Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm Cheap and I Share

I'll admit to being cheap. Even before the recession, I always looked for inexpensive or free entertainment. It's not that I won't spend any money to keep us busy. If you read the blog regularly, you know I'm happy to spend when necessary. I just don't feel like everything needs to be as expensive as possible.

During the past year, I've become friendly with the girls' friend's Moms (aka the women who sit with me during ice skating, ballet, school activities, etc.). We were all talking about keeping the children busy this summer. Not the camp from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. every day kind of busy. More along the lines of finding different things for them to do that are interesting and don't cost a lot of money.

We exchanged emails and now I have become the neighborhood entertainment coordinator. It's a job I come by naturally. I was always telling stories about what we did with the girls. The other Moms kept saying, "How did you find out about that?" So, I decided to start sharing my favorite ways to keep the girls busy.

The first email was a list of activities at the local library that we signed up to attend. The first one was yesterday. The Traveling Reptile Show brought all kinds of gross, icky reptiles, including an albino python. (One Mom commented that the snake looked like raw meat or uncooked chicken because it its strange color.) There was a good crowd and I'd say the girls knew about 1/2 the children. They were as excited to see their friends as they were the cool and creepy animals. There are a number of other things we're going to do at the library this summer. It's close, free and fun. What's not to love?

The second email was about a free concert tomorrow night. The local community center is hosting a Jamaican one man band. Now, would I seek out a Jamaican one man band for entertainment? Probably not. Yet, I cannot pass up the opportunity as he's going to perform right down the block and it's free. As an added bonus, the community center will be open during the show, so there are bathrooms.

There are lots of other activities going on in area suburbs. Whenever we're going to attend one, I will send an email to all the local families interested in free and fun activities. As I told one Mom, "I'm cheap and I share." Even when the economy isn't in the dumps, fun, free, local activities are among my favorite ways to spend time. If you add a few friends and family members, it's even better.


dcr said...

i knew there was a reason i loved you! hope all is well, shari!

Nicki said...

Another couple of tricks... One, if you Google "DuPage Libraries" you'll come across a site with every library in the Dupage system, all of which have event calendars, many of which are free to the public! We travel to all different libraries, not just our own local one, depending on what goodies are there!
Also, ChicagoParent.com and GoCityKids.com have event calendars that often list free festivals and junk! Most are in the city, but there are always a few gems in the suburbs!

Noelle said...

What a great role to hold in your neighborhood! I'm always looking for fun things to do with my daughter, and you'd be amazed what you can come up with, for little to no cost, especially during the summer. Libraries are an excellent source of fun, free summer activities. I also check the websites of surrounding towns and cities; there's almost always a festival or free outdoor concert, or something going on at a local park. Movie theaters also often show free kid films in the summer. It's amazing how we go nuts paying for summer camps and activities, when really there's nothing kids like more than running through a sprinkler with friends. Last summer I overbooked my preschooler with camps, this summer I'm just going to let her be a kid!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I'm really enjoying yours :)