Five Free (Summer) Field Trips


1.  Spraygrounds- Called spraygrounds or splash parks, these free fountains are always a kid favorite.  Who doesn’t want to play in the water on a hot day?  I was especially grateful for spraygrounds when I had a baby and a toddler.  Take them both to the swimming pool by myself? A nightmare.  But watch my oldest run through the fountains while my baby sits and splashes?  Very doable.

2.  Bowling Alley– Kids can get two free games of bowling every day, all summer long!  Check out to see if a bowling alley in your area participates.  We did this last year and loved it!

3.  Concerts– Lots of shopping centers, communities, parks, and churches do free summer concerts in the evenings.  What better way to spend a summer night?  Just do a search for “free summer concert (your city name here)” and see what you can find.

4.  Art Fairs- Hands down my favorite activity.  We have already been to two this summer!  Although taking toddlers to a place with large groups of people and very expensive objects is not for a the faint of heart.  Wearable babies or older kids make the best art viewers (in my experience).

5.  Public School Playgrounds-  The schools are out and the playgrounds are open!  Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon “at recess.”  Just make sure to check the signage to make sure it is open to the public.


Five Free (Fall) Field Trips

Like that alliteration?  I should write tongue twisters.  Five free fall field trips to see ferocious pheasants and fat furry farm animals.  No good?  Anywhoo……

Your toddler is starting to say “Bust my buffers” because he has watched too much Thomas the Train, and you are getting stressed out looking at all the dishes and laundry you need to do.  Time to pack the kids up and go on a little adventure!  A change of scenery will put everyone in a better mood and they might learn something, too!  Don’t worry about planning a big outing, even little field trips are exciting for kids.  Afterall, my idea of a good time isn’t going up and down the escalator 20 times, but my daughter loves it.  Okay.  Maybe I like it a little, too.  Here are a little more (ahem) educational ideas than escalator riding….

1.  Farmer’s Market-  Yeah, you could buy things.  Or you could just take in all the sights, smells, and sounds for free.  It’s great place for learning the names of new foods and even tasting a few samples.  KC Locals: Check out this farmer’s market list from KC Parent.

2.  Fall Festivals- This is my hands-down favorite thing to do with my family.  You can watch artists at work, listen to live music, and maybe even jump in a bouncy house or two.  What is not to love?  KC Locals: Here is KC Parent’s Fall Festival List.

3.  Nature Walk-  Walk on a bike path or just around your neighborhood.  Talk about what animals you could see.  Compare the colors of trees.  Bring along a bag to collect acorns, leaves, and other “treasures.”

4.  Story times-  With school starting, library (or book store) story times are in full-swing.  Listen to some good books, and then you can do some related crafts or activities back at home.

5.  Picnic in the Park-  Soak up the last of the nice days in the great outdoors.  Pick out a park you have never been to before, pack some snacks (or go grab some fast food on the way…nobody’s judging!) and a blanket, and spend the day in the sunshine!