As you've probably read, we're trying to budget over here and reign in the spending ... One category that can quickly eat up a good chunk of change are the activities and classes for the kids. Between music classes, gym classes, museum visits, skating lessons etc it adds up quickly. In the summer in Maine, its so easy to find fun outings for free with great beaches, parks, splash pads, playgrounds, trails, LL Bean free concerts, and so much more. But, when the cold sets in, it can be challenging to find fun (activities outside of the house) for free. Here some things we've found fun and free:
* Book store story hour- Check your local bookstore for this offering! Royal River Books in Yarmouth, ME is a great one to check out! Tuesday Mornings at 9:30am
* Whole Foods Story Hour- again check your local store, but in Portland, ME its Monday mornings at 9:45am
* Library Story Times and activities- check your local library for fun offerings!
* Sledding! - There are some great hills for sledding in Greater Portland including Payson Park, Val Halla Golf Course, Pineland Center
* Outdoor ice skating (many outdoor rinks are free or very minimal charge) -Free minus the fact that you need skates (but head to your local resale store for those :-) Click here for the New England Outdoor rink directory
* Snowshoeing- obviously requires snow shoes, but look for them used! There are great trails at Pineland Center in New Gloucester, ME as well as at Pratts Brook in
* Maine Crooked Houses Play Port at the Maine Mall
* LL Bean- between the fish tanks, play house, color station and chalkboard, there's plenty of fun to be had, and on most weekdays you'll have plenty of space...
* Mid-week Free Movies- Many movie theatres offer free showings of older kids movies. Smitty's Cinema has a great Mom & Me lunchtime movie series every other Wednesday at their Biddeford, Sanford,Tilton, & Windham locations...
* Home Depot Kids Workshops - Home Depot offers free kids workshops usually on the first Saturday of the month. Call your local store or check the website.
* Look for free special events or trial programs- many times, especially in the first part of the year, local organizations and programs offer special events or free trials to build interest. Here are a few happenings in Southern Maine:
- YMCA of Southern Maine is allowing folks to try the Y free until 2/19/14.
- Maine Audubon’s Winter Carnival & Open House- Great Maine Outdoor Weekend.
- Maine Maple Syrup Sunday
- First Friday Art Walk- Children's Museum Admission is just $2 from 5-8pm
Another great way to cut our costs has been to fully embrace memberships that we already have... .i.e. the YMCA.. We've always had a membership for swim classes, and the gym etc. but I've recently been embracing all of their offerings! So instead of taking gym classes and such elsewhere for a couple hundred, we've done movement classes and mommy & me yoga classes etc all which has been free with our membership, or have averaged to less than $2/class. We also have encouraged family to give the kids activities vs. stuff when it comes time to presents etc... So we have been thoroughly enjoying their Christmas present of a
What are your favorite outings with no cost?
I'm Rebecca, a Maine mom of three energetic young boys and wife of a lobsterman, living in my favorite place, the coast of Maine. You'll find me here talking about my parenting journey, mom style, recipes, running and exercise, travel, stories from our life in Maine and so much more! Most days I'm just figuring it out as I go - Thanks so much for stopping by!