Wednesday, May 29, 2019

SUMMER FUN: ON A BUDGET

Ready or not, summer is here! With the kids now out of school, I am already making a plan of activities and a plan for our days together. I am a big fan of having free time at home and don't like to over book ourselves. I also want to be intentional and take advantage of the great community planned events.
It's easy to blow the budget quickly during the summer...kids activities, camps, and travel can get expensive! We usually opt for 1-2 weeks of local camps then try to do as much free/low cost fun as possible!
FREE
Everyone loves a great free activity and if you live in Laurel/Jones County, there are tons of opportunities. These are great for those days that you are trying NOT to spend money...a challenge I hope to take on several days this summer!

Swimming or splash pad - thankfully we have several friends that are always happy to have us over for pool time. The kids love it and we usually pack snacks to share!
Outdoor Movies- for the month of June our town hosts a weekly movie and it's always newer ones that we may have not seen yet. It kicked off this weekend with Mary Poppins Returns!
Also, if you have a projector it's pretty easy to rig up a white sheet and play a movie at your house.
Go to the library- Our library hosts a great summer reading program for the month of June and my kiddos always enjoy the activities.
Visit the museum- We have a wonderful art museum right here in Laurel and my kids don't get to visit enough. I hope to squeeze in a few trips there this summer. Wednesdays 1-4pm in June are FREE Family Art days where you can make and take a project and have a snack. It's a  come and go event--and usually takes us about 30 minutes.
VBS -My kids love a good Vacation Bible School..Other than attending our churches VBS, there are a few other churches that do a great job that we also attend. It also helps that it is usually a few hours in the morning, so it's a great time to run errands or get some work done.
VOLUNTEER Both of my kids are old enough to lend a helping hand (6 and 12). Whether it be opportunities through our church or the nonprofit I work with, they will definitely spend some time serving this summer. It builds character and teaches them to help others.

LOW COST
Farmer's Market This is technically a FREE event, but I've never gotten out of there without spending money! I absolutely love the farmer's market. It's a great spot to pick up local produce and items that you don't get anywhere else. I usually try to set a budget for myself and give the kids their own money ($5) to spend on a treat they want. There is usually live music and lots of friends to visit with, so this is an event that we look forward to all year!
Handmade will host $3 Thursday Crafts in June! A great bargain for those that love a good craft.
Super Saver Tuesdays at the movie theater in Hattiesburg. I don't have a lot of details about this one...but I know they plan to do it again this summer.
Zoo Day This can be a low cost outing if you pack a picnic lunch and skip the more expensive concessions. Also, the splash pad there is a great spot to cool off!
Plant a small Garden We usually do a small herb garden each year or a few tomato plants that we put in pots. I love working with plants and so do the kids!
We have also collected little things over the years to create a fairy garden. This can be as elaborate or simple as you want. You can even make your own fairy furniture/house out of leaves, rocks, and twigs. Here are a few ideas!
Zoofari Indoor Play We love this on a rainy day when you need to get out of the house and burn some energy.
Chick Fil A The indoor play area is another great spot when you want to grab lunch out and let the kids play!

LOCAL CAMPS WE LOVE
Laurel Little Theatre
Encore Performing Arts
Central Creativity
YWCO Camps
Lauren Rogers Museum Camps

SPLURGE
I think it's a great idea to plan one bigger activity or trip during the summer. For me personally, I like to have something to plan or look forward to...it's just as exciting as the trip itself! If you plan for it (and save), you don't have to feel guilty about it. This year we are taking a family beach trip and I cannot wait! *Another post coming on how we will make that trip as low cost as possible!*

As you can see, it's easy to fill the time! We are so excited about summer and soaking up our time together doing things we love. Hope you all have a wonderful summer too, and maybe have a few new ideas to try as well!


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