Welcome to our 4th installment in the how to budget with children series.
You can check out the first 3 parts of our series:
1. How To Budget The Right Way With Children
2. 5 Main Ways To Save Money For Families
3. 3 Easiest Ways That Make Shopping Fun And On A Budget
In this post we’ll be taking on the hard task of keeping your children active and happy without having to spend hundreds of your hard earned dollars!
When it comes to after school activities you have two options, pay for your child to do something or find something that they can do for free or very inexpensively. The choice is yours. But if you are trying to stay within your budget and are looking for less expensive ways to entertain your children after school here are some wonderful ideas for inexpensive after school activities.
#1 The Beach
The Bay Area features many beautiful beaches and waterfront areas to enjoy.
- The Overlook at Muir Beach – a great place for watching ships sail in and out of the bay or blue whales migrating, this old base used to be part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area.
- Pigeon Point Lighthouse Overlook – it’s not exactly a beach, this beautiful lighthouse offers a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean.
- Pirate’s Cove – If you are already at Muir Beach go across the walking bridge and up a fire road to enter the walking trail to this hidden gem. Low tide is the optimal time to visit.
- Crissy Field Beach – The perfect spot to view the Golden Gate Bridge and see various birds in the grassy marshlands.
- Anza at Tilden Park – Situated in the East Bay, this park offers lots of nature watching for children to seniors.
#2 The Playground
Playgrounds offer the perfect place to unwind and get out some energy after school. Here are some of the best playgrounds in the San Francisco Area.
- Yerba Buena Gardens Playground – this lovely gem is located downtown close to the museum, carousel, ice-skating and bowling. The park is free and offers lots of room to run and play with several slides of varying heights, a sand circle and a garden maze.
- The Boat Playground – this wonderful playground features… you guessed it… a boat! Children can let their imaginations run wild as they climb aboard the boat, fight pirates, walk the plank or set sail to a faraway land. This park is best for younger children.
- Julius Kahn Playground – Sand and water play a big part of the fun offered at this park. There are also swings, a multi-leveled merry go round and climbing ropes.
#3 The Park
The abundance of parks in San Francisco offer residents and visitors alike unparalleled opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.
- Golden Gate Park – Golden Gate Park offers gardens, play spaces, walking and bike trails, a botanical garden, a lake and even a herd of bison.
- Aquatic Garden – consisting of several parks combined this area offers waterfront beauty, history and fun.
- The Presidio – with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city beyond this park also provides green spaces for kite flying or playing a game of catch.
#4 Teach Your Children to do Good
One of the main goals of parents is to raise children who become upstanding human beings when they grow up. One way to do that is to take the focus off of your children and teach them to think about other people as well. Here are some ideas to help them be more conscious of the world around them.
- Have your children go through their toys and donate some to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Keep them involved in the whole process from choosing which toys to give up to dropping them off.
- Participate in a run or walk for a cause that you and your child believe in. Talk about the cause and how you are spreading awareness through the event.
- Visit and donate to an animal refuge in your area. Ask them how you can help them with their efforts.
- Donate books to the local library and support them any way you can. Teach children the value of books.
- Offer to help the elderly in your area.
Volunteer! A most rewarding way you can spend your after school time with children is volunteering. The opportunities for volunteering are practically limitless. Ask your child what they are interested in and try to volunteer in a place that they are curious about. Areas you can volunteer are at the VA, library, animal shelter, soup kitchen, or just picking up trash around your neighborhood.
You can find everything you need about volunteering here!
#5 Museums for $10 and Under
Museums are wonderful places to learn all about a great variety of things. If you have been avoiding museums because of the hefty admission fees this list will give you several options to choose from for less than $10.
- The Oakland Museum of California offers free admission to all children and half price tickets for adults on Fridays from 5-9 PM.
- The California State Railroad Museum has admission that is $5 per child and $10 per adult.
- The Aerospace Museum of California offers admission for $8 for adults $6 for youth and $5 for children. Children 5 and under are free.
- The California Auto Museum’s admission prices are $8 for adults and $4 for students. Children under 5 are free.
- Museum of Latin American Art has free admission every Sunday. If you want to go during the week it is $9 for adults, $6 for students and children under 12 are free.
Tune in next week for a special Q&A session with some of the best personal finance bloggers out there!