Family field trips are a simple, fun and fairly inexpensive educational enrichment activity you can enjoy regularly with your children.
Many manufacturing plants offer free tours to families or small groups, and any free samples given out make great souvenirs when on vacation. Call ahead to find out about tour availability.
Field trips to local attractions such as zoos or aquariums can be expensive, but purchasing an annual family pass pays for itself in just a couple trips. Knowing you can come back again and again, frees your family to thoroughly enjoy themselves without feeling the need to hurry and see everything in one day to get your money's worth out of the admission price. Return to the same site whenever you want a family outing, and then buy a pass to a different educational attraction next year.
If your family enjoys attending live performances, check for free concerts, plays and other cultural events in local parks during the summer months.
You can also contact college or community performance groups (drama, ballet, orchestra, etc.) to see if they'll allow you to watch them rehearse for free.
Many local theater groups need volunteer ushers for their live performances. Volunteering in this manner is an excellent way for the older members of your family to gain free admission to a wide variety of cultural events, plus it provides a useful service to the local arts community.
Deborah Taylor-Hough is the author of the bestselling Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month and A Simple Choice: a practical guide for saving your time, money and sanity. She also edits the Simple Times email newsletter. To subscribe, visit Debi online at: thesimplemom.wordpress.com
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