July 20th, 2017

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As a mom, you enjoy spending time with your kids and taking them to have some fun away from the house. At the same time, you do not have an endless supply of money, so you cannot always spring for an afternoon at the movies complete with popcorn and boxes of Goobers or trips to the zoo or local theme park.

Fortunately, there are plenty of budget-friendly things that are fun to do with the whole family, some of which won’t cost you a dime. Here are a few your family might like.

Yard sale in an american weekend on the lawn

Ask for a tour

If your kids crave donuts and bagels or are fascinated with money, you might be able to arrange a behind-the-scenes tour of a local business. Call the bagel bakery, bank or pet grooming shop and ask to speak with a manager, explaining that your kids are obsessed with their shop and would like to take them in for a tour. You might find yourselves seeing what the bank vault looks like or watching fresh donuts go from fried to frosted.

Check out the interesting things happening around you

If you have a toddler who is enchanted with bulldozers, cranes and backhoes, watch around your neighborhood for signs of new construction and take her there to watch the action from the safety of your car. Everyday attractions are great ways to get out of the house and enjoy some time with your kids, while also learning something in the process. If a guy is on scaffolding painting a tall building, that might be worthy of a stop and watch moment, so is parking near train tracks to watch the locomotives chug by or heading to the airport to see the jets taking off and landing.

Go see a play

While you might think that “live theatre” and “frugal” are not words that go together, with some last-minute planning they definitely can. Families who live in or near New York City can score some insane deals on tickets to plays and musicals. Browse online ticket sales websites for their selections of discounted theater tickets, many of which go on sale close to showtime. If you don’t mind going to the theatre on the fly and don’t need a lot of time to prepare, this can be a terrific way to get some culture in while saving money.

Go yard sale shopping

Yard sales can be fun and budget-friendly for kids in a variety of ways. Your children may get into the thrill of the hunt that often comes with scouring peoples’ discarded treasures at garage sales — maybe they will find that old LEGO set they always wanted or a gently used book or doll they will love. You can also make it into a game and challenge them to find the goofiest or most colorful item with a certain price limit; just remind them not to crow about how hideous the ceramic cow wearing a sombrero is so they don’t offend the people holding the sale.

Outlet shopping for a set price

If your kids need some new duds, head to the outlet mall and have a little contest to see which kiddo can pick out the coolest outfit for less than a set amount of money. Set your max budget ahead of time and let them choose as much of a complete outfit as possible including socks and accessories.

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