1) Head for the beach. If you are within driving distance to the ocean, a lake or maybe even a river, head to the beach. Kids love the beach no matter how old they are. Bring a beach towels, a picnic lunch and plenty of water to keep hydrated. Many beaches now have a entrance fee. Here in MA it is anywhere from $6 to $15 for the day.
2) Hit the malls. Yes, you do tend to spend when you are there, but if you have a big enough mall there are several opportunities. Lego stores, Disney Stores, Toy stores, Discovery stores are all great places to bring the kids. They can touch stuff and for the most part employees are ok with them being there. Just as long as they are still being supervised by an adult.
3) Museums - most libraries have free passes to museums. You can usually get 4 free tickets with one library pass. Where I live the passes are for the Boston Children's Museum, the Science Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Aquarium. All of these are a good day trip with the kids. Pack a lunch for them to eat in the car and the cost is minimal.
4) State Parks- they are great places to take the kids. Nature trails and animals to see. You can visit a ranger if one is stationed there. Make sure the kids have sunblock and insect repellent on.
5) Bike Trails - Here we have many bike trails. My favorite one is in Falmouth, MA where you bike along the ocean and can stop at a beach on the way and relax. It isn't a long trail maybe a couple of miles, but it can be extended. The beach is for mostly riders as it is hard to access otherwise. We tend to look for sea glass and shells on this beach.
6) Parks - Many times neighborhood parks have summer programs for the kids for either free or a minimal price. Kids get to play and see their friends, and parents get to meet and talk to other parents.
Whatever you do....get out there. Spend some time with your kids playing and having fun. Time flies and before you know it they are no longer kids. Have a great summer everyone!
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