When spring hits, so does the overwhelming urge to get outside. You and your kids might have been stuck inside all winter, but now that sunshine, flowers, and warm weather abound, no one is keeping you in! It’s easy to assume that weekend outings will cost some cash, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Plan your trip a bit, pack a lunch for everyone, and see where the day takes you.
Go Hiking or Biking
Getting out into the heart of nature isn’t just fun for the kids, it’s fun for the adults, too. It gives your brain a break from the mental stressors we’re exposed to. It also allows us to have some quiet time to try and reset our minds and our priorities. The physical exercise will make everyone happy and will help you get a good night’s sleep, and you won’t feel bad about skipping the gym!
Visit a Farmer’s Market
A local farmer’s market is always different. Sure, some of the same people are there, but most of the time you’ll see something different every time you go. Attending is almost always free, so all you really have to worry about is what you spend once you’re there. A large part of the draw of farmer’s markets is the environment and atmosphere, so you don’t have to pay a ton. Any money you do spend goes directly into the hands of your neighbors and friends. You get to support your community while having fun at the same time!
Clean Up the Park
Once the weather starts to get warmer, people start hoping for volunteers for outdoor activities. Kids that frequent parks outside might even have seen these people out cleaning up public areas before! A quick internet search will give you a good idea of what kind of options there are to volunteer around your town.
This can be anything from cleaning up trash to planting trees, so pick an activity that your kids will enjoy with you. Younger children may not be as adept at planting trees yet but could get a huge kick out of planting a flower bed! Volunteering isn’t just about helping your community. It also has a lot of benefits for you. Roll up your sleeves and get planting!
Hit Up the Park
When you head out for the day, the kids will be overjoyed to learn that you packed lunch and drinks and you can all spend hours at the playground. This should be an excellent opportunity for the parents to sit down and relax as the kids run around and have fun making new friends. Make sure to keep safety in mind when you’re there, though! Over 200,000 kids get injured on playgrounds each year, so don’t let them run entirely buck wild. Keep an eye out for burns on metal equipment and make sure everyone stops for frequent water breaks.
Have a Picnic
Spending time outside is always the key to summertime fun. A picnic is a great way to do that, especially with little kids. They can eat all the messiest foods, and you won’t have to clean the carpets! Bring a ball or Frisbee for the kids to play with. If you can, go to a dog-friendly park to bring your whole family, furry feet and all!
Head to the Zoo
The zoo isn’t an everyday activity and can be pretty pricey. But it can also be amazingly affordable if you do it right! With tax season already here, you might be getting some money back. If so, a family membership to the zoo is much more affordable than you might think. Most memberships will pay for themselves with only two visits, and you can go as often as you like! The kids will never get tired of seeing the animals, and you can bring your own food, so you don’t have to buy it there. It’d be pretty easy to visit the zoo ten times over the summer if you don’t have to pay for it each time!
Plant a Garden
A garden is one of the best ways to teach kids about the environment. It lets them get their hands dirty and keeps them involved. If you have picky eaters, you might be shocked to see them getting a week’s worth of veggies when it’s time to harvest! If you don’t have room to plant your own garden, it’s usually very affordable to join a community garden. They will set you up with learning opportunities, materials, and volunteer options. Many community gardens will donate extra produce to food kitchens, so you don’t even have to worry about planting too many tomatoes!
Sell Your Stuff
Spring cleaning is always a daunting challenge, but it’s a bit more exciting if you know you’ll make some money doing it. Plus, teenagers and preteens are much more likely to part with their things if they can keep the cash they get for doing it. You can embrace the entire idea of minimalism by getting rid of a lot of your stuff. It gets you outside, takes care of your stuff, and helps reduce other people’s carbon footprint since no one is buying new materials!
Spring is here. Embrace it, but don’t feel like you have to “keep up with the Jones” while you’re at it. Spend your time focusing on time with friends and family and you’ll make memories that last a lifetime