When I meet someone new and they ask me what me what I do, I typically respond, “I’m a stay-at-home mom who doesn’t stay home.” I’m not the type of mom who can stay home for days at a time. Usually, I try to leave the house to do something every day, or I start to go stir crazy, especially in the summer.
I’m a mom of three young girls (ages 7, 4, and 2). I want them to meet new people and experience new things. I’m also thrifty because I know we’re not made of money. So, I see it as part of my job to save a bit here and there because I’m not bringing in a physical paycheck. That’s just me. Let me share a few of the summer activities that we’re enjoying.
Summer Reading and Library Fun
My kids love the library. We’ve been going to storytimes since they were six months old. My oldest just told me the other day that the library is “her favorite place on earth.” I love that!
The Plano and Allen libraries have great summer reading programs and also offer a lot of free, fun events such as live performances of magicians, balloon artists, and animal exhibits. They also show free movies.
Another great indoor summer activity, where you can stay cool, is taking a trip to the movie theatre. Several of the local movie theaters offer early morning showings of kid-friendly movies at a discounted rate. My kids think it’s so fun to go see a movie on the big screen. Taking advantage of one of these kid showings doesn’t break the bank.
If you are looking to feed the kids lunch while watching a movie, check out the Children’s Summer Series at Studio Movie Grill. If you are looking just to enjoy a movie and some popcorn, check out one of your local theaters:
Summer Indoor Play
If you’re like me, you can’t fathom being outside for any length of time in the heat of a Texas summer (unless you’re in a pool). But what do you do when your kids want to play rather than watch a movie or listen to a story? Here are some fun indoor play places that are free or fairly inexpensive.
A great place to find fun, free indoor play areas are your local mall. At Willow Bend Mall in Plano, every Thursday in July is “Summer Fun Thursday.” They have a kid-centric show from 1:00-2:00 p.m. in Center Court. Another great mall is Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, TX. They offer an interactive play area and kiddie rides at the Sears Court. These malls can keep your kids busy for hours!
When we think of indoor play areas, we do not think of churches. But there are local churches that have amazing indoor play areas. Prestonwood Baptist Church has a free indoor play area for children 10 years and under. All you have to do is check in at the KIDZ central desk. They even have a place to purchase snacks and drinks while you are there. The play area has amazing slides and places for your kids to climb. Watermark Dallas also provides the Watermark Treefort. For the play schedule, check out Watermark Treefort.
Local Indoor Playgrounds
Aside from malls and churches, there are plenty of local businesses that have indoor playgrounds and trampoline parks. Opening their new location at Firewheel Town Center in Garland, TX, Obstacle Warrior Kids is an indoor facility where kids can challenge themselves on a variety of obstacles. They also have dodgeball. Be sure to bring your tennis shoes!
Safari Run provides a clean and safe environment for kids to climb and play. It is an animal-themed jungle gym with mazes, tunnels, slides, and bridges. They also provide summer camps for the kids. Right now, there is a Groupon deal for Safari Run. This can help your family have fun on a budget.
If you have older kids or a combination of older and younger kids, trampoline parks can be a great place to escape the summer heat. Although some trampoline parks can be on the expensive side, Jumpstreet offers some great deals throughout the week. Every Tuesday and Thursday, it costs $10 for two hours of play. On Friday nights, Jumpstreet hosts Friday Night Frenzy, which costs $15 per kid for the entire night (starting at 4:00 p.m.).
Summer Water Activities
Another great way to beat the Texas heat is to go to local pools or splash pads. So, let’s look at some good options for that.
Celebration Park in Allen has a large splash pad and park. Your kids can play in the park and then cool down in the splash pad. This is a great place for kids of all ages! Some other local splash pads include:
There are so many pools in our area. There is even a pool that is in the shape of Texas (i.e., The Texas Pool). Local pools are budget-friendly and offer large pools, diving boards, and even water slides! Some are indoor, and some are outdoor. It depends on whether your family wants to spend a day in the sun or if you need a break from the outdoors. Here are some pools near you:
- Tom Muehlenbeck Center (Plano)
- Rosemeade Rainforest Aquatic Center (Carrollton)
- Frisco Athletic Center Indoor Aquatic Center
- Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium (Allen)
- Plano Aquatic Center (also has a splash pad area)
- Jack Carter Pool (Plano)
- Heights Family Aquatic Center (Richardson)
Fun on a Summer Budget
I would also recommend looking into a Pogo Pass. I purchased one last year and will be doing so again this year. It is such a great value at $40! Basically, it’s a pass (they have an app) that gets you into several different venues throughout the year. The venues include the Dallas Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, Hawaiian Falls, Urban Air, and many more. I enjoyed having the Pogo Pass because it allowed us to do a variety of different activities, and we weren’t tied to going to the same place over and over.
I hope this has helped you plan a few fun activities to do with your kids. I’d love any comments on fun things that you like to do with your families.
If you are a mom looking for an activity for you, join us for our Summer MOMS Connection. We offer budget-friendly childcare, breakfast, lively discussion, and a great time where you can connect with other moms who are at the same stage of life as you! We hope to see you there.