So here’s a follow up to my last post. I thought I had included all my ‘free hacks’ and then I sat down with a cup of coffee and remembered some more. So here you are folks- yet more free ways to entertain your family this summer!
Free days. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but some museums and theme parks offer free days- days where they wave the entrance fee and you can come and enjoy them with the family for free (minus the trip to the gift shop, the snacks, the bottles of water, the ice cream break, and the cost of lunch and parking). I have noticed an increase in free days post covid quarantine as places attempt to entice customers to come back after a long dry year with no funding, but rest assured, free days existed well prior to the dreaded year 2020. Keep in mind most free days will be offered on the least busy day of the week for business like Tuesdays and Wednesdays so make sure you schedule some ‘stay cation’ PTO time to take advantage of them. So where can I find the coveted free days? Blackberry Farms in Aurora, The Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum are a few that I have found. Also keep in mind that the Lincoln Park Zoo is free every day, but if you drive you will most likely have to pay for parking if like me, you are not a ‘City Parking Guru’. You can find the dates of the free days on the links below.
https://www.blackberryfarm.info/plan-your-visit/#free-family-fun-days (Blackberry Farms)
https://www.fieldmuseum.org/our-events/free-admission-days (Field museum)
Free coloring pages. Probably appealing only to the younger crowd, but if you have some bored toddlers and a printer and internet connection you are home free. You can literally ‘Google search’ ‘free coloring pages’ and hundreds of them pop up. Some are truly free and some are ‘free with a membership’ so just be careful of what you click on. Crayola is a good web site for truly free coloring pages (see link below).
And the last idea for today: free educational videos on YouTube. Yeah, I know I have mentioned YouTube before, but there really is a lot of great stuff on there for free. My kids and I have watched videos explaining what Ground Hog Day is, what Cinco De Mayo really is, how to do the Mexican Hat Dance, what the Fourth of July is, who Martin Luther King was. We have had the history of fireworks and what they are made of explained to us by a Sesame Street Muppet and have taken a virtual tour of the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Taj Mahal, and a prehistoric cave complete with cave paintings. It is truly an endless resource. I recommend using the YouTubeKids app rather than the YouTube app if you are specifically looking for stuff for your kids as YouTubeKids seems to have been vetted to weed out the ‘weird stuff’. If you are using the regular YouTube app then just make sure to include ‘kids’ in whatever you are searching for. IE ‘kids fourth of July’ and that will cut out most of the ‘adult content’.
Enjoy chewing on these tasty and free tidbits as you continue to plan your free summer fun!