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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer fun that won’t break the bank


As we get ready for the summer, I love to find fun stuff to do with the kids that’s inexpensive and sometimes even educational.  
My kids love to go to the movies and during the summer kid’s movies are $1 at the Regal movie theatres and the Regal Summer Express. The movies are for nine weeks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. starting June 11th. Some of the movies include Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Rio, Parental Guidance and Happy Feet Too. The movies are both G and PG.


This summer bowling is free for kids. It’s part of the Kids Bowl Free Program. You register your kids online at and each week you will receive tickets for your kids to bowl 2 free games a day of bowling. If you don’t have bowling shoes you will need to pay to rent the shoes. Otherwise it is free. You can’t beat that. We have done that the past few years and my girls have become quite the bowlers. Bowling Alleys across the United States participate. In Pinellas County the lanes you can bowl for free are:
Twedt's Bowling Center in Largo 727-581-4102 and Ten Pin Lanes in St. Pete 727-381-1010. Don’t forget to register. You must have your ticket.


We also enjoy going to the library. The library is free to go to and I found since I started taking my kids at a young age, they really enjoy looking at books and going to the library. During the summer most libraries offer special events during the week for the kids. In the Seminole Library it’s called Wonderful Wednesdays. On Wednesday they have special guests who come to the library and do shows for the kids.
When you are at the library pick up the Readingwith the Rays game card. If you child reads 24 hours this summer they can get a free regular season home game ticket. My girls have done this the past two years and we have a blast at the games.
The Barnes and Noble bookstore also encourages reading. They have a summer reading program that your child can get a free book by reading any eight books during the summer and recording them in a reading journal. This program goes until September 3rd.

 We live in Florida so the beach is a perfect place to relax and take the kids for a swim. We forget sometimes how nice the beach is and how beautiful it is.
Something else we have a lot of in Pinellas County are parks. Some have playgrounds and some have trails. My favorite for taking my kids on the bike trail is Lake Seminole Park located at 10015 Park Boulevard in Seminole. The park is 250 acres and is designated as a wildlife habitat and sanctuary. The park’s trail is 2 miles. It winds through the flatwoods. We’ve been out there and have seen eagles and tortoises.

Another great place is the Boca Ciega Millenium Park at 12410 74th Avenue N. in Seminole. This park has a 35-foot observation town that looks over Boca Ciega Bay. To get to the tower you walk on a beautiful boardwalk. The surroundings with the nature is so peaceful and relaxing.  And if you or your kids enjoy taking wildlife photos this is a picture perfect place to take them. The park also has a covered playground to provide shade, which is nice when it is so hot outside.


Did you know there are water parks around Pinellas and they are free. In Dunedin you can find a beautiful park called the Kiwanis Sprayground.


 


It is located at 1937 Ed Eckert Drive, Dunedin. This is an interactive 3,000 square foot water playground open daily from 9 a.m. to sunset. There is also free sprayground at Dell Holmes Park in St. Petersburg at 2741 22nd Street South.

 

If you want to spend a few dollars you can enjoy the aquatic centers at some of the city recreation facilities. Largo’s Highland Family Aquatic Center just went under major renovations and will have a re-grand opening on June 8th. This facility has waterslides and much more.

I have to add fishing to the list of things to do with your kids. My girls just started fishing this past year with my husband and love it. You can find quite a few places to go fishing all over Pinellas County, but have you taken your kids to the longest fishing pier in the world? That’s right the south Skyway State Fishing Pier is the longest.  The price to fish for kids is $2. Kids 5 and under are free. You do have to pay $4 per vehicle and adults are $4. It is a lot of fun and when kids catch fish there’s just something magical about it.
I know the summer can be long at times especially if you have kids that are on the go and most of us do. Here’s a least a few ideas that you can use that are enjoyable and affordable.

 

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