Summer Fun on a Budget!

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It’s here again… Summer Vacation. Soon we shall hear the sounds of sighs, the boredom, and the wailing about how there is nothing to do or eat.

Ya’ll can feel me, right? Ok, so here are some ways to beat the boredom without breaking the bank.

Kids Bowl Free All Summer! Just pay for bowling shoe rental!

Free Summer Lunches for kids– Lots of locations have events or activities nearby, so you can have fun and have a free lunch!

The splash ground at Santee Lakes is GREAT! It’s only $2.00 per kid to play and if you park outside the Santee Lakes, you don’t have to pay to park! Take a picnic and it’s a great frugal outing! We go at least once a week in the summer and it’s always
a GREAT time!

The Santee Lakes hosts free summer movies throughout the summer.  If you park your car outside the gates (there is lots of street parking!), there is no cost of the movies.  If you drive your car into the park, it’s $8.00 per car, regardless of how many ppl are in your car.   Bring a picnic and some blankets and kick back for a fun family movie!

There are a bunch of municipal pools in San Diego that have open swim times, and a couple that have splash pads!

Most San Diego, CA area YMCA locations have fun events for kids a few Saturday nights per month. Our local Y does Kids Night at the Y twice a month. It’s only $20 per kid (Just a little more if you aren’t a member), and your kids go have fun for 4 hours. It’s cheaper than a sitter and a lot more fun!

Speaking of the YMCA- Most locations have pools, splash pads, or other aquatic fun, entrance is included with YMCA membership. If you aren’t a member, entrance fees are just a few dollars (it varies by location).

Balboa Park still offers Free Tuesdays at various museums in the park.

San Diego County Libraries have story time and various kid events each week.  I love taking the kids to the Santee library story time!

El Cajon, La Mesa, and Escondido all have classic car shows/rallies each week that are free.  Most have free live music too!  Check out some sweet rides, cool tunes, and have a fun frugal night with the fam!

San Diego County has great parks, as do most of the cities in San Diego County! Our favorite parks include Big Rock Park in Santee, Kennedy Park in El Cajon, La Mesita/Junior Seau Park in La Mesa, Harry Griffin Park in La Mesa (great for little kids).

If you’ve got a Starwood Managed Mall Near you (We do- It’s Parkway Plaza), check out their fun kid’s events each month called: MallStars.  There are different crafts, games, and sometimes even snacks for the kids (10 and under) to do! Times and locations within the mall vary, so check with mall management.

Talk Back: What kind of stuff do you do to keep your family entertained for free?

2019 Free Meals this Summer for Kids!

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Like last year, I’m still pulling together resources at the time that this is published, and I’ll be adding additional sites as soon as I can.

School will be out within a month for most kids in San Diego, and that means there are some parents (and kids) who usually rely on free or subsidized school lunches may find themselves wondering what to do.

Thankfully, a lot of great organizations have stepped up and partnered with local area schools, libraries, rec centers, and civic organizations to provide free breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for al kids 18 and under this summer.

For any of these opportunities, there is NO PROOF OF INCOME OR PROOF OF NEED REQUIRED. You take your kiddos, show up at a location near you during the lunch period (each location sets its own hours), and the kids get a yummy, healthy lunch for free. Menus vary, but all lunches meet USDA guidelines for a healthy lunch (think of the food pyramid).

You can search here for a list of California Department of Education sites that offer free meals (some sites offer breakfast, lunch, and/or snacks).

Screen Shot 2019-06-01 at 1.52.03 PM.pngFor those of us in Eastern San Diego County, Cajon Valley School District sponsors free lunches!

Menus will probably be available in the next few weeks. Last Summer every Friday was pizza day! And there are usually vegetarian options daily for those of you who have meat-free kiddos (previous options included bean, rice, and cheese burritos, hard boiled eggs, string cheese, cheese sandwiches, nut butter sandwiches, or Uncrustables)!

Last summer The El Cajon Library had lunch and activities (crafts, story time, etc) each day (Monday -Friday).

Screen Shot 2019-06-01 at 2.03.13 PM.pngSan Diego Unified School District has partnered with some awesome sponsors to host the Summer Fun Cafe 2019 all over San Diego County! Lunch will be served at over 30 locations all summer for kids 18 and under! The kick-off Summer BBQ (with free lunch for adults too) at Penn Athletic Field on 6/20/19 10:30am-2:00pm! There are all kinds of activities, community resources, and even free produce for families to take home!

Most locations will be serving lunch on June 17-August 16, 2019.

What I love about this program is that there are tons of rec centers hosting these lunches and they are usually adjacent to a playground, which means after a long morning of playing, the kids don’t have long to wait to get a yummy lunch!

Looking for a few ideas of summer fun with a nearby lunch?

  • There is a lunch location down at the Waterfront Park- which is also free (You have to pay to park at the meters)! It has a great playground and a splash area.
  • The Tierrasanta Rec Center has a cool kids splash ground that’s open early in the day. It’s not free, but it’s pretty cheap ($2/ kid, $4/adult).

If you know of more summer lunch programs for kids in San Diego County, I’d love to hear about them! Please leave a comment!

If you aren’t in the immediate San Diego area, text FOOD  (Or COMIDA for a list in Spanish) to 877-877, or call 211 and you can find a list of free summer lunch locations near you.

 

More Free Summer Meals for Kids!

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This is an update to this post, which has sites all over San Diego County listed.

I just received this in my inbox this morning!  Here is a great list of East County resources for free lunches for kids- And many sites also serve breakfast too!  We’ll be checking them out in the coming days, and I’ll post pictures (probably on Instagram), so make sure to follow me! Dates vary by location.

I am really excited about Hilton Head Park being on the list- That is a great park with a splash pad (only $3 to use for the whole day), shaded picnic tables, and a fun, sandy playground!

If you aren’t in the San Diego, CA area and are looking for more information on free lunches for kids, check the USDA website here. THe USDA plans to serve over 200 million meals to kids 18 and under this summer!

Free Meals this Summer for Kids!

file0001360139839.jpgI’m still pulling together resources and lists, so I’ll be posting more resources as they become available.

School will be out within a month for most kids in San Diego, and that means there are some parents (and kids) who usually rely on free or subsidized school lunches may find themselves wondering what to do.

Thankfully, a lot of great organizations have stepped up and partnered with local area schools, libraries, rec centers, and civic organizations to provide free breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for al kids 18 and under this summer.

You can search here for a list of California Department of Education sites that offer free meals (some sites offer breakfast, lunch, and/or snacks).

Some Library sites offer lunch too! Here is a complete list of areas that offer free lunches or snacks.

Some County of San Diego Library Locations offer lunch or snacks. Here is a filtered list for the month of June. Most libraries have a print calendar each month available that can be picked up with more info. The El Cajon Library on East Douglas has a really great lunch program in the summer with a fun activity/craft afterwards.

San Diego Unified School District has partnered with some awesome sponsors to host the Sumer Fun Cafe 2018 all over San Diego County! Lunch will be served at over 30 locations all summer for kids 18 and under! The kick off Summer BBQ (with free lunch for adults too) at Skyline Hills Park 6/20/17 10:30am-2:00pm! There are all kinds of activities too!

What I love about this program is that there are tons of rec centers hosting these lunches and they are usually adjacent to a playground, which means after a long morning of playing, the kids don’t have long to wait to get a yummy lunch!

Looking for a few ideas of summer fun with a nearby lunch?

If you know of more summer lunch programs for kids in San Diego County, I’d love to hear about them! Please leave a comment!

Family Fun this weekend at the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering 2016!

SDFSE-EXPO-Day-IMG_9641-Photo by Melissa JacobsHenry informed me the other day that he wants to be a farmer scientist. We’ve started our garden of tomatoes, strawberries, bell peppers, lavender (to encourage bees to visit our garden), wild flowers, and a succulent. Henry really wanted to have a cactus garden, but I worried about Birdie being around pokey plants once she’s a little bigger and able to play outside on the patio.

I am super excited to take him and Bitty Bird to the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering 2016 down at Petco Park on Saturday, March 5th.

The event runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., we’ll be there at 10 on the dot. Henry is excited to get hands on with all kinds of experiments and fun! There are scheduled to be more than 130 local businesses, corporations and organizations providing interactive, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math exhibits and activities to budding K-12 science lovers.

New EXPO Day Features for 2016:
  • The Recycle Challenge: Are you familiar with the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? Are you into technology, creativity and want to help keep our planet green? Well, the blue bin isn’t the only place for your recyclables. With a little imagination and craftiness you can turn your “trash” into awesome works of art! In this Star Wars-themed challenge, students in grades 5 to 12, will convene in teams of four to design, build and present a wearable garment or innovative device out of recycled materials to wear in the Star Wars Universe! Student inventors will then present their creation and explain how they built it and/or where in the Star Wars universe it will be utilized.
  • K-Zone: Looking for a place where your youngest scientist can unleash their natural creative ability in a setting where they are free to touch, explore, and participate in whatever their developing minds can come up with? The K-Zone is a place where budding tinkerers can come and explore numerous activities guaranteed to nurture and engage their active minds. Go ahead and let them run free, they just might change the world. (this is where we’ll be for most of the day, I’m sure!)
  • TedXKids@ElCajon Take The Stage: In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. This local version will showcase the passion and potential of our children! Organized by the Cajon Valley Union School District, these students offer a unique platform to share their ideas. Connect with our future leaders, and leave inspired. Come see samplings of their talks throughout the day on the Dugout Stage!
  • Student Designed Merchandise: Come check out the winners of our STEM Design completion. This year we’ve got sizes for the whole family and newly featured women’s racerback tank tops! Pay tribute to our local student artists. The Festival continues to work hard to keep all items very family affordable with nothing over $10! The merchandise tent is located inside Park at the Park – check it out and get your awesome Festival gear to wear all year long!
  • Star Wars – Steampunk Universe: The two fastest expanding creative universes, Star Wars and Steampunk, will converge at the Star Wars – Steampunk Universe booth, just inside the Gaslamp Gate entrance. Learn how to salvage your everyday watch and bicycle gears, vintage brass plumbing parts, industrial revolution steam era antiques, old leather and lace into personal visual expressions of your love of the Star Wars saga. Come by and take photos with the Star Wars – Steampunk Universe crew. Kids will also be able to participate in a fun coloring activity. Booth attendees will also learn how Star Wars – Steampunk Universe turns “Cosplay into Cause-play,” combining their love of dressing up and participating in charity and community events.
  • Bright Idea Society Alley – Powered By ViaSat: No need to scour the map, our Bright Idea Society winners this year will all be gathered together in their own row inside park at the park! The three winning schools include Olive Elementary, Feaster Engineering Charter, and Dragons 5229 Boys & Girls Clubs. Come be fascinated by these young minds and let them teach you!

If you are looking for a fun, free event to take your kids to this weekend, check out the Festival! I hope to see you there!

Save $75 off summer camps at Digital Media Academy!

I posted about Digital Media Academy a few weeks ago, but I wanted to remind you that there is still time to sign your tween/teen up and save $75!

Founded at Stanford University, Digital Media Academy is ranked as one of the ten best summer camps in the world.

Save $75 off summer camps at Digital Media Academy with code TECHSUMMER at www.DigitalMediaAcademy.org. Sign up for multiple weeks and save big! Campers save $125 for each additional course they register for. Register by May 31 to #CreateTheNext best-selling app this summer!

Kids and teens learn computer programming, app development, 3D modeling, robotics, graphic design, filmmaking, and much more. DMA summer camps are one or multiple week experiences taught by industry experts and tech professionals. Campers get hands-on experience creating projects using the latest hardware and software from Apple, Canon, Adobe, and more.

Digital Media Academy is also proud to introduce Made by Girls, a new program dedicated to empowering girls and closing the gender gap in the tech industry.

The DMA Experience from Digital Media Academy on Vimeo.

Give your teen a pre-collegiate experience or build a child’s confidence through project-based learning. Learn at some of the most prestigous colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Questions? Call 1(866)656-3342 to speak with a Guest Service Representative or email info@digitalmediaacademy.org and mention the US Family Guide Special Offer.

#CreateTheNext this summer at Digital Media Academy!

Free Crafting Classes & Free Patterns from Craftsy

 

craftsy-logoI am all about picking up new skills and discovering new patterns, especially when they are free! Craftsy (which is an awesome repository of crafting and cooking classes) has a section dedicated to free classes. They also have a section dedicated to free patterns! What I really like is that you can take as many free classes and download as many free patterns as you like.

Here’s the full list of Craftsy free mini classes to choose from. Below are just a few of the classes I thinks are super cool!

Here is a complete list of the the free patterns you can download:

BTW: This Post contains affiliate links, if you purchase anything after clicking through my links, I may receive a commission.