Free Summer Fun with the Family
Jul 01, 2019 07:55AM
By Lisa Payne
Years ago, a coworker introduced me and my husband to his tradition of “no buy July.” It means that during the month of July, his family doesn’t spend any money except on groceries, gas, and necessary bills. There is no eating out, there are no Starbucks runs, and there are no trips to the mall. It forces them to slow down, be mindful about where their money goes, and it also sets the tone to be more intentional about what they buy in the months to come. Because after all, after going a month without constant Starbucks runs and realizing you will live, there is a tiny twinge of guilt when your car beelines for the store.
My husband and I tried it one time. It actually went well and it was fun to get our creative minds thinking of ways to exist without spending. And then kids happened, and summer vacations, and life got expensive. However, this July we are going to reintroduce the concept and see how we do, with four children constantly asking for things. One element we are going to add in is if we do make the decision to spend money on a family activity, we must use a coupon. My expert coupon-clipping mother will be so proud.
Here are some ideas for a fun filled summer without spending any money at all! You can Google some of these ideas to find the exact times and dates that work for your family.
· July 4thFireworks Show and Broomfield’s Great American Picnic – Always free and fun! Pack a picnic and head to the Broomfield Commons with friends.
· Picnics – Don’t just picnic on July 4th, head outdoors for any meal with the family. We love breakfast in the backyard or lunch at the river by the Boulder Library. Be creative!
· Go hiking! Go biking! Colorado is filled with so many free outdoor destinations. There is a path or trail for every level. Our favorite easy hikes include Chautauqua in Boulder or walking the stairs at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
· Farmers Markets – This counts as grocery shopping in my mind and if the kids help pick out produce they are more likely to eat it. For an adventure, try the Cherry Creek Farmers Market in Denver.
· Celestial Seasonings – Free tours daily and perfect for rainy days.
· Hammonds Candy Factory – What child doesn’t want to see how candy is made and eat some along the way?
· Free Summer Concerts – There are so many! The Orchard Town Center has a great lineup as does Flatirons Mall. Google “free summer concerts” to find a location you desire and head over with a picnic and friends.
· Art – If your family has a creative side, check out the Cherry Creek Arts Festival or the First Friday Art Walk at the Golden Triangle Creative District in Denver.
· Children’s Museum – The first Tuesday of the month from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. admission is free at the Children’s Museum of Denver Marsico Campus.
· City Park Jazz Concerts – For more than 20 years there has been live jazz concerts at City Park in Denver. Pack a picnic dinner and enjoy the music while the kids run around.
· Camping in the Backyard – A favorite with my kids! Pitch a tent, roast s’mores, play cards, and tell stories until the sun comes up.
· Free picture books – Capture your memories with a free photo book each month on the Shutterfly app.
I hope this list has inspired you to save while having fun with your family. Ask your kids for ideas of their own and go make some summer memories!