Sometimes you just need to get the kids out of the house, right?! With 2 little ones, cabin fever set in with this winter weather and our usual neighborhood walks and nature hikes become slightly less appealing. We have to get creative to get the kids out and doing something fun without the budget taking a hit. Here are five of our favorite free field trips for kids under 5 to give you some inspiration and get you out of the house. Bonus: If you are a blogger, link up your latest frugal post to the Fabulously Frugal Link Party at the bottom of this page. You can find more of our frugal living ideas here, and our fun for preschool kids here.
1) The Pet Shop – Don’t want to spend the money for a trip to the zoo? Visit the pet shop instead and practice names of animals and their sounds. The walls of aquariums filled with fish are endlessly entertaining, and the rescued cats waiting to be adopted are so sweet to visit. Will your kids want to buy a pet? Probably, but just tell they can when they earn enough of their own money.
2) The Library – Join your local library’s free story time, participate in free activities there, or just go run around and read the fun books. This is an excellent way to spend a morning.
3) The Shopping Mall – Wide areas to run? Check. Lots of things to look at? Check. Our local mall even has an indoor playground. Amazing. We don’t pay for the rides that cost money or shop for anything, we just go to run around.
4) Big Box Store – Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Costco, it doesn’t matter. Pick one and let your kids run the aisles, ask a million questions, and try all the things. I’m pretty sure we’ve almost been kicked out of Target several times, but anywhere my kids can run and I can get a snack is a win. Don’t even try to shop, just let them have fun.
**Several of y’all have expressed concern that I’m endorsing unsupervised kids running through shopping malls and stores wrecking havoc and disturbing shoppers. This is not the case. My kids are always well supervised. They are 1 and 3, so “running around” means letting them walk with us instead of keeping them contained in a stroller or shopping cart. They get great exercise and have a blast. We share the snacks. 😉
5) A Friend’s House – Call a mama friend and invite yourself over. It is ok, really. Your kids will love it, you probably need it, and it will be worth it.
Now for the Fabulously Frugal Link Party. My favorite project from last week’s party was this great No Sew Scrap Fabric Garland from My Nearest and Dearest. It is the perfect stash busting project for fabric hoarders like me. Every time I finish a project I save the scraps thinking, “What if I need this or could use it for something?” This will knock it all out and be super cute.
Join my co-hosts, The Mad House, Diary of a Frugal Family, Emma’s Savvy Savings, and I as we share our favorite fabulous and frugal tips of the week. Link up your own and visit the posts below to share the love.
Mine love going to pet shops – only problem is that they want to bring them all home!!
Those are all great ideas! My kids LOVE the indoor playground at the mall and it gives me a minute just to sit and relax while they get some of their energy out!
Ok I agree with a couple of these but I am sorry, going to a store and letting your kids run wild up and down the aisles?? Never in a million years would I do that. There is this thing called respect for other people. I competely understand needing to get out of the house and having cabin fever I have a 1 year old, 2 year old and 7year old. Some days are extemely long. However I am not about to let my kids run rapid around some store while I eat snacks and pretend they aren’t mine. What does this teach our kids? That they can run around anywhere and not respect anyone or anyone’s property? Please correct me if I am wrong here.
Hey Ashley! I’m didn’t mean to imply that I let my kids run wild in stores and shopping malls. That is far from true. Nor do I recommend it. My kids are always well supervised. They are 1 and 3, so “running around” means letting them walk with us instead of keeping them contained in a stroller or shopping cart. The exercise is great for them, and they love. We share the snack. 😉
Hi! No worries thanks for the clarification! That makes a lot more sense 🙂 haha! Great suggestions though and may be using some of them so thank you!