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Summertime Fun without Breaking the Bank June 18, 2011

Posted by thecouponjunkie in Uncategorized.
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Don’t you just love summertime?  The lazy mornings, the slow pace of life, the bright sunshine and ice cream, ice cream, ice cream.  It just seems like we have more time to relax and do the fun things with the kids.  We love playing outside, making play dough, bubbles, chalk, picnic, baking goodies, ice cream, water fun.  The list goes on and one.  But if we are not careful those fun things can add up to a lot of extra spending.

Here are some tips and tricks that we do to celebrate the lazy days of summer that don’t break the bank doing it.

Summer Time Fun Out and About in the Big Town:

In the first part of this series we are going to take a glance at ways to save this summer on things to do around the city without having to get a loan to do so.

We love the zoo and go often.  Having a family pass to the zoo in our area helps keep the cost down.  The pass for the OKC Zoo is $70 a year.  The best time to buy a family pass is in May at Mathis Brothers.  They offer a $25 discount if you buy the pass through them.  For our family we get the pass there.  But if we happen to miss the special savings we only have to go 2-3 times to have it paid for, and it is good for a whole calendar year.

The same can be said for the Oklahoma Science Museum. There are great things to see and do there.  We would generally do half a day at the zoo then spend the second half at the Science Museum.  It is fun and it is also educational.  (Don’t tell the kids that.) and since it is right next door, you are already there. The best time to buy a pass is going to be in October.  We actually got our pass through a groupon, so be on the lookout.

Waterparks are a great way to stay cool but can get pretty pricy. If this is up your alley, we would suggest a season pass if you plan on going more than twice.  For our area a one day pass to White Water Bay is $25. If you get a season pass it is $70. But this pass will also get you into Fronter City. Two parks for the price of one.  You can also find coupons and discounts for both parks. The link below is one for a coupon that is good through December 2011 for a one day pass. http://www.travelok.com/deals-and-coupons/id.302  To save on drinks while inside the parks you can purchase speciality cups that you can refill for only $1.  This will help keep the drink cost down.

Skating Rinks — These are a great way to come in from the heat and have a “wheelly” good time burning off some energy. the beauty of this is if you just love it, you can get a summer pass for about $20.00.  Some places will even have a family pass, that is even cheaper.  Like all passes, if you go just a few times it will be paid for.

Martin Nature Park — Get out and go hiking and see the Oklahoma Wildlife.  This park is free and is open Wednesday – Sunday.  They even offer Critter classes for a small fee.

Public Pools are a wonderful way to work on that copper tone tan and stay cool at the same time.  Many of our local pools offer family passes for small frees.  Be sure to check their policy for bringing snacks, so you can save on concessions.

Spray grounds or Spray parks  are free to go and play and offer a good dose of outside fun in the sun.  Don’t forget just the regular play grounds,  Most of the time they are right beside each other.  So you get the best of both worlds.

Bowling.  Let’s go knock down some pins and bowl a few rounds.  It is even better when they can do it for free. Be sure to check for participating locations.

Museums – Many museums have a free admission days or offer discounts if you hold other season passes to places like the zoo or Science Museum.  Plus it is on the educational side of things.

Reading adventures.

Most libraries offer story time or other reading programs throughout the summer.

Barnes and Noble, Borders, 1/2 Price books and many others all offer different reading programs as well.  Several of the programs your children can get free books just for reading and also encourages a love for learning and reading. The free Summer Reading program kicked off in Barnes & Noble stores across the country May 24 and continues through September 6, 2011.

Barnes & Noble.com will host Summer Reading blogs, games and other activities. Everything you need to begin your journey to your imagination’s destination with the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program can be found online.

Borders also has a Summer Reader Program with the Double Dog Dare.  All children age 12 and under that read ten books during the summer quality to choose a FREE book from selected titles.

With Half Price Books if your child Complete the Half Price Books Reading Log they can earn free books.  Set a goal to read each day for at least 15 minutes or more throughout June and July. Grown-ups may read aloud for kids who are still learning. Add up your minutes and have your parent or guardian initial at the end of each week.  Did you read 600 minutes or more? Turn in your completed reading log at Half Price Books July 25 – August 7 to receive your $5 Back-to-School Bucks summer reading reward!

Pizza Hut BookIt! Reading Challenge Kids K-6 can register online from June 15-Aug 15.  Those that read 5 books over the summer can get entered to win a cool prize package with this Pizza Hut Summer Reading Sweepstakes form   or check for location http://www.bookitprogram.com/SummerBreak/

Scholastic Books Kids can log their reading minutes online  and participate in weekly challenges, earn digital rewards, enter sweepstakes to win fabulous prizes, and more. Younger readers can participate with their parents on the Summer Challenge Family Playground, where they can also log minutes to earn fun prizes and enter sweepstakes.  Scholastic also offers Summer Reading Resources and Activities. For more information, please visit the Scholastic Books website.

Chuck E. Cheese Download and print out the  Chuck E Cheese Reading Rewards calendar. Mark the days off with a pen or sticker as your child accomplishes their goals. Bring it in completed to Chuck E. Cheese’s and receive 10 free tokens as a reward. For more information, please visit the Chuck E. Cheese website.

Movies at a reduced rate.  AMC will offer $1 movies this summer.  They are first come first serve.  Be sure to check for  movies, dates and times.

Fun Free Activities on the Weekends.  Several stores will offer free activities on weekends.  Some require you RSVP because space is limited.

Lakeshore Learning – This differs on time and project every week

Pottery Barn Kids – There are different activies, plus a book club and decorating class

Home Depot – Offer a class on the first Saturday of the month.

Michaels -This varies from weekend.

BassPro – There are different days and activities that are offered.

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