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Consumer Reports: Ideas for free family fun close to home

Posted at 7:52 AM, Aug 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-29 08:52:03-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/CONSUMER REPORTS) — Does it feel like you blinked, and summer is just about over? The kids are back in school and maybe you didn’t get that “summer vacation” you dreamed about.

Summer ends September 22. That means you have less than a month to make some lasting summer memories. The good news is there are ways to do it that are relatively easy and even free.

Olgica Pilla, a stay-at-home mom, said keeping her two daughters occupied when they’re not at school can be challenging, especially when things like gas are more expensive.

"Prices going up have affected us making any kind of decisions, and trying to figure out what can we do that’s free, cheap, easy, and close by?" Pilla said.

Whether during the week or a weekend once school starts, there are things you can do in and out of the house to keep little ones entertained — often for free. Like going to a museum!

"If you receive SNAP benefits, you can get free or reduced admission to over 900 museums through a program called Museums for All. And if you have a library card, many libraries offer free passes to museums in your city," said Brian Vines with Consumer Reports.

How about taking the kids to a live event? Through sites like Eventbrite and Allevents.in, you can find free concerts or classes, like a kids' break dance class.

Or maybe you’d like to instill a sense of community in your kids and teach them how to give back. You can find local volunteer opportunities that the family can do together through VolunteerMatch.org.

Rainy days can be a great time to stay in and watch some movies as a family. With sites like Kanopy and Hoopla, you can access loads of movies and TV shows for free with just your library card. You can access both on multiple streaming devices, and buying one doesn’t have to break the bank.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max is a good value at $55.

With these tips, keeping the little ones occupied for the rest of the summer may get a bit easier.

The end of summer can get pretty hot, so if you do end up spending time outside with the family, always practice sun and heat safety — wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water.