The West Suburban Divorce Support Group Message Board › Looking for Free or Almost Free activities \ events to do with the children

Looking for Free or Almost Free activities \ events to do with the children

A former member
Post #: 14
Looking for Free or Almost Free activities \ events to do with the children. I have and will have even fewer funds to use towards activities with the children. So far I have listed local libraries, city websites and church events but I am looking for more ideas than just watching TV or board games.
Elwin
A former member
Post #: 7
Ask your local park dist.
A former member
Post #: 131
Elwin,

I've been wondering the same thing. I'm out in Oswego and tend to not drive outside my box much because of gas prices and a gas hog vehicle (another **sigh**), but I was thinking of taking the kids by the train into downtown Chicago and walking around. The German festival starts soon and it is free to walk around, they can see Santa (for free) and get a (free) picture! They have a couple of amazing ornament shops. Put aside a few bucks and take them in to each pick out a new ornament and make this a you and kids family tradition (your family with them). Get a cup of hot chocolate or cider and head home. It is over in the theater district so you may need a tax ride unless they can handle the walk. I've done it with my eldest when he was 8 but now with a 4 year old, I'd have to taxi cab it.

Also, I know that many organizations, such as the YMCA, has activities and you can sign up for a reduced program benefit which means that some of their events are free or extremely reduced in cost. The Oswego YMCA has their annual Holiday event (small cost) December 1, I think. Anyway, it is a lot of fun, lots to do, for a minimal price. And another Santa. With the cost you get to play games, win prizes, and make fun crafts. I think... again memory is going fast, they have a pancake breakfast too (additional charge??).

Check in to it.

Kendall 10 might be done with the free movies, but when not free they have reduced $1 movies on the weekend mornings. Get a free club card and start earning points for free concessions, meantime you can get a great discount. $14 for a large (free refill) popcorn and 2 drinks ($.50 refills). Entertainment for under $20.

Hook up with others that may have memberships that can brig free guests.

Finally, check into other meet up groups. One I am a member of has a single Dad with a one year old. There are a lot of activities all the time in this group and most are free or very cheap. Extremely helpful in the summer too.

That's all I got. Hope this helps a little.
Beth
Antoinette
user 26611752
Oak Park, IL
Post #: 5
Looking for Free or Almost Free activities \ events to do with the children. I have and will have even fewer funds to use towards activities with the children. So far I have listed local libraries, city websites and church events but I am looking for more ideas than just watching TV or board games.
Elwin
Do you have a Brookfield Zoo membership? In my opinion there is no better membership to buy if you have kids. With the pass you get free parking and doplphin show tickets. If you do not eat there (and that is crucial to stay on budget!!) and just bring some juice boxes and fruit snacks, chips or cookies, you can spend 3 or 4 hours so cheaply. I was so frugal that when I used to go in summer I frose freeze-pops( leass than a dollar for 8 pops!!!) myself and pulled them out to eat as soon as we got there! You can even splilt the cost with x-wife and both get a year's entertainment for so little. (get Family pass, two cards) It is beautiful there at Xmas, and all year long there are special events and displays. there is a light and music show with dozens of Xmas trees at night. Garfield Conservatory in Chicago off of 290 is FREE and always pretty anytime of year. Usually a nice Xmas display, too and outside there is a labrynth you can walk which all kids enjoy. After Thanksgiving go downtown to the German Xmas village to just walk around. You can get away with just buying hot cocoa at Mcdonalds. Go see the Macy's windows- (always an animated story) and just walking up and down State and Michigan after after the sun goes down and the lights are all on! for several years now my teens did not want to go (family tradition their whole childhood)- because of their dad leaving- but this year they expressed an interest in doing it with me again. Look for street parking near or under the elevated train and just charge 2 hours if you cannot find free parkng. If your kids are bigger you can park for free west of the river.
Art H.
user 13814250
Naperville, IL
Post #: 21
I've done the Brookfield Zoo family membership for years and agree that it is the best deal around. The Paramount theater in Aurora, hosts Movie Mondays night for $1. Not every week has kid friendly stuff but the price can't be beat. I take my kids camping, not exactly free, but if you look around you can go for $8-$10 a night plus food (but you would eat anyways). I take my young girls bicycle riding down any of the paved trails in the western suburbs. Fishing in any of the area lakes is great just make sure to get a license if you are over 18. A box of live bait will only cost a few $$$ and the kids love catching and releasing all the area fish. If sports are more your thing, tennis is fun for everyone and a can of balls is still around $3.00. We go hiking in Starved Rock and Matthiessen and there is always an adventure there for everyone and you can stop and get ice cream cones on the way back. Nothing says "I LOVE YOU" like a trip to the candy store. You can go to the Fannie May warehouse for 70% off of retail and let the kids go wild. We just got 2lb box of assorteds for $10. A trip to Gene and Dudes is not only fun but a monumental time for the kids, can't get a meal any cheaper in the city. A bucket of range balls at the golf course is always a gas for my little girls, after driving balls we had to the putting area and probably kill 2 hours out there in total (getting a bit cold though this week).

Personally, with gas costing nearly $4 per gallon, a trip to the city with a car is not really that free or economical these days.
A former member
Post #: 134
Art,

I totally agree on the whole gas comment. If you can train it, do it! Cheap rides and kids often ride for free (not always, check the schedule).

Beth
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