Don’t let these outrageous gas prices take the fun out of your summer. Following up from Part One of this article, here are some ideas to help you plan a fun and exciting summer while saving some money for the gas tank.
Take a “staycation”, a trip taken closer to home (250-400 miles away) that’s usually a long 3 or 4 day weekend. You still get the benefit of going away, but it won’t cost that much in gas. Another “staycation” idea is to take advantage of the nice hotels where you live. Many of them offer shopping, spa and golf packages. So you are still “getting away” without the gas prices hitting you in the pocket.
Choose to stay home, but don’t be drab about it. There might be a treasure chest of things to do right in your own neck of the woods. You’ll be surprised. Here are some ideas:
-Local museums are treasure chests all by themselves. There all kinds of fun and exciting things to see and some new things to learn. Look them up on the web or call because most museums have a day of free admission.
Speaking of museums, if you are a Bank of America account holder, check out Museums On Us. In select states, they are offering free admission to museums and other sites the first weekend of every month for the rest of the year.
-Aquariums, botanical gardens, and zoos are great places to spend some time during the day. Why not take the summer to explore these kinds of places that are near you? Also, in the summertime, many of these places offer some kind of children’s programs. Again, check out their website or give them a call and see what’s happening.
-Local music festivals really kick off in the spring and go until a little after Labor Day. In most cases, they are free and depending on where you live, you will find a diverse range of music to choose from. So get out your lawn chairs, coolers, and sunscreen and get your jam on!
-Indoor and outdoor movie festivals usually take place in the summer and they are a fun way to catch up on some older films. Some of these events are at local theaters or on the lawn of a large, local park.
-Children’s theater really takes off in the summer because school is out. Check out your local theaters to see what shows are playing. Take some time to get away from the television and experience drama, fun, and fiction on the stage.
-The movie theater is a great option in the summer especially when it’s really hot outside. AMC offers a Summer Movie camp with $1 movies and $3 KidsPacks on Wednesdays. Also, Regal offers the Free Family Film Festival. They offer select movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on a first-come-first-served basis throughout the summer. Check out each of their websites to see when these programs begin and what movies they are showing. Give your smaller, local movie houses a try too.
-Other ways to add in some summer fun: have a picnic in your own yard, explore state parks, go bike riding or rollerblading at the local park (some larger parks have bike and rollerblade rentals), plan a scavenger hunt in your home or even your neighborhood, get in the kitchen and try new recipes. Use your imagination as the possibilities are limitless.
If you have more suggestions or more tips for summer fun, please share them in the comments section. Here’s to you and your family having a happy, fun and money-saving summer!
Adaya is a college professor who enjoys reading, cooking and most of all, traveling. You can check out her travel blog at http://professorjetsetter.blogspot.com/.