10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Entertain Kids this Summer
This post is sponsored by Fidelity & MEFA. All views expressed are that of our own. #UFundDreams
As many of you know, my wife and I have had the opportunity to partner up with MEFA to help bring awareness to their U.Fund College Investing Plan 529 for the last 3 years.
I am admittedly not a finance kind of guy, so I love that these plans are managed by professionals. In fact, I wish I had known just how expensive it was going to be to raise three kids. I guess you can say it hit me fast that it is not just diapers, and wipes you have to worry about. I didn’t even think about saving for my kids’ colleges until just 4 years ago!
Since our family is all about saving money and being frugal when possible, I wanted to share 10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Entertain Kids this Summer. Perhaps swapping out a pricy vacation or day trip can be the first deposit into your child’s 529 plan?
The summers can be tough for my wife because she has to juggle two work-at-home jobs while taking care of the kids. Typically, we tend to do family outings and adventures on the weekends, so I can spend time with the kids. My day job has me getting home around 5 pm so time is limited, but precious.
This year, we couldn’t swing a vacation with my job change, so we are all about making the best of our summer with local activities that are either free or cheap. We have both learned that you do not need to splurge on a pricey vacation to keep kids entertained or to create lasting memories. In fact, the money saved can be invested for long-term goals, such as future educational expenses.
Here are my 10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Entertain Kids this Summer:
- Hiking– We have some beautiful free hiking trails in MA! Before heading into the woods, we typically each like to pack a backpack with water, snacks, first aid, sunscreen, and bug spray.
- Biking– My kids love their bikes and could spend hours riding up and down our long driveway. When we are feeling really adventurous we head to the farm roads for a 2-mile ride.
- Library visits– I don’t know about your kids, but mine love to read. Their faces always light up when we visit our town library. If you have never brought your kids, it is quite the experience signing up your kids for their first card.
- Museum trips on free days– Museums are a great activity to educate your kids about a variety of subject. After visiting our local library, I found so many free museum passes that I didn’t even know existed. Check with your local librarian for free passes, and info about free entertainment days they might be hosting.
- Beach days- While the beach is not free during the day, it is usually pretty reasonable. If you really want to save money, head there past 5 when the lifeguards are off duty- it is FREE. If you do this, be sure to keep a very close eye on the kids while they’re in the water!
- Visiting family, you don’t see all the time– Since the work week can be rough, we tend to visit family on the weekends. We make a day of it and the kids get to play outdoors in new territory!
- Scavenger hunts– I used to love scavenger hunts as a kid. I make some fun ones up for my kids with seasonal flowers, bird species, rocks, trees, and more. We have so much wildlife in our yard for them to explore now!
- Helping dad garden– Ok, so gardening is my thing in life. It is the way I like to unwind and relax. My kids love helping me pull weeds and harvest the produce. Gardening teaches kids that with tender love and care, they can nurture live plants to give back. Plus, it saves us money on organic produce.
- Traditional park days– We are lucky enough to have 3 wonderful playgrounds at our kid’s elementary school. It is literally about a one-mile walk that we often take after dinner. Our kids get to burn energy and have fun–all while unplugged!
- Going to breakfast– This might be the biggest splurge on the list, but it doesn’t always have to be. While our family prefers a weekly sit-down breakfast, going to breakfast with the kids could be as simple as a drive-through.
As you can see, pretty much all these ways to entertain kids this summer are free or relatively inexpensive. Kids rarely care about their destinations but rather want your attention, time and love. Being there for your kids in the present is one of the biggest ways to show them you care. Plus, just think of all the money you can save on vacations. Apply all or some of the money to a U.Fund College Investing Plan 529 which your kids can thank you for later.
Massachusetts residents, the U.Fund Dream Tour will be at the Barnstable County Fair on July 28th-29th! We will be there on Saturday, July 28th. There will be knowledgeable staff on-hand to not only entertain your children, but to answer all your questions about how to save for college. Representatives can also discuss plan and benefit specifics. You can learn more about MEFA 529 plans from representatives that will be there.