Entertaining young kids so that they aren’t taking out their boredom in destructive ways at home can be tricky if you are new to this whole parenting thing. Thankfully, this is the information age and parents across the world can share the tips and tricks that can make this task much easier. So, what things can you do that are cheap or free and will keep the kiddos entertained? There are actually quite a lot of things that are closer than you think. So if you are wondering ‘’what are some fun things to do with kids near me?’ then worry no longer. Let’s talk about keeping your kids entertained!
How do you find the right place?
Ideally entertainment for kids needs to be close, inexpensive (or free), and age appropriate. The kind of entertainment for a kid 3 – 5 is going to be a little different from what a toddler likes. Also, if you have more than one kid, you need to select a place that all of your children will like. It can be a little confusing… if you let it. We’ve collected a list of places that are appealing to a wide age range to help to take the sting out of deciding where to take them to play. Try a few of these ideas!
Feeding the Ducks
If you have a pond nearby that ducks frequent then congratulations, you’ve got entertainment on the cheap. Get a few loaves of bread, pack some sandwiches and desserts, and have a picnic! Ducks are always kind as long as you’ve got bread (cute little mercenaries!) and generally do good jobs of keeping away if the kids get grabby. For just a few loaves of bread you can have a couple of hours of amusement as your kids feed, watch their antics, and even give them nicknames. Feeding animals is also good for kids because it teaches them compassion, so next time you are bored then why not feed the ducks?
Backyard campout and scavenger hunt
If you are creative and artistically inclined, why not set up a magical backyard camp out and scavenger hunt? You can do a lot with very little if you set your mind to it. For instance, for the scavenger hunt, first draw a map on paper and put hints on there as to where the various items are found (the yard, the house, etc). Next, you can antique the paper by getting a cotton ball and squeezing some fresh lemon juice out in a bowl. Next, lightly soak the cotton ball and rub it on the paper and let it dry. Heat up the stove and hold it lightly over and the paper will turn yellow, like parchment, as it ‘ages’ to look authentic. Be sure to make the scavenger hunt items things that can be found by all of the children of the age range involved (for younger kids, for instance, you might cite a favorite doll: ‘Find the Clue behind Pooky’s shoe!’). After the scavenger hunt it is camping time and be sure to cook some hotdogs and marshmallows over the fire and you’ll have an enchanted time that costs next to nothing!
Remember Drive-In theaters? If you are a younger parent, you actually might not, but YOUR parents do and your kids can make memories of them as well. You might not know it, but Drive-In theaters are still around and doing brisk business for the novelty value. In the 70’s, Drive-In theaters were the place to be on weekends. Wholesome and fun for the whole family, you can pull your car in, put the speaker on the window or tune in the soundtrack on your radio, and enjoy the old-fashioned concession classics and the more modern foods now offered as well. Best of all, they are generally quite reasonably priced, offering ‘per car’ rates and many with discount snacks. So, how do you find them? Drive-In theaters are out there and can be found in all of the U.S. states except for:
- North Dakota
If you are curious, be sure to check https://www.driveinmovie.com/mainmenu.htm and you can find the Drive In that is closest to you. It is well worth a weekend road trip if you want all the fun of a vacation without the insane expense that sometimes comes with a family trip.
Chuck E Cheese
You might be surprised to hear it but another nostalgic place from the childhood of many parents is still alive and kicking. That’s right, Chuck E. Cheese! If you aren’t familiar with the place, Chuck E. Cheese is a place where your kids can load up on junk food (generally pizza but there are other options) and games are also offered that pay in tickets. This means your kids can trade in their tickets to win prizes and
“Your kids can trade in their tickets to win prizes”
compete in arcase games, Skee ball,and other games of skill or chance to win more tickets if the prize they want is still beyond their reach. This means lots of ‘peaceful time’ for parents, so everybody wins! Chuck E. Cheese also does birthdays and they are a memorable experience if you are looking for something inexpensive with a great ‘wow’ factor. So, how do you find a Chuck E. Cheese near you? Just hop on Google. Most of the U.S. states have one so if you are in a major city or close to one then you find Chuck E. Cheese is closer than you think!
Some final words
In today’s article we have discussed places that you can take your kids that are fun, inexpensive, or even free! While it is daunting if you are a new parent, once you’ve got the hang of it then keeping your kids entertained is a piece of cake. Just make sure that what you decide to do is a good fit for the youngest and oldest children and keep it simple. You’ll see!