In this world, it can be easy to feel like everything has a cost. Just to survive we have to pay for food, water, and shelter, and more. In addition, many children have gotten used to wanting whatever their friends have. It may feel like they are constantly asking for new clothes, shoes, gadgets, and toys! In a time when kids just going out to play seems long gone, are there many free ways to go out as a family? Here are some great ways to find some near you!
1. Get active
Simply put: get active! Many urban areas have started installing splash pads in their downtown, which is a great alternative to going to the pool! While most pools charge some sort of entry fee, splash pads are free and open to the public, making them a perfect place for families to run off some energy and have fun together! As it gets colder, consider looking for forest preserves to walk around, enjoying fall colors as a family. Other options include finding local trails and walking or, if you have them, riding bikes and scooters together. For extra fun, pack a light lunch to enjoy halfway through your journey!
2. Check your local library calendar
Local libraries are a wonderful, and often underutilized, resource. Libraries often have activities and classes for children of all ages, so check their website or ask a librarian during your next visit to see what they offer! Common options include crafting classes taught by volunteers, teen book clubs, movie nights, and storytime for young children. Take time afterward to help your children find age-appropriate books to read, which will provide them with a welcome, quiet escape from the general noise of life. If possible, dedicate one day each week to going to the library to prevent any late fees for returning books that you check out!
3. Volunteer together
Volunteering is a great way to build character, teach your children biblical values, and help your local community! Find family-friendly volunteer opportunities in your area, and invite other friends and family members to come along! Some great causes that usually need volunteer help are food pantries, soup kitchens, and women’s shelters. If they are a site that regularly has little hands helping, they may already have specific ways for kids to help! Call ahead to ask what their rules and policies are for volunteers.
Now, you are ready to sign your family up for some free, fun activities!