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8 free places to visit with kids

Posted by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 1:51 PM
  • 17 Replies

The best things in life are free, right? I have the happiest time with toddlers when simply outdoors and enjoying the natural surroundings where they can explore. If things are local it is even better so try and explore your local area, talk to other parents and grandparents to find the best places. Last week I discovered a great park just by asking a mum "do you know any fenced parks around here?"
So here is my current list of free or almost free activities:

1. The local park - utilize whatever it has to offer. If it is just a small grassy area take a ball and some bubble mix to blow beautiful bubbles. For older children take some large magnifying glasses to see what insects you can find. They may like to start a nature journal and draw some of the mini beasts they find. Don't forget some children just like to run and if it's a windy day you can always fly a kite.

2. The farmer's market - make it a challenge that at every market, the children should try something new, like smell a herb that they do not know or taste a different vegetable that they do not usually eat. Explain where eggs and honey and potatoes come from and support your local growers. Let the children pay for a purchase if you are buying something. 

3. The library - your child may not like to sit still for story time but that does not mean you cannot visit the library at other times. Libraries usually have a children's section where you can look at books and videos and my local library has a drawing area for children where they supply paper and colouring pencils.

4. The Botanic Gardens are usually free but you do need to check for opening and closing hours. Don't forget a picnic lunch or special snack to enjoy. Older children may like to learn about plants or trees.

5. The museum - hands on is best. Many museums these days have great interactive areas for young children and often have weekend or holiday shows which are free. Some museums in each city are free so find out which ones first.

6. The beach provides so many activities for our senses: the feeling of sand and water and frothy foam and the sound of the waves and the gulls. Even if it is a cold day, rug up and do a scavenger hunt along the shoreline or explore some tidepools.

7. Your own garden - if you are lucky enough to have a garden or courtyard try and look at it in a different light. Have lunch with the bears or a teddy bear's picnic. Fill fifteen plastic containers with water and play. Put up your beach umbrella or create a cubby house out of old sheets and blankets. Learn how to do a handstand.

8. The national park provides a more rugged and vast environment than the botanic garden or park and you can often have a barbeque or paddle in a canoe and sometimes camp overnight.  Find a national park near you.

RAINY DAY BONUS ACTIVITY: The local shopping mall usually has a free play area for children and if they don't you should talk to them about adding one, especially near the coffee area!

http://earlyplay.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/7-free-places-to-visit-with-kids.html


.....Ophelia Grace...............Mira Lorne...............Jude Bennett.........Liam Daniel Baines.


by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 1:51 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Juniper53098
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:34 PM

1.  We go to the park almost every day during the warmer months.  It is only a block away.

2.  I can't get to the farmer's market hardly ever.  It is on Tuesday mornings and I have kids in my daycare.  The 1 parent doesn't want me to take her son anywhere by car, unless absolutely necessary.  (Another provider abused the privilege.)

3.  We don't get there often enough.  My kids love it, though.

4.  We don't have any local botanical gardens.  We could go to Madison, but it's not free.

5.  We have a local museum, but it is never free and it is not a children's museum.

6.  We don't have a beach in town.

7.  My garden is very small, but they help me pull weeds and pick produce.

8.  The nearest National Park is 4 1/2 hrs away.  Is it really free to go to a National Park?  I see there are fees for most activities inside the park, but if you're not participating in anything like that....

9.  It's not free, but we do make several trips to the state parks here is Wisconsin.  My daughter and I love to hike =).  I've also found severl little known free trails.

abra
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:07 PM

We live close to the park, too. It's great! Last week DH took the girls over there in their snowsuits. There was about a foot of snow and the slides were iced over so they had fun shooting down the slides and landing in the soft snow! 

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by Platinum Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Great reminders :)

lillucky8
by Silver Member on Feb. 1, 2013 at 10:16 AM
Great tips! We go to the playground when we can, probably more this summer once ds is walking. We also plan to go boating alot and swimming so the kids will be fishies :)
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TigerofMu
by Gold Member on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:44 AM

These are great ideas!  Many of these are our favorite haunts, though we don't have botanical gardens or anything so fancy, we do go to the local free museums,  the park, and live at the library. 

kmqw229
by Silver Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 5:10 PM
Thanks for sharing!
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meam4444
by Bronze Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 5:11 PM

 good

celestegood
by Gold Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:04 AM
I wish we had a park closer. The school was is there, but you can't use it during certain times.

Quoting abra:

We live close to the park, too. It's great! Last week DH took the girls over there in their snowsuits. There was about a foot of snow and the slides were iced over so they had fun shooting down the slides and landing in the soft snow! 

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celestegood
by Gold Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:05 AM
TFS
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aneela
by Gold Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 9:29 PM

nice suggestions

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