This past weekend we took the kids out three days in a row and only spent money on gas. Friday and Sunday we took both rugrats to the local childrens museum that we recieved a membership to for Christmas. Talk about an awesome gift. I never thought about family memberships to things before, but in the past year I have discovered that I love them. A trip to this museum for a family of four would cost $24 normally. That is high end for an afternoon of fun on our budget, at least for more than once in a while. A family membership runs about $60. Now, if you go more than three times in a year it has more than payed for itself. PLUS if we go for an hour and leave, no big deal.
During the spring we will also get a pass to our local zoo. For $50 we can go unlimited amounts of time, and the zoo is inside an awesome park. Add a $10 parking pass that is good for the year and you have something to do several times a week. We go to Forest Park to visit the zoo, play in the sprinklers, play on the playground, feed the ducks and sometimes just to walk. Last year we were there minimum once a week. It is a seven minute drive from the house, and one of my favorite places.
The other thing we did this weekend was go to the Springfield Science Museum. Since we live in the city our entrance was free. Again, about 1 1/2 hours entertainment for big rugrat for the cost of a 20 minute round trip in the car. And we had a great time.
Another great way to visit area musuems for free and reduced prices in the ask at the library. We live on a budget, but we still like to get out of the house and expose the rugrats to museums and zoos and parks. But we can't pay for everything. Family memberships are great, and we budget for a couple a year, and they are great gifts as well. But the library is FREE. My favorite price, FREE. We have a local butterfly museum that at last check was $10 a person. To me that is a lot, especially when big rugrat could have a meltdown which forces us to leave. However, a local library has passes for two adults to get in free. Now I have to wait for the passes to be returned, but hey, beggars can't be choosers right?