Summer on a Budget

Now that it’s summer in my area, I have been trying to figure out budget friendly summer activities that will keep my kids completely entertained. That concept is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Today is my son’s 8th birthday and all homeboy wants to do is play video games. Talk about budget friendly. However, having my kid sit in front of the TV lost in the video games zone is not at all how I’m going to have my kids enjoy this summer.

Growing up, my sister, KC and I had amazing summers. We would spend 6 weeks in Las Vegas visiting our dad John, step-mom, Jaylene, step-sister, Camille and our grandparents, Renee and Jack. We played a ton of Barbies with Camille, ran errands with our dad in his Trans Am, and planned our future fairytale weddings with our step-mom. While at our grandparents, we would bake and cook dinners with our Grandmom and snuggle with our Grandpop while watching TV.

Every now and then, we would go to the Vegas Strip and just drive around. Somedays, we would park and walk. Then at night, all the parents in the neighborhood would open their garage doors, bring out chairs and sit on their driveways while all us kids played because it was finally cool enough to play outside.

My greatest memories of my summers in Las Vegas aren’t shopping or spending money. They are helping my dad cook his amazing dinners, having family meals either inside or outside, and after dinner cleaning up and then us all hanging out on the couch talking or playing games. Some nights, my dad, my sister and I would go for a night drive in his 1998 Trans Am. We wouldn’t talk. We would just listen to the music and drive with the windows down. It’s memories like that, that make me smile. Whenever we go to Las Vegas now, I still want to make those exact memories. Luckily, my dad as a new Corvette now so that by itself entertains my kids.

Once our 6 weeks in Las Vegas were over, KC and I would fly back home and enjoy the rest of our summer. Amazing times full of camping, Barbie playing and sleep overs with our cousin, Kati, Hot August Nights walks where you walk up and down the streets, looking at hot rods, and amazing nights right at home made for the perfect ending to our summer.

Those memories are what I want to create for my kids. Not the amount of money we spent, but the time we spent together. Remembering my summers growing up, I have created a list of budget friendly summer activities that us parents can enjoy doing with out the scare of the price tag and our kids will have a blast.

It’s summer guys! Let’s have a blast and not get broke at the same time!

Parks: I love taking my kids to the park. While the kids think that are in a new universe and making new friends, I can sit there and relax while watching them have a ball. Plus, the other perk to parks is that the kids usually get exhausted playing that once you get home and feed them dinner, they are off to bed which means an early night for you.

 Backyard Fun: Backyards are different for every home. Some are fully equipped with a basketball hop, a play house, a tree house, grass to run around on or a huge patio to ride their bikes and scooters around. Others are pretty limited with space, but that doesn’t make them any less fun. Getting the kids outside and away from the TV is key. Remember our childhood times of no cell phones and tablets? Yea, so do I so let’s bring those times to our kids. Things as simple and inexpensive as chalk, blow-up pools or even eating lunch are things that will entertain kids for a while. Sports like basketball, soccer, tag, bikes and scooters are always a fun time, plus that keeps them active.

Library Time: Going to the library growing up was so much fun. It allows the kids to be creative and see a whole new world in books that they don’t have at home.

Baking: Kids helping with baking and cooking can get messy, but they love it. It’s a special bonding time, it teaches them measuring and most all, you get to eat the yummy goodness together when it’s all done. Put on aprons and have fun. Plus, teaching the kids how to cook and clean up afterwards is a good life lesson.

Arts and Crafts: I am not a crafty person at all. My kids draw stick figures better than I do. However, when we all sit down and do arts and crafts from things I bought at the dollar store, their imaginations soar. A perk to that mess of time is you get to keep their final product forever.

Game Night: Even if all you have is a deck of cards, you can play Gold Fish, Old Maid, Crazy 8’s or even poker. Dedicating a night to just you and the kids, no cell phones and no TV will remind the kids how special they are and that even with life’s hectic schedules, we still can make time for them.

Drive to your local beach or lake: There are a ton of lakes in my area and we’re only 4 hours away from the ocean. Taking a fun family drive to something as peaceful, beautiful and fun as the beach is always amazing. Pack a lunch and have a picnic right on the beach. Plus, you can get your tan on at the same time.

Family + Summer + Budget Friendly Shenanigans = The best summer memories for the entire family.

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