Thursday, May 8, 2008

Recession-proof Fun!

It seems like all the Mamas I know these days are talking about how expensive everything has gotten, and how they're cutting back on some of their spending, including spending on family activities like eating out or going to the movies.

Times are tough, Mamas, but that doesn't mean that we can't still have a little fun with our little ones, right?

The first place to check for fun, free activities is your local public library. Many public libraries have wonderful programs for children of all ages. You can find story times, music classes, chess clubs, family films and more! All for free!

If your library doesn't have what you're looking for, try your area Barnes and Noble (or even your local mom & pop bookseller or children's book store). These stores often have story times of their own, also free.

Try skipping the restaurant this weekend and pack a picnic or barbecue and head to your local park instead. It will get you out of the house without the having to shell out $15 or $20 per entree. And the kids can run in circles without you having to worry about nasty looks from the next table.

If you're members of your local YMCA, check the schedule. Many Y's have "Family Fun" nights or open swim times that are totally free to members.

Maybe you have a museum near by. Check out their website or give them a call. Many museums have free admission, and those that don't often have free or reduced admission days. And most have child-centered activities scheduled at least a few times a month.

Think about swapping a dinner out for a trip to your favorite ice cream shop, after your dinner at home. Grab your cones and take a stroll down main street, in the park or at the beach.

Stuck inside on a rainy day with your kids? You don't need an art supply closet to do some fun, free crafts with your kids. Grab the child safety scissors, your old magazines (I know you've got some Mamas) and a glue stick and make some great collages! Make a birthday collage for Grandma, or get started on one for Father's Day. Fun, free, and easy to clean up!

Have some recession-busting ideas of your own? Post them here, Mamas. We're all in this together.

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