Summertime Plans on a Budget!

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School is out for us on Tuesday. That means I’ve got 67 days to fill with adventures and “excitement” as my 6 year put it. No pressure, right?

Here are just a few things we’ll be doing to have lots of fun, but not spend a ton of money.

  • Taking advantage of free community events! Our local libraries have tons of fun events during the month.  Lego Club, craft afternoons, story time for pre-schoolers, and our local library has a great slate of summer events, including a summer reading program!
  • Using passes and memberships that we’ve already paid for. For us, that’s the San Diego Zoo and the YMCA. I plan on taking full advantage of the YMCA membership daily to get the kids out of the house and playing with others, as well as swimming at the activity pool.
  • Packing snacks and drinks when we leave the house. Henry’s pre-school backpack has become our go to snack backpack. I wrote about our family snack backpack yesterday.
  • Meeting up with friends at the park to play. We love playing at the park. It’s a great way to get out the wiggles, meet new friends, and catch up with old friends. There are tons of groups on Meetup.com or Facebook. If you haven’t checked out Momco on Facebook, it’s a great way to find moms looking to meet up and play!
  • I love to arrange craft or science get togethers. The kids get to make something or try a science project and play with friends. I’m not really into Pinterest all that much, but I do have a Pinterest Board with some of the science and crafts we want to do this summer.  I try to use the supplies we have on hand. I find that a lot of the supplies can be picked up at 99 Cents Only, or cheaply at Target.
  • We’ll also be painting a lot of rocks and hiding them all over this summer. Have you heard of Santee Rocks? Both kids love it and it’s a great way to get kids out and active!  It’s an awesome Facebook Group. Learn more here.
  • The Beach! I know not everyone has the beach near them, but if you do- take advantage!  Google your favorite beach and Tide Chart and find out when low tide it. Low tide is the perfect time to hunt for shells. If you are in San Diego, or will be visiting this summer, check out Coronado for the SS Monte Carlo. It’s a sunken ship that is visible and explorable at low tide.
  • Don’t forget the $1.00 kids movies at Regal Cinemas!
  • Here are a few of my other tips for a fun, frugal San Diego Summer.

Camping with Kiddos!

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As we prep for our annual family camping trip, I thought I’d share some of the fun things we do with the kids when we camp.

In addition to all of the usual camping stuff: Tent, blankets, pillows, air mattress, clothes, toiletries, Sunscreen, food, camp kitchen stuff…. You need stuff to do!

A friend and I made a huge batch of play dough last week, and we’re taking half of the batch, along with some cookie cutters, small rolling pins and other fun play dough stuff I got on my local Buy Nothing Group.

Games: High Ho Cherry-O, card games (like Uno, and a few regular decks of cards), lawn bowling.

We also have a craft box. It’s a large tote, like this one. I’ve filled it with all sorts of craft odds and ends. Mostly stuff leftover from other projects, as well as stuff I’ve gotten from Craigslist Curb alerts, and my local Buy Nothing group.  There is paper, scissors, glue, beads, pipe cleaners, paint, and so much more! The kids rifle through it and come up with some of the most interesting projects. I really believe that kids need to have free reign over creative play, so as long as I am there to make sure they are safe, they are free to create and play how they wish.

Bubbles. I make about a gallon of bubble solution, and we have all kinds of wands and stuff (Dollar tree and Target’s Dollar spot are great places to find bubble toys). We also make some out of pipe cleaners.

We also cook a lot when we are camping. We use dutch ovens to make all kinds of baked goods, including our favorite: Beer Bread. My dad has a cool clay Pizza oven (it’s this one), and we make pizzas in the late afternoons to snack on. Our favorite pizza recipe is here.

Here are a few pictures of our adventure last year:

We also of course, play at the campground play ground, go on nature hikes (and do some fun nature scavenger hunts- check out Pinterest for a bunch). We spend time with family and friends, and of course, check out all of the events and fun at the big camping event in which we are participating.

Camping is a great family activity, and here in San Diego there are so many places to camp! From the beach, to the mountains, to the desert, there are campgrounds, both private and public for low prices!

If you are a camper, where is your favorite place to camp?

Earn Free Concessions and tickets from Regal Crown Club!

We love to to go to the movies, but it’s expensive!

That’s why I love the Regal Crown Club! You can sign up at your local Regal Cinemas or here online.

For each dollar you spend (on tickets or concessions), you earn points that can be redeemed on concessions, tickets, or other swag.

And if you are a Disney Movie Rewards member, link your account to earn even more points on both platforms.

Check out this great deal they’ve got going right now if you check out all three new Disney movies this summer:

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  • See any ONE of these films and receive 100 Disney Movie Rewards bonus points
  • See any TWO of these films and receive 100 Disney Movie Rewards bonus points + 1,000 Crown Club credits
  • See any THREE of these films and receive 2,000 Disney Movie Rewards bonus points + 1,000 Crown Club credits + free small popcorn (loaded directly to your Crown Club card)

Disney Movie Rewards points can be redeemed for all kinds of great stuff: Disney Gift Cards, Starbucks Gift Cards, and tons of Disney dvd’s/Blue Rays, and other merchandise! You can earn points by buying Disney movies, seeing movies in theatres, and by playing various games online and taking part in various promos.

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Regal Cinemas also has a great summer movie program. Starting in Mid June and running through the summer, Regal Cinemas shows kid and family friendly movies for just $1.00 per person on Tuesday and Wednesdays!  It’s a great way to beat the heat, and spend some time with the Kiddos!

Fun Free Easter Events in San Diego!

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Looking for some fun this week to celebrate Easter? I’ve been combing the internet looking for some fun to share!

Here are just a few of my favorite free or cheap San Diego Area events! Most are Easter specific, but there are a few that are just good spring fun!

Meet the Easter Bunny, and hunt for Eggs at Lake Murray Playground this Friday, the 14th! I am sponsoring this event. We’ll have lots of fun for all kids!

Spring Eggstravaganza in Santee. This is a very busy and very popular east county event! It features continuous egg hunts for ages 8 & under, pony rides, crafts, inflatables, petting zoo, carnival rides and games, and more. April 15, 9 am-3 pm. Ride/activity tickets $1 each (cash only). You can park outside the lakes and walk in, otherwise entrance to the park is $6/car. Santee Lakes, Lake 5, 9310 Fanita Pkwy *Get there early to avoid the rush. We used to go when Lil’ Man was smaller to this event, but there are just too many people for us.

If you are going to be in Mission Valley, check out the free monthly craft at the Lakeshore Learning store! For ages 3 and up 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 15 at 7510 Hazard Center Drive (San Diego)

Grossmont Center, La Mesa is hosting an egg hunt for all ages, costumed characters, face painting and a train display. Free event. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 15.

A lot of the Rec Centers around San Diego are hosting events on Saturday. Here are just a few!

FREE Spring Egg Hunt at Adams Recreation Center. Egg scrambles, face painting, crafts, music and more. April 15, 10 am-12:30 pm. Bring a basket. 3491 Adams Ave., San Diego. http://www.sandiego.gov; 619-235-1149.

FREE Egg Hunt at Morley Field Sports Complex. Also, games, arts and crafts, egg toss, sack races and cake walks. April 15, 9:30 am-noon; egg hunt at 11 am. 2221 Morley Field Dr., San Diego. 619-525-8262.

FREE Eggs & Goodies at Pacific Beach Recreation Center. Egg hunts plus a 40-foot obstacle course, a bounce house, arts and crafts, and face painting. April 15, 1 pm. Returned eggs will qualify participants for special goodie bags. 1405 Diamond St. For details, call 858-581-9927.

FREE Torrey Hills Egg Hunt. Also, crafts, music, jumps and face painting. April 15, 9-11 am. Torrey Hills Community Park, 4262 Calle Mejillones, San Diego. 858-552-1687.

Louis A. Stelzer County Park, Lakeside 10 – 11 a.m. event April 15 at 11470 Wildcat Canyon Road, 619-561-0580. There may be a $3 parking/park entrance fee per vehicle.

 

Lego Batman Days at LegoLand California!

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Ahoy, Building Adventures AHEAD!!

One of Henry’s favorite things to do on a Buddy/Mommy date is go to LegoLand! And, lucky for him, LegoLand hosted us yesterday to experience the fun of Lego Batman days!

img_1694There was so much to do, that we only went on ONE RIDE!!

We did the Mosaic build, which was super fun (We left before it was finished), and it was fun to sort through legos and build something that was going to be part of a project that was so big!

We got to Meet Lego Batman, but by that point my phone battery had died. Henry didn’t care, he was just so excited to meet Batman and tell him how much he loved his movie.

We did the scavenger hunt and built and raced our own Batmobile creation. That was probably the most fun. Henry won two races! It was so much fun watching the kids (and adults) build cars, sharing Legos, swapping, and helping each other.

And of course, no trip to LegoLand is complete without building and racing boats!

 

llc-batman-logo-small.jpgIf you’ve got little friends that love Lego Batman, you’ve still got one more weekend to check out Lego Batman Days! Next weekend, the 25-26th, there will be tons of fun to be had!

We also picked up a few blind bags at the Big Store on our way out. The newest series (series 20, for anyone counting) is all characters from The Lego Batman movie.

I got March Harriet, Henry got Harley Quinn, and hubs got Ballet Batman. We always bring hubs home a blind bag mini-fig… And a key chain.

Frugal Tip: If you are looking for a way to save on admission, most San Diego area Denny’s locations have kids get in free with the purchase of any adult admission coupons.

Thanks to LegoLand for Hosting Henry and I yesterday, as always we had a blast, building and exploring!

Earn Cashback and Gift Cards with Swagbucks!

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

Swagbucks is a great way to earn cashback and giftcards when you search, shop, or play online.

And right now, you can refer friends and earn $5!

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Have you ever heard of Swagbucks? They’re a completely free, no strings attached site that rewards you for all of the things you’re already doing online. Search, Watching Videos, Playing Games, Taking Surveys, Shopping and more – as you do these activities, you’ll earn Swag Bucks, which are reward points that you can redeem for all sorts of gift cards in the Rewards Store.

You can download their toolbar or download their OS and Android apps for more opportunities to earn. Choose the activities you like or have time for – how much you earn is up to you!

I have been using the search toolbar for all of my searches and I’ve been racking up the points!

I’ve used Swagbucks Since February 2012 and so far I’ve earned over $500! In fact, I just cashed out another 2 $5.00 Amazon Gift Cards! You can do the same!

Have an awesome time at Medieval Times!

 

Ok, so a few weeks ago, I wrote about Medieval Times.  Right now, they have an incredible deal, CLICK HERE and use this exclusive promo code MT3629 through 2/17/17 and receive Adults for just $36.95 and children (12 and under) only $29.95.

That’s an incredible deal! Dinner at Medieval Times would make a great gift for the little knights or maiden on your gift giving list!

Lil’ Man and I headed up on Sunday with our friends, and we had a great time!

IMG_0694.jpgWhen you enter the King and his chancellor speak and knight the birthday kids, you can grab a drink at the bar (they have non-alcoholic drinks too!), and check out the horses while you wait for your show to start. Here we are sitting on the Royal thrones! Lil’ Man loves making goofy faces!

(BTW, yes, his shirt says Property of One Awesome Mom)

IMG_0703.jpgThe food was cool! You eat off metal plates and bowl with handle, no silverware (I snuck plastic spoons in- I didn’t want the kids to melt down because they couldn’t eat their soup).

We sat in the Red & Yellow Knight’s section, hence the weird orange tint to the photo of our dishes!

The show starts after you are seated (You are “sorted” into cheering sections as you enter the castle). The knights are introduced and food service begins.

The King’s feast includes garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, sweet buttered corn, herb-basted potato, pastry of the Castle (Lemon pound cake for us!) and beverages. It was great! Our server was so cool.

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Overall, the show was great- so much excitement and drama. The kids were riveted for the entire show. They almost didn’t eat because of how much they enjoyed the show.

There were a lot of people celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events.

But really, no one ever needs a reason (or excuse) to visit the King’s Castle at Medieval Times!

If you don’t live in Southern CA, fret not! There are locations all over the country!