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.