Check out Freebies
When the weather’s warm, people want to get outside. And there are usually a ton of free local activities to keep you enjoying that sunshine. Here are some options:
- Hiking: Our local parks, such as the Gorge Metro Park, have some nice hiking trails. And once you’re done, stop at a scenic picnic location and enjoy some sandwiches, hard-boiled or deviled eggs, or your favorite packable lunch.
- Swimming: Take advantage of the local swimming holes and cool down for free. Do make sure you and your kids are taking proper safety precautions and are prepared for some cold water, especially in rivers. Life jackets are never a bad idea, especially if the depth of your favorite swimming area exceeds your or your kids standing height. Not into lake or river swimming? WaterWorks has low prices on day passes.
- Concerts in the park: Many weekends, you can bring the family to a free outdoor concert with the Cuyahoga Falls Community Band. Bring your picnic basket of snacks to keep the costs low.
- Museum visits: Check to see if your favorite museum has a free day this summer.
- Gifts for your young readers: The library has some special prizes for the kids who participate in their summer reading challenge. And as a bonus, you keep your kids reading and help prevent some of the summer slide between school years.
Make it a Day Trip
One of the big costs of a vacation is lodging. Skip that by taking a day trip instead of an overnight. We’ve got many great spots to visit that are within an hour or two, so you can leave early in the morning and soak up an entire day — then come home to your own bed.
Plan ahead to maximize the fun on these one-day jaunts. If there is a special event, make sure you’ve got passes or tickets to take advantage. Pack snacks and beverages to keep everyone fed (and happy) between meals. That will help minimize the food expenses for the day.
Camp Out at Home
Love camping, but missed out on a prime camping spot? Set up a tent in the backyard and take a camping trip without leaving your house. You can use a fire pit or your barbecue to roast marshmallows and get the full camping experience without the cost and hassle.
What’s even better than saving money? Helping your community. Look for places you and your family can volunteer, such as a local homeless service center, animal shelter, food bank, park, or even Habitat for Humanity. These projects will pay you in a feeling of accomplishment — and help your family appreciate what they have. Plus, if your kids are getting close to college, these experiences can be a nice addition to their resume and provide essay ideas.