Five Inexpensive Summer Activities with Kids

How to Have Fun (and Spend Less) this Summer

As the summer months approach, do you worry about how to entertain your children? Here are five ways to have fun as a family without going broke. (Bookmark these websites in your browser for future reference.)

Have Fun #1: Visit Your Local Library

If your local library offers a summer reading program, take advantage of it! These programs are usually for little ones, children, and teens. Adult summer reading programs may also be available. These programs typically have awards for a specific number of hours or books read. A free book, a coupon for a free meal at a restaurant, or a free admission to the zoo are an example of the program prizes my children have earned. Some libraries may do drawings for prizes, too. Libraries may have complimentary passes to local museums or other venues which can be checked out.  The ones I have seen allow four people to be admitted to the museum or another venue at once without paying an admission fee. Check your library’s calendar to see what events or in-library programs they offer. Sometimes the ones near us have had a local magician visit, Lego building, story time, knitting classes, writing groups, 3D printers, book clubs, guest speakers, or classes for new business owners. Savings: Unlimited savings when borrowing books and movies. (Remember to return early so you avoid late fees!)  Classes and events are usually free or at a low cost.

Have Fun #2: Summer Deals for Kids

Going to the movies as a family is fun. It does tend to end up costing a lot to see a movie, especially when you have children wanting to go. The movies offered for these summer deals are usually not current shows. Typically, the movies are older and perhaps your children have not seen them. AMC Theaters has a Summer Movie Camp for families during the summer for a reduced admission cost. Regal Cinemas has a Summer Movie Express where specific movies are $1 per person. These movies are shown at the listed days and times as listed on their website. Savings: $5+ per movie admission (depends on the theater and the cost of a regular movie ticket)

Have Fun #3: Workshops for Kids

Many companies offer free or inexpensive workshops for children and families. These workshops are a great way to expose your children to working with wood and various crafts. Home Depot offers a free Kid’s Workshop monthly (usually on the first Saturday of each month). The first workshop your child attends they will be given a Home Depot apron and a pair of goggles. Each month, there is a new project to build. As each child completes their project, the employee running the workshop gives each a pin they can add to their apron. My four boys have loved attending these workshops! They have learned how to build projects and have something to take home. Michael’s has in-store classes and events. Many have a cost of $2 or the purchase of an item with the rest of the supplies provided. AC Moore offers in-store Make & Take and other activities for kids as well as adult classes. Check your local store’s calendar of events for more details. Jo-Ann Stores offers in-store classes for kids, teens, and adults. While their classes are not free, there are classes for learning how to sew, knit, crochet, paint, quilt, and decorate a cake. Many of the classes are available for multiple age groups, so you can take a class with the kids. (Cake decorating as a family, can there be anything sweeter?) Savings: Free or low cost depending on the store and activity.

Have Fun #4: Summer Food Service Program

This program is administered by the federal government. Each state or school district may run things a little different. No proof of residence in the district is required to obtain the lunches. Savings: $5 per meal (savings will vary based on food options available)

Have Fun #5: Use Discount Sites and Local Coupons

Websites like Groupon and LivingSocial usually have discounts available for entertainment, lodging, restaurants, and classes.  Maybe a local fair, waterpark, zoo, wildlife habitat, or restaurant is offering a discount which makes sense for your pocketbook. These sites sometimes offer classes and concert discounts, too. Check your local newspapers or ads in the mail for possible additional savings. Ask friends if there are any blogs which share deals for your area. Two bloggers I follow are Gather Lemons and  Thrifty Northwest Mom – both bloggers post deals they find for local happenings as well as deals available across the nation (either due to a national chain or online deal). I love seeing what these two moms have going on their blogs! Savings: Variable depending on what venue or activity is selected and the available discount being offered.

Bonus Have Fun #6 – Create Your Own Fun

Spend time at the park. Take a digital camera (or two) and take photographs of nature and each other. (Love a photo? Use it on your holiday greeting card!) Go swimming, hiking, or cycling. Volunteer at a local food bank. Have an indoor picnic and play board games. The fun times are endless. Savings: Free or low cost as places like swimming pools may charge. Serving others is priceless.

Share Your Inexpensive Ways to Have Summer Fun with Kids

I would love to know how you have or will have summer fun with your kids without using a ton of cash! Please share in the comments below. I respond to each one. Enjoy the summer having fun with the family and not spending a lot of money! ~Adrienne This post was originally published on on April 26, 2018. It now it resides here.

Splash into Summer Giveaway


Summer is almost here!  It feels like it was just the holidays, doesn’t it?

What does summer mean for you and your family?  For us, we love grilling hamburgers and corn-on-the-cob on the barbecue.  We try to visit extended family.  My boys have Scout Camp and High Adventure.

I wanted to share my love of summer with you, my readers!  This giveaway is all about having fun this summer!  We are giving away two swimming pools as well as one slip and slide.  Talk about staying cool all Summer long!  Keep reading to find out how to enter for your chance to win!

  • 2 winners will win a Summer Escapes 15′ x 36″ Quick Set Round Above Ground Swimming Pool with Filter Pump System (Retail Value: $120.00 each)
  • 1 winner will win a Slip & Slide (Retail Value: $25.00)

This Giveaway will run from 6/1 – 6/14 11:59 PM EST. Make sure to complete as many of the entries below as possible for the BEST chance at winning! We also have a bonus entry you can do every single day! (Bonus Entry: Tweeting a message about the Giveaway!) No entries are mandatory.

Enter below and Good Luck! (This giveaway is NOT being sponsored by Summer Escapes)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Giveaway Disclosure: No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older as of date of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and all other U.S. territories and wherever prohibited by law. Subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Decisions of the Sponsor are final on all matters pertaining to Sweepstakes. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and decisions of the Sponsor. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or in association with, Facebook, Twitter, Summer Escapes, or any other social media network.

Chances of winning vary based on the final number of entrants. Giveaway ends June 14th, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified by email on June 15th, 2016. Each winner has 48 hours to respond or they may forfeit prize. My Momma Taught Me will be responsible for prize fulfillment. If you have any questions, please contact

Dawn Dish Soap is Gluten Free

Dawn Dish Soap
Dawn Dish Soap (Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan)

Dawn Dish Soap is Gluten Free and has many uses in addition to being a dish soap!

Note:  My friend, Dianna, over at Stop Living and Start Existing invited me to a Dawn Beyond the Sink Tweet Chat at 9pm EST today (10/28/2014).  She suggested we could each write a post about Dawn Dish Soap as our blog post topic for today.  Thank you, Dianna, for the invite and the suggestion!  

Dawn Dish Soap is a staple in my home.  I use it for more than just dishes!

As you can see in the photo above, there are three bottles.  Yes, I have three bottles of Dawn Dish Soap!  The two on the right are almost both empty.  (That means it is time to add them to the shopping list!)

The smallest one (far left) is the one that I keep in my shower.  (It also goes with us when we go to resorts with kitchens.)

The middle bottle is the one that I usually purchase the 90 fl oz bottle of Dawn at Costco.  As a family of six, we go through a lot of dishes.  This big bottle allows me to use my favorite dish soap for about four to six months without having to buy a smaller bottle more often.

The far right bottle is the one that gets refilled from the Costco bottle.  It’s place is next to the kitchen sink.  It gets used daily.

I prefer the Dawn Advanced or Dawn Ultra as it does a great job of cutting grease.  No other dish soap that I have tried has come close to the grease cutting power of Dawn.  We love to occasionally cook yummy goodies that are a bit high in grease.  When doing these dishes, this is when the awesome power of Dawn is most appreciated!

My friend that is a hair stylist once told me to use Dawn Dish Soap for hair as needed.  I asked her why and her reason was the grease cutting power that will actually clean the hair.  After you use it in your hair, you need to shampoo and condition as normal.  This will help to re-moisturize the hair.

I have used it in my hair – and that of the rest of the family – after a day at the beach, in the pool, after a fever breaks or bad night sweats.  I also will use it when my hair gets super greasy.

After working on one of the vehicles, both my husband and I go straight to the Dawn Dish Soap.  While there are specific products made for the cleaning of grease from automotive work, most of those products contain lanolin of which I am allergic to and therefore do not purchase.

I just found recipes No-Grate Homemade Laundry Soap and Homemade Stain Remover (“Shout”).  Both of these recipes use Dawn Dish Soap for the grease cutting properties.

As Alton Brown mentions often in his show, Good Eats, he believes in “products that are multi-taskers.”  Dawn Dish Soap, I believe, is such a product.

What do you use Dawn Dish Soap for in your home or office?  Please share so we can learn from each other.


I found this on Dawn:  “Do your hand dishwashing liquids contain gluten? Answer: Gluten is not part of the formulation for any of our hand dishwashing products.”

Note:  This post contains my affiliate links for  Please see my Disclaimers for more information.