RVA Parenting: Free stuff to do with the kids this summer

RVA Parenting: Free stuff to do with the kids this summer

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Summer has so much to offer, and we've got a great list of ways to keep your little ones busy without spending money.

We consulted our favorite experts from Richmond Macaroni Kid and RichmondMom.com and here are their ideas:

Do your kids love trains? Consider watching the trains pass through Ashland!

Many local malls have activities, like Willow Lawn. They have a Mommy and Me Day every month.

Whole Foods has a kids club, complete with a number of classes.

Carissa Garabedian over at Richmond Macaroni Kid suggests watching for camps at your local school district.

She also says LowesHome Depot, and Michael's all offer kids classes throughout the year, that often involve a free craft to take home at the end of the project.

The Flying Squirrels have a kids club as well, and participants also get into some games free.

She also mentioned Crump Park Playground & Meadow Farm Museum or Deep Run Park.

They recommend keeping an eye on Skate Nation for free days, when it gets hot enough.

Our friends at RichmondMom.Com challenge families to make a list of some of the fun parks that you want to see over the summer, and then have a list of nature items that you want to find at each park.

"That's a fun thing for your kids to kind of continue doing throughout the summer," said Michelle Smith with RichmondMom.com. "They can bring a bag and keep each thing from the different parks and then what they find at the end of the summer, they can have this collection I guess of different things that they found from the different parks."

Many libraries have summer reading programs- our experts say Barnes and Noble even has a program where participants can work toward a free book.

"You just write a little something about each book in your reading journal and then you bring that in to Barnes and Noble and they give you a free book at the end of the summer," said Smith.

Volunteer! It feels good to give back- and it's a great lesson for your kids. Maybe an animal shelter needs dogs walked or a nursing home would appreciate your child's musical performance.

Smith also recommends exploring Geocaching.

"Basically, it's like a worldwide scavenger hunt," said Smith. "And there's little boxes basically of things that you can find. Just download the app. It's free. It kind of sends you on a little scavenger hunt around your own town. Or if you want to try somewhere else, you can do that."

When you think about libraries, parks, and playgrounds consider checking for free programming or just go to a different one to shake things up!  Sometimes, a new place to explore, makes for the best memories.

We also found this great list of fun activities, created by PBS.

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