Frugal Fun: Having Fun For Less During the Holidays

By the time you see this, your young children will be in the midst of a holiday break. A long holiday break. A very long holiday break. And they’ll be bored. Correction, they’ll be very bored. They’ll get tired of their Christmas gifts two seconds after they open them and they’ll bother you every five minutes to do something. You, also on holiday break, will shoo them away while you say you don’t have money to do anything. But the kids want to have some fun.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to pay much, if anything, for your young family to have a less boring time during the holidays. In fact, the holidays are a very good time to visit a number of places which tend to be more crowded during school weeks. Here are a few things you can do for little or no money.

1. Visit a county or state park. Most of these locations charge less than $10 per carload to enter their park areas. And though it can be cold, stopping by these places in winter can be breathtaking, especially when it’s sunny and cloudless. You can have the park practically to yourselves as you take in the quiet, the scenery, and the animals which hang out during the winter months.

2. Look at holiday lights. The end of Christmas doesn’t mean the end of light displays. Most places and homes don’t take down their holiday decorations until after the New Year. There are some places, like the city of Fort Collins, Colorado, which don’t take down their light displays until Valentine’s Day. Check your local event calendar to see which places are still open for viewing.

3. Go bowling or skating. These two sports are fairly inexpensive and, in many cases, have coupons available where a person can get in for free or just pay for shoes/skates. Certain roller and ice skating rinks are now part of the Kids State Free program, which offers free coupons for skaters during certain days of the week.

4. Go to a museum. With Christmas and New Year’s coming so late in the week, there’s a very good chance museums in your area are going to offer some discount or free attendance days. It’s great to take your young family to a museum during this time as many people are away. Check the websites of your favorite museums to find out about the next free or discount attendance day.

5. Go to a film festival. At your house. Buy some popcorn and candy from the store, rent DVDs from the library, run films from you streaming service, and have a day where you just watch movies. Throw in some hot chocolate and a cozy fire, and you have yourself a perfect post-Christmas day off.

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