Happy December everyone! I can’t believe that December is here already.
If you have kids, they probably have a couple of week off of school around the holidays. And while some of those days will be filled with holiday festivities and family gatherings, not all of them will be.
Some days it will just be you and the kids and boredom will set in. The kids will run rampant and you’ll want to tear your hair out and hide in the bathroom…or is that just at my house?
I put together a list of things that are fun to do with kids, but that can be done on a budget. And that saves money for holiday shopping!
If you don’t have kids, you can do these things with your nieces, nephews, or grandkids. If you don’t have any of those either, I suggest that you borrow the neighbor’s kids because some of these things are fun…and you don’t want to look like a creepy adult doing them alone.
The Library – I love the library. Your kids might ask what those ancient artifacts are on the shelves. Explain that they are called books. Seriously, though, I love to read and so do my kids. That’s why it’s important to introduce books at a young age.
Besides books, the library has tons of other free stuff – toys, puzzles, crafts, story time, and computers games.
The Park District - I always check not only my park district, but other local park districts to see what free events are going on nearby. Last weekend, we went to a Christmas tree lightning that I found on the park district website.
They had hayrides, crafts, a fire-pit set up to roast marshmallows for s’mores, cookies, and Christmas card making. Then Santa arrived by fire truck and lit up the Christmas tree. And the whole thing was free.
The park district also has classes that kids can take for a fee – everything from magic classes to princess parties. And karate:
The Zoo – This may cost money depending where you live. We have a small nearby zoo that costs only $3 admission. We also have two other big zoos nearby – one is free and one isn’t. But the zoo often does really cool things around the holidays – breakfast with Santa and zoo lights. It’s worth checking out.
Outside – I live near Chicago, so our winters are snow-filled and crazy. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t play outside. Bundle yourself and your kids up, grab a sled, and get out there and play.
Likewise, in the summer, outside is the best place to play. There are tons of free parks, splash parks, or stay home and play. Ride bikes, take a walk, have a water balloon fight – just don’t forget the sunscreen!
Playdates – Set up a playdate with your child’s friend. Send your kid off and then sit back and relax. Just don’t forget that you should probably reciprocate. Be prepared to tear your hair out…just kidding.
Children’s Museum – This isn’t usually free, but sometimes museums will offer a day that is free, like the third Thursday of the month. You know, a day when I can’t go because it’s right in the middle of the week. But they often have coupons online that save a few bucks.
Grandma’s House – Grandma probably misses her grandbabies. Send them off and sit back and relax. You probably won’t have to reciprocate…unless Grandma has a dog.
Stay Inside – You don’t always have to leave the house to have fun. Last year, Chicago had a huge blizzard and we were stuck inside for a few days. I anticipated that we might go stir-crazy and bought one of those giant cardboard rocket ships that the kids can color and paint for $10 at Target.
We spent an afternoon coloring and painting it, then we blasted-off to the moon! Then I let the kids go shovel the snow with Daddy. Kids love to shovel snow. I do not love to shovel snow. It worked out perfect.
When all else fails – Go to Chuck E. Cheese.
There are tons of things to do with kids, you just have to look and see what is available. Do you have any fun things to add to my list?