Money is tight, but your kids are bored and restless and starving for entertainment. Here are the best day trips to make with your kids on a budget.
Are winter and the pandemic making you and the kids feel worn-out and bored? Are you itching to get out and do something—anything—but need to watch your wallet? Consider taking a day trip to somewhere new. Be sure your car is in good working order, pack some healthy snacks, and head out for some of the best day trips to make with your kids on a budget.
Get Back To Nature
No matter where you are, there has to be some green nearby (or just a short car trip away) that’s free to enjoy. The local park is always an option for a lovely walk, picnic, or place to toss a ball around. If you’re near a forest or nature preserve with extended trails for short or long hikes, go there and bring along a packed lunch. Figure out how much time you have for your trek, and come up with challenges for your kids to meet within that time. Ideas include gathering 10 different leaves, taking pictures of wildlife, finding colored rocks and pebbles, and so on. Reviewing and organizing their discoveries at home will be an excellent way to have fun, stay busy, and learn.
Visit a New Playground
Are you tired of visiting the same old swings, slides, and monkey bars? Hit the road, and visit surrounding communities in search of new playgrounds to explore. Save time by doing some research beforehand, but it’s more fun to explore. Make a goal of visiting a certain number of parks and playgrounds within a set time limit. While you look for new playgrounds to conquer, you might even find other fun and exciting options for playtime or lunch.
Visit the Library
If you haven’t visited your public library lately, what’s stopping you? Libraries offer more entertainment and educational possibilities than you can imagine. Many libraries offer e-books, streaming services, and other at-home options, but you and the kids want to get out! Check the library’s calendar for readings, music, dancing, and story hours. See if they offer activity packs that encourage kids to plan, build, and think about math, science, engineering, writing, reading, and more. And, of course, build up a stack of books they can take home and delve into when you return. Plus, if you need a break from your current library, you can visit a new one in a nearby town! Most offer reciprocal privileges or can issue you a temporary card.
Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
Making furry friends is one of the best day trips to make with your kids on a budget. Many animal shelters need help with looking after their charges. You and the kids won’t have to do anything too difficult, and they’ll assign tasks according to age. Little kids can socialize kittens and puppies by paying attention to, playing with, and petting them. Older kids can help by grooming, feeding, and walking older pets. It’s a great lesson in compassion and caretaking!