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Free Places to Go With Young Kids


Guest post from Emily of Queen of the Wilson Household

Sometimes as a SAHM, I have to get out of the house to keep my sanity. However, I don’t want to spend a lot of money each week just to get out of the house.

During our no-spend week, I got creative about things to do that didn’t cost any money. Some of these activities have now become a weekly tradition. There are plenty of places to go that allow me to keep my sanity and my money!

1. Library

It’s not just for books. The library is a great place to check out movies, music, audio books, and magazines.

Also, ask your library about any free programs that may be available. Our library has an awesome children’s section complete with a play room, a faux front porch with rockers, computers, story and song time, arts and crafts, tables and chairs.

2. Pet Store

If your child loves animals, this is a great place to wander around and look at all of the animals. You could also make the visit educational by talking to your kids about how the fish breath or why the gerbil has chubby cheeks!

3. Park

We love the park because my son can run around, and I can even get a little exercise in too.

4. Pool/Sprinkler

In Florida, public pools are free. However, if they are not free where you live, you can always have a water day at home. You may not go somewhere, but it is still a fun way to get out of the house.

5. Plan an Outdoor Activity

Take a picnic lunch outside or to a park, feed the ducks at a nearby pond, or go on a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood. You could make a list of items to find, or keep it casual and have your child gather as many leaves or special stones as he can find.

6. Visit family or neighbors.

If you have elderly neighbors like we do, they might like a visit. You could bring them a card made by your child to make your visit even more special.

7. Mall Play Area

Indoor play areas are great for little ones to run around and play especially when the weather isn’t the best for being outside.

8. Museums

There are some museums in our town that offer free nights or lower admission rates on special occasions. Call your local museums and ask when they run their discounts.

9. Window Shop

Leave the cash and debit cards behind, and just have fun looking around. Specialty stores are great for window shopping. We love to visit outdoor stores like Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s and home decor stores like Hobby Lobby or Kirkland’s because they have merchandise we don’t normally see in the stores we frequent.

Where else do you like to take your kids for free?

Emily blogs at Queen of the Wilson Household where she shares encouragement for being a wife and mother, saving money, and topics related to the home.

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  • Kimberly says:

    We have the HUGE gift of having several churches in our area with free indoor playgrounds open every weekday!!! I often thank them profusely.

  • Kerry says:

    Farm supply stores. Depending on the season, there are sometimed baby chicks or bunnies to visit. One store near us had an old tractor parked out front for kiddos to sit on.

  • Julia says:

    I’m thankful for some fresh ideas here! One thing I really want to do soon is meet an old friend and her young son who live an hour away, but I cannot think of a good meeting spot. One of these options might work well as a midpoint.

  • Christy says:

    Beach if you live close enough. We buy a yearly pass to our county parks for $80, so we can park at the beach parks for “free” with the pass, which run $8 and up! We also use it to get into other parks with playgrounds and other events run by the County Park System so we make our money back and then some. But, even without the pass, we could park on the side of the road at our local beaches and walk to a public beach access. Pack a lunch and lots of fun!

  • JJ says:

    A lot of communities have a night in the park(spring and summer), where you can watch a movie outdoors. Also, parades! Check to see if there are any St. Patrick’s Day parades(that would be next, then Memorial Dat, etc.).

  • Tanya G. says:

    Your local church or place of worship may have a mom’s group during a weekday. A community/resource centre may work too.

  • Kristen says:

    Home Depot and lowes have monthly building projects for kids, kids can get free bowling for the summer just sign up!

  • Cammie says:

    When my boys were toddlers, I would take them to the mall before the stores were open, especially when the weather was bad. They could run free, look at the fountains, ride the elevators/escalators, climb all over benches, and the only people there were mall walkers. They had open space to run, and I got a good walk in at the same time.

  • Christina says:

    I like to take my sons to the airport lookout area. They have benches and picnic tables. It’s fun to watch the airplanes take off and land.

  • Rachel says:

    If you live in Rochester, MN check out Monkey Junction— free indoor playground!

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