With the nice weather coming our way I have been thinking about some of the fun and frugal family activities that we did last Spring and plan on doing again this year. So I thought I would share some and ask you for some additions to my list! Here are my families top 5 fun and frugal spring activities.
- Backyard BBQ with a Twist! – We have a lot of fun as a family eating and cooking outside. Recently I have been adding another fun twist and cooking s’mores with the kids and using the BBQ to roast our marshmallows. They have a blast. Not the best thing for my waistline though.
- Family Bike Rides – We take advantage of the numerous bike trails in our area. Typically, we pack a lunch and make an afternoon out of it. My six year old can now ride without training wheels so he keeps up with my wife and I quite well. I have a bike trailer for the girls that I pull behind me. A worthwhile investment, plus it gives me a great workout where I can burn off a few of those s’mores.
- High School Baseball Games – With my son currently playing little league, he wants me to take him to a couple “big kid” games this spring. The cool thing about high school games is you are so close to the action and the most expensive part of the trip is the gas to get there.
- Visit the Public Library – The public library in our town has a weekly ‘story time’ where a volunteer reads a story to the children and then does an activity with them. Typically, they do some sort of an arts & crafts activity that relates to the story. My wife has already taken our 2 year old daughter a couple times in the past month and she loves it!
- Golfer In The Family? – Last weekend my son and I went to a local golf course and just putted around and chipped on the practice facility. It was great, and totally free. They even had a sand-trap he could hit out of. Sure beat paying $7 each to play a miniature golf course. I actually think he enjoyed it more because we were on a “real” golf course.
Please feel free to add to my list. What are some of your favorite frugal family activities? FFFA’s for short.
Even with less expensive cameras you can anticipate the sports action and compensate for shutter lag. Shutter Lag
Even if you don’t know what the words mean, shutter lag, you’ve probably experienced it. You have your camera at the ready, you’ve composed the shot, the athlete is now in position and you press the shutter button at the exact moment you want to capture the perfect picture…………….but the camera doesn’t take the photo, it waits for what’s seems an eternity and then fires. You find the resultant photo is not the one you had prepared for, the athlete is not framed properly or they are now in an awkward looking position, or it’s out of focus all because the camera delayed in taking the photo.
This is what is known as shutter lag. Sports photographers need cameras that shoot with minimal shutter lag and shoot quickly. You the sports photographer can also take steps to reduce this lag and not miss photo opportunities or poorly capture them.
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Great post about the backyard bbq twist with the marshmallows! My oldest daughter thinks its the best thing in world to roast them in HER backyard! And with sticks even!! ;)
Roasting marshmellows over the BBQ made me remember when I roasted a marshmellow over a candle with my kids a while back. Not sure if it is safe or not, but it tasted good.
Last weekend, I took my daughter fishing at a local pond. They had an activity running where kids under 10 could fish for $5. And they gave us a fishing pole! My daughter caught her first trout ever.
We are big on state parks.There’s hiking,biking,camping,fishing and best of all the photography.We treasure the photo albums the kids created.The zoo and free events around town are great ideas too.
Also,the farmers market is a great place for kids to learn.When mine were young they would ask everyday “Are we going today?”They made friends they still have today.My kids are 17 & 19.LOL ,I guess it stuck.
I just had my grandson for spring break. Fortunately, I live in an area where there are lots of things to do for free. We visited the Air & Space Museum, the National Harbor, the Launch Zone for the National Children’s Museum, and we flew kites down on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Capital.
There was so much more we could have done, but he was only in town for a week.
We take full advantage of the local library! We also love the visit parks in different places in our city. Some even have splash pads for when it’s hot outside. There is a public fountain the kids can play in on hot days too. Another frugal family activity is a park near us that also has a farm. You can see all the farm animals, feed the ducks, have a picnic, and sit on tractors. The only thing they charge for is a wagon ride and duck food (but you can bring your own too).
I am a big outing person, so it makes sense for my family to purchase memberships to facilities we really like. We have memberships to the aquarium, the Museum of Ancient Life, Farm Country, and the Thanksgiving Point Gardens. It saves us lots of money and makes it feel like we have tons of “free” recreation options.
Hikes at this time would be good, you will be seeing lots of birds, and depending on where you go, maybe even some ducklings or geeselings!
Take your camera and go for a photo scavenger hunt! See who gets the most photos from the list!
Our top three favorite frugal family activities are:
1. The beach. Have shovel, will travel. Give the boys a beach and a shovel, and they are busy for hours! Bring sunscreen, snacks, chairs, and a book for the adults :)
2. Hikes. Our favorite place is not to far, abounds in lizards, wild turkeys, deer, great views, and more.
3. Family and friends. Get together for fun, food, or whatever. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, just have fun!
Great post Kyle, thanks for sharing these tips. I live in Chicago and some other frugal tips I’d add are to visit Lincoln Park Zoo, take a stroll in Millennium Park and check out the upcoming free festivals (Cinco de Mayo, Celtic Fest Chicago).