Family-friendly things to do while on a budget?
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  1. #1
    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    Default Family-friendly things to do while on a budget?

    DH and I had an hour-long conversation tonight about what we can do as a family. But given that our financial situation has been a little less than stellar for a long time, we have absolutely no idea what to do.

    We've spent so much time doing things separately that we have no idea what to do as a family.

    And, to top it all off, having a special needs child makes it hard because if he doesn't want to do something, he really lets us know about it.

    I think that until I go back to work and start making enough money to cover entertainment, we may be stuck doing more things on our own unless someone has an awesome idea.

    We had thought of doing stuff like buying secondhand ice skates and skating at the park nearby. We'd also love to go sledding, but the snow this year has been less than stellar. Other than that, a lot of things I like to do are physical in nature and DH has never really been a physical activity sort of guy.

    So, I'm stuck.

    Any advice?

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    Registered User FrabjousDay's Avatar
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    Registered User FrabjousDay's Avatar
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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    When we lived in Minneapolis and had eight kids, we had an annual pass to the Minnesota Zoo. We made good use of it! We were there a lot so got our money's worth, and it included the parking fees. I'm guessing Edmonton might have a decent zoo, if your family is interested in things like that.

    We had a good supply of board games and liked to play those and card games.

    We had movie nights with a snack buffet. Sometimes the kids got out their sleeping bags and slept on the living room floor.

    Our kids liked to act and sing and dance, so they would make up shows and then put them on.

    Our kids liked to bake, so sometimes they'd get together and make batches of cookies or bars or whatever sounded good. If they made a lot, we would freeze part of it.

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    we are board and card game people. we like the wii.
    We also like movies and foot balls game at the local high school. Hiking and swimming int he summer. WE are really homebodies....And not real physical. hugs

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    We have gotten together even as adults and played board games and had sooo much fun.
    How about an indoor picnic. What about borrowing a movie from the library; maybe one you or your dh liked as a kid.

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    I have the same problem and it is just me and DH. He is the physical activity person and I am the board game person. We did do a puzzle together last year when snow in for a few days.
    Not sure if you have the space or not but,my parents always left a large puzzle up all winter. A person could work on it anytime the mood struck them,visitors included. Everyone knew that it would be there.
    What does your special needs son like to do? Maybe he can do his activity on the sidelines while the rest of the family does their thing. That may only work at home though.

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    In our area there are free days at the museums and zoos. You just have to search for them online. Many restaurants have kids nights on tuesdays where kids eat free making for cheap dinners and often times also include some kind of entertainment like face painting or magicians. The library usually has some free programs as do most park departments. A little tougher in the winter. If you have a YMCA in your area they have a sliding scale monthly fee and can provide tons of entertainment for the family for cheap. Board games, video games, baking cookies, crafts, home improvement projects. Rent a redbox video for $1. Read books. Take a walk. Go on a scavenger hunt. Look around and see what a tourist would do in your area and you might find something you never knew existed. Go to the airport and watch planes take off. Visit a skating rink or bowling alley, but check for coupons first. With coupons you can usually find some cheap things to do. Watch for Groupons or things like that too- we've gotten some great family friendly activities off of there like rock climbing for super cheap. Often area pools (like at your local high school) will have family open swim nights. INvite over your friends or your kids friends for a movie or game night. Good luck!!!

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    Default i was thinking...

    games....they dont have to be board games...we play life as a family on the puter....not sure what your son likes to do but maybe incorporate that into some type of game...Kids are pretty easy going and just love to have fun....also a movie night would work.....let each kid pick a movie and watch it with popcorn and uice or whtever you want to drink...make some cookies together etc....

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    Registered User ncarr's Avatar
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    I love board games. You could also do movie night with movies from the library and microwave popcorn

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    Registered User Wendy99's Avatar
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    Our kids love movie nights We pop some popcorn in our hot air popper, borrow the movie from the library (watch for scratches though!!), have juice, or a cheapie bottle of pop to share (pop is a treat to them and we can get a bottle for 90 cents) and turn off all the lights & crank the tv LOL - kids think it's cool that way. They say it's just like the movie theatre.

    Play some games - we got some from the thrift store, google card games and see what comes up.

    Sledding & skating - once you get the snow go sledding & outdoor skating

    WII night / other video game night - make it like a tournament and keep scores of various games, add them up to find the winner

    Craft night - gather some stuff from around home and do some crafts with the kids (we use to get some stuff from the dollar store & the kids loved it)

    Baking - do some fun baking with the kids & you can use the baked goods for snacks & school lunches

    Science Experiments - go the library get some cool science books and try out some of the cheap experiments at home

    Theme night - pick a theme, cook dinner for that theme, borrow a movie / documentary for that theme & get some books - teach them about other countries etc that way

    Walks - find some trails etc near your home and go for a nice long walk - can print a scavenger list from the net off for the kids to find various things along the way (don't take the things, just check them off or take a picture of it)

    Potluck dinner - invite a group of people over for a potluck dinner, divide up what everyone brings (or just let them bring whatever for a true surprise) & ensure everyone brings a drink (juice / 2L bottle of pop) that way you don't have much of an expense and you all have a great time together - can even set a theme if you want

    Campout - have a campout in your back yard or basement - do s'mores - tell stories - eat hotdogs, sleep in a tent (even inside), use flashlights

    Museum/Art Gallery - check them out - free

    Scrapbooking - each family member can do a page for the scrapbook of something that is special to them (can keep this project ongoing)

    Volunteer - in a soup kitchen / church - show your children how to help others etc

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    Registered User Rhiamon's Avatar
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    This is a great thread!!!!

    Library and rent movies.

    Bingo nature walk. Make your own bingo cards with things seen in your area go for a nature walk and mark them off as you see them.

    Make a story jar. Put slips of paper in a jar and everyone takes turns pulling one out and continuing the story that way.

    Read a classic book outloud together.

    Teach the kids to knit or crochet

    scavenger hunts

    Family baking day Robin Hood Baking Hour recipes and tips make baking together with my family fun and easy. Check it out.

    arts and crafts

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    Registered User brenda67's Avatar
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    I didn't read through this thread so please excuse me if there is repeats...

    If you have the Wii system that is a great way to spend time together as a family..

    Board games are great too..

    My dh & boy's are playing darts as I post this..$20.00 for a Dart board has brought several hours of enjoyment to my family!

  15. #14
    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Children's Educational Wildlife Museum

    Description
    Children's Educational Wildlife Museum offers a fascinating insight into Canada's not so distant past of fur traders and pioneers. Indeed, the city of Edmonton was founded on the fur trade. See collections of firearms, traps, skins, an antique hunting car, and over 150 examples of stuffed and mounted animals. This rustic museum is especially popular with school children; organized educational trips are available. Visits to this museum are by appointment only. Admission is free.
    What about taking the kids to the pool at WEM? Not sure how much an annual family pass would cost.

    Library programs?

    Take the kids with you to explore the city's historical sites/monuments and get in a bit of exercise and education.

    Farmers market - let the kids help pick the produce and enjoy the sites of the market (free samples too?)

    Themed days (on weekends of course) ie red day = red clothes, red foods etc

    Host other friends/families/extended family over for game night - pot luck of course.

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    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    I don't know if it's the same in Canada, but here in the US libraries often offer passes to all kinds of places with free or reduced admission.

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