Saturday, September 15, 2012

Free Entertainment

Trying to find cheap ways to entertain our family has been something we've been working on for quite some time.  I used to think that we had to go somewhere or buy something to be "entertained".  We went shopping, ate out, to the movies, on vacations, and to amusement parks often.  Too often.  I haven't budgeted anything for "entertainment" (with the exception of Netflix) in September and until we catch-up on our bills, so I've been trying to find free (or cheap) entertainment around our small community. 

This morning, we woke up bright and early and watched my younger brother run in a cross country meet at our local town park.  It reminded me of earlier this year (in March we had strangely warm weather for about a week) when I took the kids to the park every day after work, before the heat wave and drought hit our area.  I felt good about being outside, and the kiddos absolutely loved going.  It was mighty cold this morning (we're in that weird phase when it's 40 degrees in the morning and 80 degrees by 11:00), so we only stayed for a bit.  We headed over to the library to return some books, and I finally took notice of the extensive movie selection our library has.

As a side bar . . . as I said here that we subscribe to Netflix.  We have streaming and DVD, however we have had the same DVD since August 3rd.  It's a Batman cartoon.  Piglet 1 loved it and watched it relentlessly for a week and hasn't touched it since.  Yet there it sits.  Unreturned.  Does anyone else do this?  We can't possibly be the only family that does this!  We've paid more than $8.99 to borrow five episodes of a cartoon that he hasn't watched in four weeks.  Yet another example of how we waste money.  My husband and I have made a deal - if we don't return the next movie we get within one week, we cancel the DVD portion of our Netflix subscription. 

End of side bar . . . So we rented four movies for F-R-E-E.  I love free.  We rented Easy A and 50/50 for Pen and myself, and How to Train Your Dragon and 101 Dalmatians for the Piglets.  We have utilized the kids' section on several occasions, but I never noticed the PG-13 and up movies (I was going to say "adult movies" . . . buuuuuut that just doesn't sound right!).  We will absolutely utilize the library more often, saving the $5 fee from Redbox (we never return those movies on time!).  We also got a fine selection of books.  Reading.  More free entertainment!

We played at the library for a while and picked up a flier of all the activities they do during the month of September.  They have a lot of activities planned, which is news to me!  I also subscribed to their Facebook page so I get updates on all the haps going on. 

Piglet 1 had a date with my dad's girlfriend to go a town festival.  They have yummy food, rides, and a parade.  We had already planned on taking him to the parade (free!), but we thought we'd let them have that time together.  Plus we won't have to answer the relentless question of "can I ride that ride?". 

We also have plans to go to a you-pick apple orchard, taking trips to the State Park in our area to hike, carving pumpkins, making homemade crafts for fall, and going to a potato festival where we can pick our own potatoes for free. 

What does your family do for free or cheap entertainment?

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