Thanks for joining us for "Affordable Summer Fun Week" here on ladies holiday. We will share some ideas on how we can all get through the summer without blowing the budget and still have some fun too.
This year there is more than one reason my family is planning on a "staycation." We have a new dog who isn't ready for us to leave her yet, gas prices, the fact we are trying to pay down debt and my kids are doing some summer camps.
We have been working hard to fix up the backyard. My husband has cleared an area near the pool steps to pour more concrete so we can put some small tables and chairs there. We are planning to get some palm plants for this space so it will feel more like a resort. We can eat out there, or just hang by the pool and relax. Then in the winter the plants can come into the sunniest room in our house and make it feel like a tropical garden, creating a winter haven for us.
We are hanging white string lights on the pool fence for night swimming or entertaining. We have a small fire pit for roasting marshmallows. We are planning to try camping out in the backyard with the kids and dogs. Of course the pool itself is a great source of hours of free fun for the kids.
Sometimes, OK a lot of the time I beat myself up for not being able to afford to do lots of things with my kids. I would love to take them on a grand vacation every year, to lots of museums and aquariums. I would love to take them on some summer road trips. But it's not always in the budget, and thankfully we have found that our kids really enjoy the simple things. It doesn't take much, they just really want to spend time with mom and dad. I want to take full advantage of this, as I know someday they are going to think we are dorks and not want to hang out with us.
Our library hosts many free activities, story hour, puppet and live animal shows, theme parties and they promote their summer reading program. The summer reading program is a tradition in our house. The kids enjoy filling out their reading log and returning it for a small prize each week. We rush down on the last day of school to sign up. This year I have challenged my family to read all the Magic Tree House books. We also try to visit other libraries in the area, the kids love this.
We live near a nature discovery center that hosts lots of free activities for the kids as well. We attend events there whenever possible. It's a great way for the kids to learn about the nature around them. I love that all of this is right down the road from my house, little travel time and gas money required. It's funny how I'm always thinking that I need to spend a lot of time and money to entertain my kids. But the truth is when we go to these events, they get to see their friends and always thank me for taking them.
To keep them writing I was thinking about finding some pen pals. How about someone from Hawaii? It's on my list of places to visit one day. So Local Sugar if you know anyone with a girl about nine and a boy about seven, let me know.
We love to do "dance parties" where we just get silly dancing all over the living room. We just crank up the music and let it move us. We end up laughing hysterically and it relieves lots of stress and tension. Radio Disney is one of our favorites, you can get the app for your phone or listen via the internet.
My son is attending a reading camp for four weeks that is put on by his school. Lots of bonuses here, it's free, he will be learning, staying connected to school, spending time with his friends and spending some time away from his sister LOL! If your kids fight like mine, then you know time apart is good. Especially for mom, who has to tolerate it, that can make summer seem endless. My daughter is attending a camp we have to pay for, but luckily my dad has offered to cover the cost.
We also try to do play dates, these are free, kids get to spend time with friends, they get tuckered out and the moms can hang out too! The point I'm trying to make is that even if you can't afford to do a lot don't feel bad about it. There are probably lots of free or cheap things to do in your area. Even if you aren't going any further than your own backyard, you are giving your children lots of experiences that will help them grow and learn.
Stay tuned for more fun with Ladies Holiday as we plan our first annual Ladies Holiday luau and possibly a "prom" to celebrate the end of the Twilight Saga movies.
If you have any ideas for affordable summer fun, please share, we would love to hear them.