Every year I use the demarcation of Memorial Day to signify summer’s beginning. In my mind it is time to officially break out the shorts, put away the pants, and mentally prepare for summer. Financially summer provides our family with a unique opportunity. Mandy works the teacher schedule so our daycare bill will go down to zero, unless you count getting a babysitter every once and a while. Even still, it is an awesome relief (and to those of you who pay for daycare, I know you can relate). I feel as though this will really test our resolve in regards to DR and his philosophy. We could easily use that extra money on some house improvements that I probably won’t get to this summer, new clothes, or perhaps the greatest temptation of all…summer fun. Summer is filled with awesome things to do and great places to eat and, to be honest, I love doing those things. It makes me feel like I am really enjoying summer and living life how it was meant to be lived. However, Mandy and I really want to stick to the budget that we have been trying to adhere to for the past while. So, I have made a list of fun things we will do this summer that are either free or cheap.
— Farmer’s Market. I think we may have mentioned this before but Holland has a great farmer’s market. We can do part of our grocery shopping and it provides a nice way to spend almost an entire day.
— Beach. In addition to a killer farmer’s market, Holland has some really nice beaches. In the past we have thought twice about doing the beach thing because it meant parking far away and lugging all of our stuff to the crowded beach. This year though we bought a state park pass, which was only ten dollars. This will get us into the state parks for free and free up some muscle from pushing/carrying Bridget.
–State Parks. Michigan has some sweet state parks. We got a pass (above). Enough said.
— Grand Rapids Art Museum. If you are a Kent District Library cardholder (which I am) and you show it at the door, everyone in your party can get in for only $3, on Saturdays 10-3 pm. Good deal huh?! Maybe not necessarily the best way for a baby to spend their time but if that doesn’t apply to you, happy art looking! This is just another reason why KDL is the best.
— Kent District Library’s KDLvilles. At most of KDL’s branches (soon all of their branches) they have what is called their KDLville. It is a place for kids to play with age appropriate toys…I’m talking a ton of toys. They have all sorts of playthings and the good thing about it is that kids are playing with a purpose. They are working on their early literacy skills and having fun at the same time. I really can’t say enough good things about KDLvilles. Here is the site for more information about not only KDLvilles, but also early literacy and activities you can do at home (another free thing)!
— Summer Reading Programs @ our library. This may sound dorky but most all public libraries have summer reading programs that are free. This is a great way to go to mostly fun programs and keep those kiddos reading throughout the summer.
— Family. We are lucky to have some family relatively close to us. This summer will provide a great opportunity to reconnect with family.
If anyone else has other ideas, let us know!