It’s that time of year that the kids love, and parents love to hate. If you find yourself wondering what to do now that the kids are off school that won’t leave you bankrupt, then have I got some ideas!
I touched on this theme last summer with my previous posts: Fabulous and Free and Fabulous and Free: Part 2. Check them out with the links below to learn more about neighborhood book boxes, parks, playgrounds, family walks, splash pads, park districts, museum free days, free coloring pages, and free YouTube educational videos/virtual tours.
https://the-thrifty-mom.com/2021/07/14/fabulous-and-free/ (Fabulous and Free blog article)
https://the-thrifty-mom.com/2021/07/21/fabulous-and-free-part-2/ (Fabulous and Free Part:2 blog article)
New for 2022:
Mini Golf/Frisbee (Disc) Golf: We are privileged enough to have two very family friendly mini golf courses close to us- Riverview in St. Charles and Stone Creek in Geneva. Both have washroom facilities, concession stands, and playgrounds nearby. Prices are very affordable and fairly comparable between the two. Riverview pricing this year runs: 2 and under are free, 3-15 years are $6 ea., 16 years and up are $7 ea. Stone Creek’s pricing is $5/person for residents $6/person for nonresidents.
Right next to Stone Creek is the frisbee/disc golf course- The Links appears to be free, but you must bring your own frisbees and follow the rules. Check out the links below for more information.
https://www.riverviewminigolf.org/ (Riverview mini golf info)
https://www.genevaparks.org/facilities/stone-creek-miniature-golf-course/ (Stone Creek mini golf info)
https://www.genevaparks.org/facilities/links-disc-golf-course/ (The Links Disc Golf course)
Kayak or Pedal Boat Rides: A fun way to get some exercise, soak up the sun, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Fox River Valley. Both can be rented at Riverview Mini Golf. Kayaks will run you $15/hour, Pedal boats run $19/hr. The link below will provide further rental information.
https://www.riverviewminigolf.org/daily-admission/ (Kayak/pedal boat rental info)
Ferry Boat Rides: For a more relaxed way to soak up the sun and view the natural beauty of the Fox River Valley you and your family can try a Ferry boat ride instead. Rides last about forty-five minutes. Rates for this year: 16 years and up $12/person, 3-15 years $10/person, 2 years and under are free. Rides depart near St. Charles Park District 8 North Ave. St. Charles Il, 60174. Use the link below to book your ride in advance.
https://book.peek.com/s/21992230-244f-4104-9043-dee349847151/2baVj (link to book Ferry boat ride)
Concerts in the Park: If you’re looking for a relaxing, entertaining, and FREE evening of family entertainment then I highly recommend St. Charles’ concerts in the park. They run every Thursday at 7 pm in Lincoln Park (450 W. Main Street St. Charles il 60174). Just bring a chair or blanket and settle in to listen to live music while the kids entertain themselves on the playground. Port ‘o’ potties are available and sometimes there’s vendors selling pizza or ice cream. There is no alcohol allowed and it gets pretty loud so I would recommend bringing headphones for the kids if they are noise sensitive. Check out the link below for the list of bands.
Movies in the Park: This is another great FREE option but is best suited for older kids as the movie doesn’t start until the sun goes down, which in the summer we all know can be quite late. Viewings take place in Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles, IL. Don’t forget to bring your bug spray, camp chair or blanket, and snacks. See the link below for a list of dates, times, and movie titles.
Pool Activities: If your kids like to swim and play in the water, splashpad, or sand then I would highly recommend the St. Charles Park district’s ‘Cross Town’ pool pass. It pays for itself in a few visits and is good for both of the pools in St. Charles- Otter Cove (more like a water park with slides and a lazy river) and Swansen (more like a traditional pool but has a diving board, one slide, sand area, and Lilypad jump area). Special discounted rates are available if you purchase in January and the pass entitles you to participate in a myriad of pool theme day activities like deck art day, mermaid and pirate night, June’s summer picnic, etc. (see link below for the aquatic guide you’ll have to flip through to find all pool events and dates).
https://indd.adobe.com/view/4a0bd92d-d057-4a54-9623-e50439a01ed6 (St. Charles Park district pool activity guide)
Museum Adventure Pass: I discovered this little gem recently- you can use your library card to get a discovery pass for free or discounted admission to any participating local museum. Check out the link below for a list of participating museums and libraries.
Library Activities: Speaking of libraries, don’t forget that your local library has so much more to offer for Free than just books! You can rent DVD’s and board games for family game/movie nights. There’s a variety of story times to choose from or a children’s play area for rainy days. You can borrow S.T.E.A.M. and S.T.E.M. learning kits or take home a ‘grab and go’ kit to do a science or craft project at home. There’s summer reading incentive programs and our library is even offering FREE children’s events like the bubble dance party, worm races, and a zoo to you.
Themed Bath Night: Don’t forget to get the kids pumped about rinsing off all the sweat, sand, and sunblock with a summer themed bath! Check out my latest finds:
Have a safe, affordable, and family friendly summer!