Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fun Things to do as a Large Family for Cheap

No, this post isn't about that we do.  I'm asking my readers, are there any fun things out there that a large family can do for cheap?   I'm so over the "kids eat free" nights at restaurants only to find out that its "one kid for a paying adult."  Um not so helpful here.

Or the "family" pass at the local pool.  Two adults and two kids.  We'd have to buy TWO family passes just to swim and then pay for their overpriced poolside snacks.

Great Wolf Lodge currently has a groupon, but for a family of 8 it was still over $400 just to spend one night and play in the water park.  

W desperately wants to go to LegoLand in FL.  He's been a Lego fanatic since he was about 2 and he gets the Lego Magazine that always has LegoLand advertisements on it.  We'd love to go, but ooooh its so expensive!  

We don't fit in a condo anymore, so to go to the beach we have to rent a house.  We've done that twice now in the off season so we could afford it.  

Even the State Fair is outrageous with the cost of tickets and then the cost of food.

So, what do large families do for fun that doesn't break the bank?  


Emily said...

Our very favorite this is a family pass to the Science Center in our city. An annual pass for two parents and all children in the household is $145. That includes admission, parking, all hands-on activities, imax movies, and Hollywood feature films. It also includes discounts on classes, camps, and special events. We went a dozen times last year.

Erin Lafreniere said...

Parks are good for outdoor fun. Depending on the type of park, either free entry or you pay for a carload of people (not by the person). Annual passes can be a great deal if you go there several times.

KTB said...

**Trade shows? My kids love the annual "car show" where manufactures show off all the new models (free balloons, cookies, pens, etc. as well) and no entry fee.
**The Chinese Garden (Portland, OR) recently had a week of free admission (actually, you had to bring a can of food for each person to be donated to local foodbank). Attractions in your area may have similar free or almost free times---usually in their off-season.
**Check for local concerts or "movies in the park" where the price of admission is also a can of food...
**Hiking, biking, exploring local nature trails. Flying kites.
**Craft opportunities at Michael's (craft store) or Home Depot (usually $2-$5 per child)
**National Parks or Historic Sites (adults often must pay an entry fee---kids are often free admission. Also, buy an annual Parks Pass for Federal sites---saves tons of money if you visit more than three or four times and/or locations)
**Enter contests (sidewalk chalk art, dutch-oven cooking, sandcastle building, etc.) Anything that is a group effort & builds memories---"winning" isn't the focus :)
**Ask for a tour of the local fire station---great photo opportunities there (and often free stickers & plastic fireman's hats as well)
**Field Trips to local businesses or factories (the sorting room at the local Goodwill or equivalent; a commercial bakery or dairy; the printing room of a newspaper; etc.) My kids like to watch the dog groomers at the pet store---the store has a big area with windows and the children will ask to go there just to watch "the dogs get haircuts" :)
**Volunteer events like the "Spring Beach pick up"
**Flea markets (everyone gets a couple of dollars to purchase a treasure of their own choosing....)
**Visit a church where the service is held in a language you don't speak
** The Great Backyard Bird Count (February 13-16, 2015) http://gbbc.birdcount.org/get-started/

Nicole said...

oh you remind me of the frustration of not being able to do all those outings with a family of 7... everything was too expensive.
We managed a day at eurodisney when we collected the magazines that offered a free child entry for each paying adult. We got together with my sister + husband, that made 12 of us... 2 children over 11 were considered adults... so 6 children got to go free ! That was an event ! never renewed but great memories !

A. Redyns said...

Not sure how in to museum sort of stuff your kids might be or how close you are to a bigger city, but a lot of cities have free museums and stuff for kids to do. Almost all of the museums in Washington DC are free, and while getting a hotel would probably be a nightmare with price I think you'd be able to rent an apartment or something for a week if you looked in the right places, then you could cook there as well.

Also, beach houses might be expensive during the "in" season, but check out local lakes and camping areas (many have cabins if you're not cool with tents), the prices might be better than the ocean and really the kids will probably have just as much fun.

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson