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Tips For Finding Free Family Fun!

8 tips for finding free kid-sized fun in your neighborhood that won’t break the bank.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tips For Finding Free Family Fun!

Whether your kids are two or 12, it seems like parents are always searching for free kid-sized fun.  If you have more than one child, say seven like the Bruces from WE tv’s Downsized, taking the family out for the day can get quite expensive.  With a bit of research and pre-planning, it’s easy to find fun things to do that won’t break the bank!

Here are 8 tips for finding free kid-sized fun in your neighborhood:

  1. Most Museums have a designated number of free days throughout the year which can be easily found on their website.  For example,  the Bruce’s can visit the Children’s Museum of Phoenix for free the first Friday of every month.
  2. Visit your local Office of Tourism, Mayors Office or Chamber of Commerce online.  Most of these sites have calendars where they list local family friendly activities and festivals.  Many of which are free. You may want to join their mailing list too, so that you receive updates of local activities.
  3. Feed your kids for free! There are two national websites that list local kids eat free restaurants.  Visit mykidseatfree.com or kidseatfor.com for a list of where kids eat for free near you.
  4. Check out your local library, bookstores and toy stores to see if they offer a free story time, sing-alongs or other weekly family activities.  Barnes and Noble, Pottery Barn Kids, Land of Nod and many other national chains have free weekly story times. The Bruce’s local Phoenix Libraries have free weekly baby, toddler and teen programs.
  5. Find a tour at a local manufacturing facility. Most major manufacturing facilities offer tours to the public on specific days. For example, the Bruce’s could visit the Stuffington Bear Factory in Phoenix for a free tour of the manufacturing facility and history lesson on Teddy Bears every Monday through Saturday at 1pm.
  6. Be a tourist in your own town.  Check out a travel book for your city or the closes major metropolitan area from your local library.  Most travel books have walking tours, so put on those tennis shoes and take a stroll through the history of your community.
  7. Join a local playgroup. Meetup.com is a great way to find a local playgroup or other groups with kids of the same age and similar interest.  The leaders of the groups generally plan free and low cost activities for the members, and most of these groups are free to join.
  8. Make your own fun! Plan a picnic at a park, put together a scavenger hunt, host a relay race for the neighborhood kids in your backyard or create a photo contest.  Get your kids involved and let each of them come up with one free family event each month.

In addition to being a mom of two toddlers, Cindy McCarthy is an explorer of kid-sized fun and author of http://www.onthegochicago.com, a blog that highlights where to go eat, shop, play and learn in Chicago. You can also follow Cindy on Twitter or on Facebook.

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