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Endless Summer ... on the Cheap

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Wanna keep your kids occupied this summer without spending a chunk of change? Here's how.

a family watching a movie

Recession Mama: Every spring, I can't wait for school to end. Then, when it does, I find myself looking at a LOOOOONG summer vacation. I often have lots of time with the kids when they're not at various day camps, so I've come up with some suggestions of ways to keep us all occupied and having fun.

Most museums and gardens have one or more free days a month. Put them all on a calendar at the beginning of the summer so you don't miss any. Movies are great for summer days. AMC, Regal, and other chains have weekly free or nearly free movies. Check this site for a pretty comprehensive list.

Also, more free movies can come from your local public library, as well as lots of other entertainment: summer reading clubs to earn books, kids' story times, and other special events.

Want to cool off, but you're not near an ocean or lake? Some high school pools are open in the summer for free, or close to it. Call your city's parks and recreation department or check their website. Don't forget to check the neighboring cities. While you're there, see what else is happening at your parks this summer. Within ten miles of my house, I've found parks that have free music EVERY NIGHT. Also, a Shakespeare play, a penny carnival, and a couple of drop-in supervised summer play times. I guess our summer will be pretty full after all ...


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