SUMMER vacation is here, and many children look forward to fun and relaxation.
Unfortunately, for cash-strapped families, a tight budget can put a damper on the fun. However, summer activities with your family do not have to be expensive to be fun and memorable. Here are nine things your family can do together without breaking the budget:
1) See some movies. An affordable and very enjoyable option for summer entertainment is to take the family to the movies. This can be a great escape from the summer heat, and even if you buy drinks and snacks for everyone, you still will be well within your entertainment budget.
2) Visit a local museum. Whether the museum's focus is art or history, it can be a great educational experience for your family. Additionally, museum admission is likely to fit well within your budget. Explore the KAHA Gallery, Isla Center for the Arts, the War in the Pacific Museum, the Guam Museum, or the War in the Pacific National Historical Park and the T. Stell Newman Visitor Center.
3) Picnic at the park. If fun in the sun is what you are looking for, treat your family to a picnic at one of the many local parks. Just grab a blanket, pack some sandwiches and drinks, and you're set. A picnic is a low-cost way to enjoy the warmth of summer without spending a lot of money.
4) Take a day trip. Another great option for family fun in the summer is to take a day trip. Is there a place you have always wanted to visit but never got around to it? If so, a day trip is in order. You can visit some historical sites, go “off-island” to Cocos Island, or spend the day at Talofofo Falls Resort Park.
5) Have a family game night. Hosting a family game night is an inexpensive way to bond with family and have some fun. Break out the old board games, serve up some snacks, and let the night unfold.
6) Plan a beach day. Who doesn't love a day at the beach? We are all fortunate to live within driving or even walking distance of the beach. Let your family soak up some rays, enjoy the surf, or play water sports. Since beaches are free, the only things you will need to pay for are water sports gear or equipment.
7) Take a trip to the zoo. An affordable option that is sure to delight animal lovers both young and old is a trip to the zoo. Pack a lunch for your family, and see what there is to discover at your local zoo. The ticket prices for the whole family fit well within your entertainment budget.
8) Visit the tropical gardens. Hamamoto Tropical Fruit World, a 50-acre fruit paradise hidden in the heart of Yoña, is the perfect weekend getaway. It has more than 70 varieties of tropical fruits, including seneguelas, ice cream bean, eggfruit, star apple, breadfruit, atis, avocado, papaya, cotton fruit, guava, soursop and other produce from Pacific and Asian countries. For $12, you can tour the jungle on a tram, and for an additional $15 you can indulge in a scrumptious fruit buffet.
9) Play some miniature golf. Miniature golf is a cheap yet enjoyable outdoor activity that many families enjoy. Putt your way through 18 holes with your relatives. A little healthy competition, as well as a low-cost activity, could be just what your family needs to kick-start your summer.
Family-friendly yet affordable summer activities for the whole family are easy to find. Do not limit your family to a boring summer in the house. Find things to do that are within your means, and even the most cash-strapped family can have a lot of fun this summer.
Elizabeth Hamilton, M.Ed, MA, is a teacher with 22 years of professional experience. You can write to her at successfullearner[at]yahoo.comwith your questions or comments.