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.

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