Winter Family Fun on the Cheap

Family time outdoorsDuring the cold months, sometimes it’s hard to muster the fortitude to get out and play. Even more so if everything you can think to do is out of your current budget. After all, taking an entire family to most activities adds up quickly. But no worries ““ there is affordable family fun to be had during the winter! You just have to look for it”¦

(1) Visit your local library: Check their event calendar for special days and events, especially for small children.

(2) Visit a home improvement store: Lowe’s and Home Depot both host Kids’ Days. They give away small projects, like bird houses, for free. They even have the hand tools there to make the projects in-store. Extend the fun by purchasing a sample size can of paint to personalize your project at home.

(3) Go ice skating: Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids offers admission that is family friendly at only $1 per person. Don’t have skates? No problem. They lend them for free.

(4) See a hockey game: The Grand Rapids Griffins have special rates and special giveaway days. For example, on Sunday and Wednesday game days, show your Kent District or Grand Rapids Public library card, and get tickets for $7 off each ticket (up to 4 per library card). Plus, they have a special family deal on Saturdays:

(5) Catch a flick: Celebration Cinemas have locations that participate in Sunday night $3 or less movie nights, Early Matinee discounts for showings before 1 p.m., and special engagement offers. Goodrich Quality Theatres offer an easy and free movie-goer card that yields free concession items and can save you up to 40% on their already low admission.

(6) Visit the animals: John Ball Park Zoo reopens on March 1st and is less than $5 per person during the winter and spring. They also have special events throughout winter and spring that focus on groups of animals, or around a theme.

(7) Experience the art and gardens: A trip to Fredrick Meijer Gardens is a little more expensive ($12 and under), but there is a lot to see and do, even in winter. (Not everything is outdoors.) Plus, the beautiful special exhibit “Butterflies Are Blooming” returns March 1st.

(8) Take in a museum: It can be a bit more expensive, overall, but there is much to enjoy at museums like Grand Rapids Public and Gerald R. Ford. Even better, some local museums are free all the time, or on certain days. Check out yours for educational fun!

And finally, and perhaps more importantly, many “pay” activities have coupons available. Some sources include: On the activity or location’s website, the annual Entertainment book, and through Swagbucks.