stores like Michaels or AC Moore  host craft events, often. Some are free and some have a low materials fee. Still worth checking out so kids are not used to buying everything ready made.
  • The Library and its passes. The library itself has several classes from storytimes to crafts, personally I have not been too impressed with them or the some of my local librarians who I recommend learn to loosen up a little., but I do use the library as a place the kids chill in. More importantly (for me) is the fact that libraries has passes to many museums, parks, aquariums, theaters etc at free or highly discounted prices (and I mean it when I say the discounts are deep).  This list of places varies from library to library so you may want to check it out. As I said, paying full price is highly overrated.

6 Comments

  1. 1
    kamani says:

    this is so true…living in a cold state does not only makes you poor with the heat bills, but also to entertain the little ones also adds up to be a costly affair.

  2. 2

    These are great tips. I love the Bookstore story times too. And I had heard about the library passes but have since forgotten. So thanks for the reminder. We haven’t attending the do-it-yourself classes yet, but they do sound fun and I think they might be something my kids would enjoy.

  3. 3

    I have to get into all these free things. I’ve intended to take my kids to Borders for months so they can enjoy the story time, but we haven’t gone yet. Thanks for all the tips.

  4. 4
    Meghan says:

    Oh, how I love me some library passes. Everything for vacation week has been booked since the beginning of time. But, otherwise they really do make the museums accessible! GREAT ideas, as always, Mommy Niri. Thanks for putting these down in one place!

  5. 5
    Julie Cutshaw says:

    your so right, we all like free when its available, honestly there are alout of free things for both kids & adults to enjoy but you have to go looking for it. Our home town is a historic one in TN (home of the 17th president andrew johnson) and if you live near historic places the kids loving touring those which are free you just have to find out there hours boys like looking at old guns. And most towns have free museums that are historic based, we have one called Nathanael Greene Museum that used to be an old school they turned into a museum to collect civil war items and its free and as boring as I thought it would be it was fun they had 20 rooms each with seperate themes one of which is for kids to touch & explore an old cabin replica, canue and old model T cars my 5yr old grandson loved it. And in the spring before school lets of for the summer our county schools (and we have a lot of them) have something called fun day, Do you remember those as a kid years ago? Well, I;ll be 50 yrs in March so I do & they still have them , usually on a saturday all day open house style free of charge and each room will host a kids event like Bingo/fish pond/cake walk things like that where kids play the games and for like 25 cent each & they win prizes its so much fun & they sell food real cheap like a hot dog & cake for 50 cent they have free face painting & ballons. Just call the schools around you to ask if & when they will do their fun day they welcome anyone to come & your kids will love it.
    sewitupjulie at gmail dot com

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