It seems like in the summer we too often spend traveling and visiting other places. While that’s certainly not such a bad thing we never really get to know and explore the town where we live. When you be a tourist in your own home town it can be fun, educational and inexpensive in the summer months. There are lots of local attractions or public places in most cities to take your kids to for fun activities. Many activities, events and places to visit are free or have children’s days or events that you can watch for to get in for free.
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Local Shopping Trips
While this may not be extravagant it can be fun visiting all your local mom and pop shops in the area. We live in a small town so there aren’t too many but we can travel to nearby towns to find even more local shops to browse and buy from. Even if you have a large mall it can still be fun exploring the different shopping options available. Any time we plan a shopping trip I’m always searching online for different promotional codes or coupons on sites like PromoPro.com to get the best deals.
Going to the museum is always a treat for kids. Taking time to educate your child at your local museum will help your child become more aware of the history of the town they’re growing up in and how it came to be the place it is today. There are also lots of children’s museums that are specifically for children and will help them learn in a fun way. Being able to see and in many cases touch the artifacts makes it come alive and helps children take it all in. To find out about children’s days or certain events call the museum to get on their mailing list or check out the museum’s social media pages or website.
One of my favorite local activities is visiting our local farmers market because it offers so many opportunities for your children to learn and see new things. The obvious attraction is the local fruits and vegetables brought in by the farmers or flower shops. This will give your child a chance to meet and interact with some of the people who grow food for your table. On our first visit to a farmers market the kids kept asking the farmers questions about the produce and vegetables, how you grow them, what they look like when they are just beginning to grow, etc.
On my very first trip to the farmers market I learned that the market has much more than fruits and vegetables to offer. Some things you may find at your local market include:
- beekeepers selling their honey
- wild picked berries and mushrooms
- homemade goodies, such as jams, jellies, baked goods, and more
- crafters selling their wares and handmade items
- live music and dancing
- food vendors
Lots of vendors offer samples of their items so your child may get to try new things that he or she may never have gotten to try otherwise. Also, many markets will have events throughout the summer to draw in more people and are fun for the entire family. Keep on the lookout for upcoming happenings in the area or to find nearby farmers markets.
Taking your child to the local library can help to foster a lifelong love of reading, which is one of the best things a child can have. Your child will be amazed at the sheer number of books and may have fun the first time just exploring. Our kids were almost overwhelmed at all the different options but we spent some good time going over books, finding ones we wanted to know more about and checking out the different topics available.
Many libraries offer summer reading programs at no cost as well. These are where groups of kids come to the library all together and one of the library staff or volunteer will read to your children. Sometimes they offer a question and answer session afterwards. Some programs give awards or prizes for the number of books a child reads throughout the summer as well.
Older children may enjoy researching particular topic and being able to get the answers from both books and internet connection offered for free. Most libraries also offer a special computer labs just for children where they can play education games and learn more about the world.
Summer is a big time for social events such as festivals, parades, fairs, carnivals or circuses. Children love the active atmosphere, bright colors and lots of people to see and things to do. These events will keep your little ones busy for hours. Another great thing about it is they are free or fairly inexpensive and fun for the whole family.
This is a great start to finding local places to take your children. But, explore your town – go to your city hall, library or check the newspaper – for other fun things to do this summer!
Whatever you find in your area to do to help you become a tourist in your own town, be sure to check out your local business’s social media pages or websites for different events throughout the summer and for discounts available.