This is my first summer as a stay at home mom. And while it’s been over 8 months since I made the transition from the workplace, it seems like a whole new game now that it’s summer and school doesn’t take up most of our time.
This is also the first summer I’ve been on a strict budget. So having all this time and not much funds has been a bit trying at times. But we’re making it work, trying to get out of our house and backyard as much as possible. And here’s how.
- Spray parks. They are free and the kids love them on a hot day. If you are in Indy, click here to find one close to you. Or try a new one like we did today. We met 6 other moms and packed a lunch. It was a great time – I could connect with friends while the kids played.
- Weekend camping! It takes a day to prepare and a day to recoup – so it’s a Friday through Monday type of event, which leaves us only 3 other days in the week. 🙂 And it’s cheap trip – last weekend, we went camping and spent $100 for the whole weekend (campsite, gas, food, etc.). The kids have so much fun. Even in the heat. By a fire. Telling scary stories.
- Go to your local library. There are always a ton of free activities and it’s a great place to hide from the heat. The IMCPL has a summer reading program and free movies offered at almost every branch throughout the summer. Most have other activities too, like storytime and mobile science labs.
- Symphony on the Prairie – it’s so much fun and my
husbandchildren learn to appreciate classical music. We go early and take a big blanket and a cooler full of food and drinks. The girls dance to the music in the grass and we have a wonderful evening. There are concerts almost every weekend throughout the summer. (You can click here for the schedule. My faves are Time for Three and Music of the Beetles.) There is even an “instrument petting zoo” where the kids get to touch and play some instruments and face painting some nights!
- We also go to public pools. The one nearest to us is $3 for adults and $2 for kids 3+. So for $7 we can spend the whole afternoon at the pool. Oh, and my kids sleep like rocks that night too.
- Check out local museums on super hot days. This weekend our whole family went to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Which is FREE by the way. (Except that they are going to start charging for parking in September.) The girls love seeing art from all over the world (my favorite is the Asian gallery) and you can blow 2 hours, easily, in that place. Plus, there’s also 100 Acres – where you can run around the grounds on trails (and off) and see fun art installations out in nature. (Baby Jedi thinks it’s peaceful.)
- And of course we always hit the zoo and museum. Indianapolis has an amazing zoo and Children’s Museum that you should totally visit. We buy an annual pass for our family, which hurts a bit when renewal rolls around each year, but is so wonderful when we need something to do that will appease all three kids.
Don’t forget to use your Groupon or other daily deal vouchers too. We’ll get to go rock wall climbing and painting this summer also thanks to previously purchased deals.
What do you do to keep occupied during the summer? I’d love some new ideas. Please share. 🙂