This has been a Groupon summer. I started the summer knowing that if we wanted to maximize our fun on a slim budget, I would have to be creative. My first stop was all the daily deal sites and I followed it up with coupons and creative ideas. Here is how it went down:
Sip & Stroke Art Camp
This deal was on Groupon. They offered a 3 hour camp class for kids at $15/child. You could use it on any day during the summer and it included things such as clay sculpting, painting and jewelry making. My kids love to get dirty and be creative so we held out for the clay class. They had a great time and even though this was a costlier excursion, it was still a good deal.
Let’s Roll Skate Center
The kids love to skate and with 100 degree temps, we needed to find some stuff to do inside. I saw deal for this place on Groupon too but I already had a coupon for BOGO so that is what I used. For less than $10, my kids got to skate in the AC all afternoon and I got to sit and read a book. Well worth the money.
I have written about this place before, it has all the trampolines. The first time we went I had a Groupon for half price but this time I negotiated a deal for cheaper as a group with our Cub Scout pack. The kids got to jump in the air conditioning for 90 minutes at $11/child. And I got to use their free wi-fi undisturbed. And an extra bonus is that they were exhausted afterward which meant a peaceful nights sleep for us all.
Studio Movie Grill
This is my favorite place to watch movies. You have a big cushy chair and a table in front of you. Someone comes to bring you drinks and popcorn and they are always running deals on Groupon. I bought this several times this summer at $6/person for a newly released movie and a drink. Their popcorn is also reasonable at $4.25 for the kids and I to share. There is no way we can go to AMC and watch the movies for less than $20 for the three of us.
Speaking of movies, Regal Cinemas has their Kids Summer Camp which offers older kid movies at $1/person. The movies are typically from last year so if there was something you didn’t get to see, it is a great way to see it for cheap. We are heading to see Smurfs this week, even though we have seen it, it is still a fun outing.
Same deal as Skyzone, I got a group discount by booking a Cub Scout event but I have seen daily deals for this place too. My kids love to try their hand at rock climbing and are actually very good at it. When you belay the kids yourself, you save even more money. This was $9/kid and they were exhausted afterward. A great indoor activity that still keeps them moving.
Laser Voyage Cafe
The kids liked this place too! I bought a daily deal that allowed the kids to play three games of laser tag (each were 15 mins long), $10 in arcade tokens and 3 times through the laser maze (although they let the kids go 10 times each since they weren’t busy) for $9.50 each kid. It was a multi level play area shaped like a pirate ship and once the kids got the hang of it, it was very fun to play. I only purchased a deal for them to play so I spent my time in the parent’s lounge area surfing the free wi-fi – oh, the sacrifices I make for my children!
Not many people know this, but you can actually check out passes to the zoo from the library. I put my name on the waiting list over a year ago and my turn came up this summer. John went by the library and checked out our passes and we went to the zoo for no cost. It was actually the best zoo experience that we have ever had!
World of Coke
This is Josh’s most favorite place to go in the world. We try to take him once a summer and let him drink as much soda as he can hold. His little eyes light up like beacons, we are not sure if it is from the sugar or the caffeine. This year I realized that you can “buy” tickets to World of Coke with your coke reward points. I didn’t have enough for all four of us but I did have enough for two adult tickets – that saved us $32! I guess I now know what I will be saving my points toward for next summer.
Lake Lanier Islands Waterpark
This is not exactly frugal but it can be budget friendly if you work it. We paid $69/person for a season pass and we use it atleast once a week. I figured that the cost comes out to be less than $10/time we go and it gives us something to do that cools us off. We bring our own snacks, drinks and lunch so that we don’t have any food costs while we are there, which also helps offset the price. There was a daily deal on this too for a one day pass for half the admission price. Not a bad way to spend a very hot summer day.
We rounded the summer out with trips to see family, a camp or two (I volunteered at Girl Scout camp so both kids went for $20 total, what a deal!), and trips to the neighborhood pool. With enough planning and careful consideration, you can have a very fun summer for not a lot of money.