Free or Almost Free Entertainment & Family Fun

26 Apr

Are you on a tight budget, but still want to have some family fun or an evening with your spouse?  Well, take a look at the following article from AmericanBaby.Com.

My followers know I’m a huge fan of the public library.  Free story time, kid/family concerts and other family oriented events!  Some cities also provide free passes to museums, zoo, etc. through the library.  And of course, there is a wonderful selection of books, movies on DVD and music on CDs.  So, check out the listing of activities and events at your local public library and request the books, CDs and DVDs that you and your family will enjoy (for free).

I’m also all about coupons & discounts when it comes to dining out.  So, register for Groupon and Living Social in your city and also check out Restaurant.Com for deep discounts at your local establishments.  Also, if you or your family have a few favorite places to eat that you go to regularly, sign up for their email distribution of special offers, birthday discounts, etc!  In fact, some casual family friendly options (i.e. Which Wich and Luby’s) have kids eat free nights!

Another great option to dining out with friends is to take turns hosting a pot luck every 1-3 months.  Make it even more interesting by making each one themed by cuisine!  This way everyone makes just one dish, but gets to enjoy a lot of home-made food along with good company, conversations and laughs.  Heck, bring out the old board games and relive your youth!  Relax, enjoy and have fun!

Movie night a t home!  Pick a favorite movie you have on DVD or can borrow from the library/Redbox/Netflix, etc.  Make it fun by having an indoor picnic.  My daughters loves these “Friday Family Fun” nights that we have occasionally to relax on a Friday evening and a simple indoor picnic is usually less clean up than dinner at the dining room table!

Need time without the kids, whether it be a date night or running some major errands or getting a project done at home?  Set up a reciprocal babysitting swap with neighbors or your kid’s friends parents.  My wife and I starting doing this about once a month with a couple of friends and it works out great!  The families know each other so both the kids and parents are totally comfortable!

Last, but not least, enjoy mother nature – whether it be your own backyard or a park, be it bike riding, a walk, hike, throwing a frisbee around, etc.  Also, check out your community pools this summer for some great cool down activities in the water!

American Baby

Find Free (or Almost Free) Entertainment

Dust off your library card. “My kids love our town library’s storytime and sing-along hours,” says Christina D’Angelo Bolduc, mom of 3-year-old Matthew and 18-month-old Joshua, in Wrentham, Massachusetts. “Plus, the library provides free passes to local children’s museums, zoos, and kid-centric classes.” And it goes without saying, you’ll also save a boatload on books. “We take out at least ten board books at once and then swap them for a pile of new ones when we’re sick of reading them over and over,” says Kate Ashford, mom of 19-month-old Lila, in New York City.
Saved About $12 per week

Dine out on a dime. Type “Kids Eat Free” and your zip code into any search engine to find local restaurants that offer discounts for the booster-seat set. “I order a salad and a glass of wine, my daughters get free make-your-own-pizzas and drinks, and the bill is $12!” says Anne Macomber, a mom of two in Denver.
Saved About $20 per week

Share the sitting. Ask a girlfriend to swap off watching each other’s kids on Saturday nights, so you each get two date nights in exchange for two babysitting nights every month. Or form a babysitting co-op with a group of families: “Every hour you use costs you a point per kid, and every hour you sit gains you a point; one mom earns an extra five points per month by tracking it all,” explains Macomber, who coordinates a co-op with six friends. “If you get stuck for a sitter, you can offer double points as an incentive.” (To learn how to set up a co-op, try the 60-day free trial at
Saved About $20 per week

Join Netflix. “For $10 a month, we watch unlimited movies, TV shows, and yoga videos, which we do together three times a week,” Petersik says. “So we’re saving on the cineplex, the cable bill, and the yoga studio, and enjoying quality time together too.”
Saved About $10 per week

Find cheap recreation. Boston mom Deirdre Habershaw, knows she can keep her 14-month-old daughter Madelyn happy with a quick ride on the city’s subway. “My ticket costs two bucks,” Habershaw says. “Madelyn rides for free and has a blast!” Think of ways you can satisfy your child’s interests for next to nothing: A stroll through a pet store saves you on zoo admission, and a walk by the firehouse or a construction zone will entertain vehicle-obsessed tots, gratis.
Saved About $10 per week

Turn your home into a social hub. Habershaw throws inexpensive dinner parties for friends after Madelyn goes to bed; Petersik counters invitations to pricey restaurants by offering to host her friends for a cheapo cocktail hour or home-cooked meal. You can also save money by ordering in from your fave eatery rather than actually going to the restaurant (where the waitress is there to remind you about dessert and all those not-so-free refills!).
Saved About $20 per week


One Response to “Free or Almost Free Entertainment & Family Fun”


  1. Things To Do in Long Island on a Budget This Summer - Family Friendly Activities | Urban in Suburban - June 20, 2011

    […] Free or Almost Free Entertainment & Family Fun ( […]

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