I have discovered a few things to do with my family that will not break the budget. As a father of three, my wife and I are always looking for things to do that are inexpensive, but will still create lasting family memories.
Minor League Baseball Game
Taking the family to Minor League Baseball game can be a lot of fun and whole lot cheaper than attending a Major League game. Our local team is the Chattanooga Lookouts, and we try to get to a game at least once a year. We buy the cheapest seats possible because the stadium is small enough with a little over 6,000 seats that every seat has a good view of the field. So just how cheap are the cheap seats? General admission seating currently stands at $5 for adults and $3 for children.
There are nearly two hundred Minor League Baseball teams that play in the United States as most Major League teams have at least one Triple A and Double A affiliate and typically several Single A clubs scattered throughout the country. Whether you are a baseball fan or not; hearing the crack of a bat, seeing a ball travel 400 feet, and having the opportunity to catch a foul ball is exciting, especially for children. Keep in mind that players in this stage of their careers are typically approachable, and kids will have opportunities for autographs and pictures.
My son and I attended a movie recently. It cost well north of $30 for two movie tickets, a large popcorn and a drink to share. I had asked my daughters if they wanted to go also, but I am glad they deemed the movie too manly and nerdy for their tastes. Carmike Cinemas has a great summer promotion that allows you to go to the movies for $4. That $4 includes a kid size popcorn, drink, and snack. I can take my whole family for $20. It may not be the newest release, but there are some movies my family has not seen yet or one worth seeing again. Carmike is one of the largest theater chains in the nation and operates in 35 states, so there is a good chance there is one near you. Local libraries and churches also have been known to show movies at little to no cost.
There is a local pool close to us that has several water slides and water features. The cost is only $4 per person, and they will allow you to bring in food and drinks. It sure beats the cost of going to a much larger water park. There are two large water parks fairly close to us, but at one park the cost is $47 per adult and $42 per child for a one day pass. The little community pool may not have the thrills like a major theme park, but it also does not have the hassle of parking, long lines, and pricey concessions either.
Many cities and municipalities have parks and recreation departments that maintain and offer community pools and playgrounds. Plus you can find directories of public pools on the internet. I believe my kids have just as much fun at the little community pool because they come home with smiles, and they always ask to go back.