Making summer plans for your kids can be expensive. Here’s a list of fun and inexpensive places to take your kids that won’t break the budget.
Summer planning can be stressful and expensive, especially when kids are involved. Studies have shown the average family spends up to $7,000 per child during the summer months! After all, day camps, summer programs, and babysitting add up. Factor in family trips and vacations, and you really see the cost of summer.
Some of my favorite childhood memories were the least expensive ones. For fun, my dad would take me and my siblings to the park and swing us around on the tire swing. Something as simple as that made us all so happy. It was just as fun as going to an expensive amusement park or vacation spot.
Luckily, even today, there are plenty of places to take your family that are affordable and will make for cherished memories. Summer is about reconnecting with the ones we love—not about spending as much money as possible.
You can still be frugal while picking things to do with your kids this summer. Here are 10 suggestions of places to take your kids around CT that are all under $100.
- If your family is full of foodies, then you’re in luck! This year is the first annual Newtown Food Truck Festival, on Saturday, June 17. Admission is free (excluding food and beverages), but a $10 donation is suggested. Families can expect to enjoy 20+ food truck varieties, live music, bounce houses, face painting with Disney princesses, and more! The festival is located at the Fairfield Hills Campus in Newtown.
- The Westport Country Playhouse is hosting Together At The Family Table all summer long. Families are invited to enjoy dinner and a live performance for $10. From June 1-17, catch the Tony Award nominee for best play, Lettice and Lovage. Then, from July 11-29, watch the 2016 Lucille Lortel Award winning play, Grounded.
New London County
- When the weather is grim and the beach isn’t an option, take the kids to Hygienic Art Gallery in New London, CT. The Artist Academy Jr. Program is every Saturday from 11am to 12pm. Children and families can engage in storytelling and artistic activities. There will be hands-on arts and crafts for children while parents enjoy tea and coffee with their community. Preregistration is not required but encouraged; each class is $5!
- After a hectic week, you may be looking to relax. Go to Family Yoga Night on July 27th, 2017 at South Windsor Youth & Family Services for just $5 for the entire family. Meditate and learn new yoga poses while the kids listen to fun stories.
- Festival season has arrived—can’t you smell the sugary funnel cake in the air? If your family loves celebrating summer with fairs, the Kent Sidewalk Festival is on Thursday, August 3 through Sunday, August 6. Your family can expect great sales, yummy food, a vintage car show, and special activities for the kids. Here’s a bonus: Admission to the festival is free! The festival will be held on Main Street and Route 341 in Kent, CT.
- Your kids will be fascinated by The Famous Bantam Lake Ski Show. The event is on August 12-13, at 2pm. Every year, the Bantam Lake Ski Club puts on an impressive show for the community. For just $10 per car, families will enjoy food and prizes while watching an 11-person pyramid, ballet lines, and boat tricks on the water! The show is super exciting and all fundraising goes to the club! The show is located on Sandy Beach East Shore Road Morris, CT.
- If you’re looking for something educational this summer, The Children’s Museum in West Hartford is hosting a Kids Can Compost program this summer. The program is free with admission to the museum. Guides will teach children the importance of composting and what happens in compost bins. Another popular event is the Butterfly Release that opened on June 2nd. The butterfly exhibit is a fascinating experience, you will be surrounded by beautiful creatures and plants. Admissions charge is $14.75 for adults and $13.75 for children (2-12).
New Haven County
- Connecticut’s most affordable amusement park just got even better. Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury is offering 50-Cent Fabulous Fridays from now until September 1st. After 5pm, watch as your little ones enjoy rides, hot dogs, Pepsi, and cotton candy for just $ 0.50 cents each. Now that’s a fun deal!
- If you’re looking for a place where your kids can burn their energy, bring them down to Bounce Town USA for Family Fridays. Families of 4 pay $65 for unlimited bounce house time, 4 activity tokens, 1 large pizza, and a 2-liter bottle of soda.
- Summer break is a time for kids to explore the outdoors. The Ansonia Nature Center is hosting a Creatures of Long Island Sound family program on Thursday July 6, 2017. For $6 per person, children will learn how to hold and identify common critters them that live at New England’s local beaches.
Cheap Fun is Still Fun!
Keep these fun events in mind as you plan out the summer. There are always places around CT that will accommodate your budget. Family outings don’t have to be expensive, they just need to be fun!