As a part-time at home/at work parent, I’ve come to realize that I really struggle with staying home all day long; especially for days at a time. This is even harder when I am trying to do “the right thing” and limit television and device usage. For me, getting out of the house really helps so we don’t go stir crazy. Unfortunately leaving the house can often mean spending money, especially if I decide to wander the aisles of my favorite store: Target. So for those people who are looking for activities to do with their kids and are on a budget, this list is for you!
Admission to the museum is free. Parking does cost $8 if you are not a member and choose to park in their lot (but if you look around you can find places to park for free in the area). For those of you not familiar, the museum also has a family center that has varying hours throughout the week and they have an area where kids ages 1-10 can do art activities and more. For those with infants up to 18 months, the museum also has baby tours sporadically throughout the year.
Toledo Metroparks/Other Parks:
The Toledo area has a great Metroparks system as well as other great parks in the area. Toledo Moms has an amazing park guide where you will be able to find the perfect park for you and your little ones. Check out our NW Ohio Park Guide.
Personally, this is at the top of my list. I’m a huge reader, and I hope my daughter grows up to be a reader someday as well. However, our library does SO much more than just books. There are programs for all different ages and interests, from storytimes to arts and crafts to movie times to cooking classes to homework help and much more. For those with younger children, most, if not all of the libraries, have wonderful kids play areas as well. Taking time to explore the different libraries is one of my favorite things to do with my girl.
This will cost money, but it’s minimal. I love to head to the Dollar Store for certain items, one of them being art projects for my kiddo. They have a surprisingly large selection of art type projects to choose from, especially if you are looking to do a seasonal craft, for a much cheaper price for similar quality items in other stores. My kiddo, in particular, is obsessed with the seasonal window clings (tip: these are great for air travel)!
Now I’m going to get to activities that DO cost money, but you can go for free or nearly free each visit if you choose to have a membership. What’s nice about having a membership is that you don’t have to dole out money each visit and work that into your budget. It’s one cost from the beginning. Alternately, something that is extremely common, and that I’m hearing more and more of each year, is receiving these memberships as a gift from family or making the membership a gift to your child. Memberships are PERFECT as gifts since so many kids are inundated with toys as gifts, and that just leads to a cluttered house if you are anything like me.
Here are a couple of local membership ideas to consider:
Membership prices vary, but for a family plan that gives you free parking, and 50% off other participating zoos, it will cost you around $119 for the year depending on if you are a Lucas County resident or not.
Another local zoo that I’ve heard great things about, above the border in Lambertville, is Indian Creek Zoo. The cost for a family membership is $85.00 but costs more if you want to add additional adults.
A yearly basic family membership to Imagination Station for a family runs $85, prices range if you want additional family added to the membership.
You pay for this trampoline park membership monthly, which is nice because you likely wouldn’t be needing it every month of the year. For a basic plan, you’ll pay $19.99 a month, more for more premium memberships.
Different pools and even splash pads around the area have memberships that you can look into purchasing. Not all of these actually require a membership- there is a splash pad at Promenade Park in downtown Toledo that is FREE! However, getting a membership to your local pool but is a great idea people might not think of.
Hopefully, this list gives you some new ideas and come spring or summer break you can get out and spend some time with your family without breaking the bank!