With my husband currently unemployed, we have very little money. I'm sure many of you are in similar positions in regards to either unemployment, cutting back, paying off debt, etc. With no money in our wallets, it is time to get creative about the "fun" things we do with our kids (and each other). The fact that it's winter right now posses a slight problem, as many outdoor things become difficult for families with young children. Alas, there are still many free (or really inexpensive) and fun things that can be done, even with the cold weather.
Yesterday we took the kids to Scheels. Scheels has so much to offer (and you can be inside and warm). We took the kids to see the fish, upstairs to check out all the animals and the big hanging plane, back downstairs to get a free sample of fudge (we of course rode the escalator, which is always fun for kids!), and then to the kids area to play on the slide and rock wall. The kids had a ton of fun, and it was totally free!
Another free, fun, and indoor activity is the library. Most all libraries have a story time for toddlers and/or preschoolers. Check online or call your local library to find out when they have these fun times. Note: The downtown Reno library is AWESOME. It is older, but it is several stories high with a spiral staircase and vines hanging from the upper levels. They hold the kids story/dancing/fun times in an enclosed theater space inside the library. Lots of fun!
Do you use a cash budgeting system? If you don't you should totally give it a try-we started saving hundreds of dollars a month when we first switched to cash-only. Anyway, if you use cash-only, you probably end up with lots of spare change at the end of the week. Why not save your spare change for a little treat with the kids. A soft serve ice cream at Costco, Baskin Robbins (go on $1 scoop night!), or McDonald's is quite inexpensive. Plus, if you buy it at a McDonald's you can let your kids run around in the play place (don't forget your hand-sanitizer!).
Can you think of any other fun and free (or inexpensive) winter activities that are great for families? Leave your ideas in the comments section!