Using a smartphone to find a treasure is an activity known as geocaching

Got more time than money for family entertainment this summer? No problem. There are lots of things you can do with the kids that are completely (or nearly) free. No kidding! Check out these ideas:

Using a smartphone to find a treasure in an activity known as geocaching

GO GEOCACHING

Geocaching (pronounced gee-o-cashing) is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use GPS to hide and seek containers (caches).  A typical cache is a small waterproof container concealing a logbook or “treasure,” usually toys or trinkets of little value. More than 750,000 geocaches are registered on various websites devoted to this pastime. If you have a handheld GPS or a GPS-enabled cell smartphone, you’re ready to get started.

First, read The Ultimate Treasure Hunt—Geocaching with Kids, to get inspired. Then go to Geocaching 101 to get a great overview followed by this 75-second video, What is Geocaching?

To get started, you’ll need to register, but it’s free. Once you’re ready to start treasure-hunting, just type in your zip code and start exploring! Geocaching is the ultimate treasure hunt and kids love it! Be sure to learn simple geocaching protocol and etiquette before you head out on your first adventure.

SUMMER READING PROGRAMS

Public libraries and retail booksellers across the nation are offering wonderful free reading programs for kids this summer. What a great way to encourage your child to read over the summer months while at the same time having so much fun! Many of these programs offer the kids freebies—free books, coupons for free ice cream or other goodies. Summer Reading Programs 2018 offers a list of Summer Reading Programs for Kids that give free books, money and more.

VISIT A MUSEUM

Many museums and galleries throughout the U.S. offer free admission on special days or weekends.

For example, The California Science Center, new home to Space Shuttle Endeavor, is always free. Chicago Children’s Museum offers Free Family Night on Thursday evenings, 5 to 8 pm. The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, Calif. offers free admission on the first Sunday of every month. Contact the museums in your area to see when they offer free admission.

TAKE IN A LOCAL EVENT

Most cities have free summer concerts, picnics, and festivals, so check your local newspaper; visit the websites of local colleges, churches and your Chamber of Commerce. Or try this: Google the name of your city plus the word “tourist,” (like this: Denver tourist) and prepare to be surprised by events and attractions you’d either forgotten about or didn’t know existed. Support your community and have a ball at the same time.

FREE ATTRACTIONS

Every city, large and small across the nation, offers free attractions. What’s waiting where you live? Do a google search using the words “free attractions” plus the city name. I did that, “free attractions Seattle,” and found that Discovery Park offers breathtaking views of both the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges plus hiking trails and picnic areas. And admission is free. And so many other free Seattle-based attractions, too.

FREE SUMMER MOVIES

Free summer movies may be a  great way to keep the kids entertained this summer. Check out Free and Almost Free Summer Movies 2018 to see what’s playing for kids this summer in your neck of the woods.

TAKE A FACTORY TOURS

It’s fun to see how things are made—especially when the tour concludes with free samples. Go to FactoryToursUSA.com to peruse 565 different tours, many of them free. You’re bound to find a tour of interest where you live, or will be visiting.

Yesterday on the blog: End-of-Life Preplanning Brings Joy and Peace of Mind

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