Entertaining Your (Younger) Grandchildren on a Budget

Because we are on a budget, I am always looking for ways to do things less expensively. What I really mean is free or cheap! This includes entertainment. Listed below are a few ideas to help you keep yourselves and your grandchildren occupied without breaking the bank.

Reacquaint yourself with your community. There are probably several opportunities for fun and learning within a few miles of your home that you may be overlooking. Check out your local library. Our library offers reading programs, story times for little ones, craft classes, lego clubs and more all free. The city offers various classes for different ages at very reasonable prices through the parks and recreation department. We have taken advantage of gymnastics and swimming lessons in the past.

Speaking of parks, we love parks. Dotted throughout the neighborhoods of our city are little playgrounds, and there are several larger city parks. The kids love going to the park and it’s free! To make it even more fun we sometimes take a picnic along. You can also take balls, frisbees, or kites. Some of our parks have basketball goals. One has a disc golf range. There are open fields for kite flying or soccer playing. There are even miles and miles of walking or biking trails.

Along with parks, we have several areas in town where people can fish. Kids really like to fish, or at least they like the idea of fishing. Be aware that you may be required to purchase a fishing license. Take note of any posted regulations about number and type of fish you can keep and what size they must be. Fines can be hefty if you are caught breaking these rules.

If there are museums or zoos in the area, check to see if they have free or reduced admission days. Some places will even be free after a certain time each day. If it happens to be someplace you are close to and can visit frequently, this can be a great way to save some money.

We have two movie theaters in our hometown. During the summer one of them offered an animated movie showing each week for $1.00 per person. I took the kids several times. Beware of the popcorn and soda prices though. Theaters make their money from concessions. All year around both theaters offer one day a week where all movie admissions are just $5.00. This can be a huge savings off of regular admission prices.

Many restaurants offer days or times during the day when kids under a certain age eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. Others offer family meal deals. Drinking water with your food cuts the price of a meal considerably.

There are always seasonal events going on. Free concerts in the parks, fireworks displays, trick or treating in the mall, Christmas light displays are just a few that can be found in our community. All of the events mentioned are free.

Of course opportunities will vary from community to community. Check with the local library. Check out your city’s website. Look over those community bulletin boards posted at supermarkets and other retail stores. Ask around. You will be surprised at what you may find.