When I”ve got the kids all day and hubs is working in the home office, we’ve got to find a place to go in the mornings. Luckily, there are many outings we find affordable to do almost every day so that there are no days where we are scrambling for something to keep us busy. Below I’ve shared my SIX favorite weekly outings.
1. Go to the Library
Our libraries offer countless storytimes and special events. They do an AMAZING job creating these free programs for kids of all ages–even adults! Check out our cities offerings for kids here or pick up a brochure at the library of all the events.
2. Picnic in the Park
We love to pack a small cooler and venture to a new park or rarely visited one. Eating in a new location encourages my children to actually eat lunch! They also find it fun to visit new places each day. Also, Green Bay Public Schools has a summer lunch program for all kids up to 18 years of age (adults $2). Free lunch and milk to certain parks and libraries to encourage eating a balanced meal. See the delivery locations and times here.
3. Visit the Local Zoo
Who doesn’t like a zoo? Although this one will ost some money, some zoos offer free days. The Madison zoo is completely free every day! It’s an awesome one to check out if you are ever in the area. Also, if you purchase a yearly zoo membership, you have access to many zoos across the nation. I feel the membership is completely worth it for my family since we visit often.
- NEW Zoo Adventure Park (Suamico, WI)= $9 an adult, $6 (3-15 yrs), & 2 and under free
- Henry Vilas Zoo (Madison, WI) = free
- Milwaukee County Zoo (Milwaukee, WI) = $14.25 an adult, $11.25 (3-12 yrs), & 2 and under free
4. Swim at the City Pool, Splash Pad, or Wading Pool
In our town, we are lucky to have all three options. So, depending on if I want a low cost or no cost outing, I can pick and choose what suits us that day, and we are never bored with our options. Our favorites are the Resch Aquatics Center on the westside of Green Bay and Joanne’s Aquatics Center on the eastside of Green Bay. Both have a zero entry zone, sand area, diving boards, and three waterslides, so either pool is a great choice for all ages. If you’re looking for something with sand and a “beachy” feel, Ashwaubomay is a manmade zero–depth lake. You can make sandcastles and dig holes until your hearts content. There are also two pools in De Pere: Legion and VFW. In Appleton, there is Mead Pool and Erb Pool (under construction until sometime in July) which I’ll have to checkout these out once the weather is constantly warm. The of course all of these public pools do cost money, but all cities offer an unlimited swim pass for residents and nonresidents which is the best deal if your kids are total water bugs.
If you want free, there are nine splash pads around the city. All offer different spraying entertainment. It’s like running through a fantastic sprinkler. The best part is I don’t actually have to get wet.
Since my kids are so young, the wading pool is one of our best options especially when I’m alone. The shallow water helps me keep track of them and with knee high water, it allows me to “get in” without even needing a swimsuit. Astor Park, Marquette Park and Mather Heights are great and FREE! So many aquatic options; this could be it’s own post.
COST: free for wading pools or splash pads
- Green Bay Park and Rec. Pools = $5.50 adults, $4 student, free under 2
- Appleton Park and Rec. Pools = $4 adults, $3 youth, free 3 and under
- Ashwaubenon Ashwaubomay Lake = $5 adults, $4 youth, free 3 and under
- Kaukauna Park and Rec. Pools = $4 adults, $2 youth, $0.50 4 and under
5. Visit the Wildlife Sanctuary
This is such a fun place to go and one I often forget about visiting. The Wildlife Sanctuary offers the opportunity to walk trails, observe animals and other wildlife, and feed ducks and geese. We spend a whole morning here an typically bring our own lunch to eat on the grounds. It’s a beautiful place to visit.
6. Sightsee by Geocaching
This is also a free activity. Download the geocaching app, and you are ready to go on a real treasure hunt. Caches are placed by other geocachers and the coordinates to the sites can be found on the app. This is a really fun activity if your kids love to roam and find things. Caches can be anywhere from a small film canister to a ammo box in size. Only the larger boxes actually contain any “treasures” (small trinkets or coins). There are only two rules: leave the cache concealed/as you found it and swap a treasure (if you take one leave one). We’ve found all sorts of things from coins, legos, free ice cream coupons, and plastic rings. To my kids these are treasures, and they LOVE the hunt for them. Don’t have a smartphone? No problem. You can use a GPS. Visit the geocaching website here, write down the coordinates, and set out to find your treasure.
What are some of your favorite, low or no cost outings to do during the summer? Myself and my girls are always looking for more to add to our list.
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