Trying to keep your kids entertained can be very costly with the price of admission, food, snacks, and toys/items from vendors. All these things can really add up. We always say “I’m not buying anything when I get there” but when we get there, it’s a different story.
I must say, social media has been a huge resource for me. I follow all the local restaurants, community events, neighborhood association, schools, etc., to find out about everything that’s going on near me. And let me tell you, it’s saved me so much money!
My boys are teenagers now so it’s a little bit easier as they “just want to hang with mom”. But when they were younger, I took advantage of all the free and cheap local workshops and resources. Here are a few that might surprise you:
Home Depot has so many FREE children workshops!! Just visit your local home depot or Home Depot Website for the upcoming dates.
Yes, I said it – Ikea. There is a child drop-in center inside the store called Småland. Småland is a free supervised play area near the entrance. You can get a break, I mean enjoy shopping knowing your children are having a fun time. Children must be potty trained and be 37” to 54” tall.
Yup and I have no shame in my game! For those who don’t know, I was a teen mom, and extra broke. So yes, mama had to get creative. We spent a many a day at IKEA. My boys would play and I would pretend to be decorating my house LOL… It was great!!!!! And of course, it was FREE ☺. After playtime, we would have lunch/ dinner there in the on-site café, which was really inexpensive. We made a whole day of it. It was a regular family outing.
3. THE MALL FOOD COURT
Y’all know kids can eat! And especially boys. My boys loved the mall food court. You get a restaurant experience without the high cost and expense of a tip.
The way I see it, kids just want to be out of the house and spend time with their parents. You don’t have to break the bank trying to entertain your family. The memories they have with you and the future you are building for them is going to mean so much more than the toy you couldn’t afford but sacrificed your light bill to get and they won’t even remember what it was called.
4. COMMUNITY EVENTS
Attend all event that your neighborhood may be having. Community events, back to school rallies, neighborhood cleanups, block parties etc. My community often has movie nights, bird watching, fishing etc. These events get the family out of the house but also teach your children the importance of building community, neighborhood stabilization, and volunteering.
5. NOTABLE MENTIONS
- Museums – Free
- Most museums have a sponsored day.
- The Inner Harbor- Free
- Beaches – Low cost
- Dollar Movies- Low cost
- Parks – Free
- Church events (ex. Truck and treat) – Free
- Restaurant, Kids eat free night- low cost
The memories that you create with your kids are the ones they treasure most. Remember as a single mom you might want to give your kid everything they want but you can’t give into that emotion. Your job is to provide them with everything they need. Drop your pride and don’t think you have to live outside of your means to create some good times with your kids. Be sure to utilize your local social media resources to find out what events are taking place. Follow all of your local businesses, churches, and community centers. And remember, to following the neighborhoods near you as well. There may not be anything happening near you directly, but there may be something going on close enough for you to drive.