One of the things I suggest for a fun family time is memberships to such places as museums, zoos, clubs etc.
You will pay more in the beginning, but in the end, you are SAVING money. If you purchase a zoo membership, it will usually pay for itself within 2 visits, and then you can visit any time you want. If you live close enough to a place the kids will love and enjoy, use it to your advantage to keeping them entertained this summer.
Yesterday, I took my kids to the Roger Williams Park Zoo, we went in a large group of moms and kids, looking to do something fun for the day. We all had memberships, except for 1 mom, and because I had purchased the 'family plus' membership, I am allowed to take guests in on my card, I was able to get her in for free. Her baby is less than a year old so he was free anyway. Our kids have a great time, there is a brand new baby giraffe at the zoo, he is only 2 weeks old and adorable!! For something so 'big', compared to the rest of the giraffes, he was tiny! (Pictured above) He was laying on the ground with his mom, and we enjoyed watching him for a few minutes. Going with a large group of young kids is always a bit hard because they run from exhibit to exhibit, but when the rest of the group went home, we stayed behind and went through the zoo again by ourselves to see more stuff.
I will admit I wasn't prepared as I should have been snack wise. I only have a small hard igloo cooler that I packed waters, juice boxes and yogurts in. I had to leave it in the car because I didn't feel like carrying it around all day. All the rest of the moms had brought these great soft sided coolers , like this one:
This was so much more convenient for what we were doing for the day, and they were able to sling it over their shoulders. I NEED to get one of these! I did not have enough snacks for my kids for the time we spent there.
By the end of the day, my son was having a meltdown, so I knew it was time to leave. That's the sign of a good day, when one of them has a tantrum about leaving. LOL But we had a full day, we were up early, we stayed for 5 hours, it was HOT, it was time to go. But we will do it again soon!
Have a great day!