Keeping the kids busy and entertained can costly. We are always looking to try new things with the kids but often time the sicker shock of the activity turns us away. (Not to say that we don’t treat them every now and then.) Hopefully these free activities will keep your little ones entertained and your pocket book zipped!
Check out your local recreation center. Here, in the Denver-Metro area we have a lot of recreation centers to choose from. Many of them offer an indoor play area that requires no admission. Paul Derda Rec Center in Broomfield and the Apex Center in Arvada both have indoor play areas. These are great places to go on a rainy or snowy day to burn off some energy.
We visit the library frequently. Our library (Any Think Library) has a child area with toys, chairs for kids to read, a place for kids to color, and a great selection of free classes for all ages. I like that the library switches out the toys quite a bit so kids don’t get bored with the same thing. Collin enjoys going to story time and music class. This is a good way for Collin to get a semi-structured class and let’s us save money! The classes are very interactive and encourage movement. Check out your library and see what they offer.
Heading to the store with a little one is most times more stressful than enjoyable so why would you want to go to the store if you don’t have to? Heading to the store with expectations other than shopping may help reduce the stress of going. Sometimes if Collin needs to get out we will head to Lowes, Cabelas, Murdoch’s, Costco, or go to the outdoor mall nearby.
Lowes (or any home improvement store) is entertainment for hours. Collin loves to sit on all the tractors, play with all the dials and knobs on the grills, press the buttons on the tools, and drive the race car shopping carts. He now has a very active imagination and likes to get things to fix up “his home” or get parts for his bike.
Cabelas and Murdoch’s
The fish and running through the rack of sleeping bags is the highlight at Cabelas
. During the spring Murdoch’s has baby chicks in the store and reindeer in the winter (select weekends). It is fun to see the baby chicks and we read the info cards on the chicks to learn about them. Murdoch’s also has a nice section of tractors and side-by-sides to sit on.
Costco is a place we love to go. (Mom may love it more than anyone.) After Collin first learned to walk, we would go there on slower days and let him run the aisles and get samples. Most times, we would go there with nothing on our list but walk out with a few things in the basket. (How can you not!)
The Orchard Mall, which is the outdoor mall near us, is a great place to walk around. It has a small playground, train rides ($2 per person), fountains to play in during the summer, fire pits to sit at, and of course shops. In the summer the mall hosts live mus
ic every Friday (and it’s free!) and in the winter they have a big Christmas tree with Santa’s shop where you can visit Santa. They also host a variety of free events during the holidays and throughout the year.
Colorado is an outdoor state. You can’t go too far without finding a trail to hike, a playground to play on, open space to walk through, or a park to relax in. We have a few playgrounds we frequent but are always on the lookout for new ones. We keep a book in the truck to write down playgrounds we find as we travel. Many in the summer have fountains for the kids to play in. Take a ball to throw around and a lunch your kids will love it and it’s the best way to tire out your kids for free!
We hope this list helps you when your kids are bored or need to get out. Not everything we do has to cost money and sometimes we forget that. We just need to think outside the box! Let us know about some of the free activities you do with your children! We look forward to reading them and trying them out.