I am always on the hunt for free or inexpensive activities to do with my kids. I browse my local community papers, subscribe to online newsletters and just plain ‘ol google for things to do. There are science classes, art classes, music classes, you name it! But there is one problem… they are all on weekdays in the middle of the day! Most options are catered to stay at home mom’s! As a mom that works outside of the home…that sucks! So, I search extra hard for quality weekend options. Here are my top 5!
1. The Library
Our main library downtown hosts a story time every Saturday morning at 11am. Each week there is a theme that focuses on a letter and a phonetic sound. They even sing a couple songs. The storyteller is full of energy and really gets the kids involved. Then, at 11:30, there is art class. All you have to do is get a ticket at the front counter. (For my Jax readers, make sure to grab your tickets before you go to story time. I learned this our first visit) Another library employee leads the kids through the project of the day as the parents assist. Now, it’s time for lunch! If you really want to be fancy, pack a picnic! Our main library has a garden right outside of the children’s area that is perfect for a picnic! Pack a lunch and enjoy the scenery. Your kids will love every minute of it. And the best part of it all…they will be ready for a nap! Most times mine fall asleep before we can get home.
2. The Museum
If you are a BOA or Merrill Lynch card holder, guess what…you can take your kids to the museum for free! The first full weekend of the month they have the “ Museum on Us“ program. With your debit or credit card, along with a valid ID, general admission is free. And, your kiddo gets in for free with you! This is amazing! Here in Jax The MOSH participates in this program. It has an indoor treehouse/playroom, dinosaurs, you name it! For a little extra you can see the Sesame Street show in the planetarium .
3. Home Depot
Home Depot hosts a free building class the first Saturday of every month. Your little one will get to complete their own DIY project! Kids receive a certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron and a commemorative pin. It is the cutest thing ever!
4. The Park
This is an oldie but goodie! There is nothing like a day at the park. Your kids will get social interaction with other kids and they will burn all that energy they keep stored up God knows where! There are a lot of really nice parks around town. Try going to a park on different sides of town. Each park has something different to offer. Your kids will get a new experience and a special trip to a new place.
5. Local Markets
This option serves multiple purposes. Walking around the market gives you and the family a chance to get out and get some rays. The kids will enjoy seeing the different vendors and being in a new environment. You will love being able to get fresh affordable produce. I found THE BEST peaches Usually, shopping with kids in not the most enjoyable trip (at least for me). Shopping for food at the market is the best because it doesn’t matter if your kids are loud and busy because…you’re outside! There are also usually other local businesses selling their products at the market. Supporting local small businesses is vital to the growth and survival of your community. If you live in a large city like me, there are usually multiple markets you can visit on different sides of town. Giving you a chance to explore different areas and expose you to different local businesses.
I hope this list was helpful to you. Weekends will never be the same again. Checkout these places and let me know how you and your family enjoyed your time. Enjoy any other family friendly weekend activities? Share them in the comments below.