Hey guys. As I was preparing for how to spend the next chapter of summer with my littles, I put together a great mixture of free, near free and mostly inexpensive summer activities for the kids and I to enjoy together. A lot of this stuff is off the beaten path, or you may just not know about it. I didn’t know about a lot of this stuff until I was trying to plan out our July. I thought I would share for anyone else who is running out of steam for budget friendly summer ideas to keep the family moving.
I have totalled up what each of these should roughly cost for a family of 4 (Mom, Dad and two children) below for your convenience. This list is even less expensive if you are a single parent, as I am since my divorce, because I only have one adult to pay for. That brings the cost way down for a lot of these activities. Regardless of the size of your family, the ideas below will give anyone affordable summer fun ideas that won’t leave you feeling financially drained.
I have tried to be as detailed as possible about each place, price, hours of operation, address and insider details to save you the time and hassle of having to look any of this up. If parents know anything during the summer, it’s that it’s pretty non stop. After a while, it gets pretty exhausting trying to come up with ideas to keep everyone entertained without breaking the bank, which is exactly why I am sharing.
I always try to make sure that we have a well rounded selection of activities from playing at water parks and hiking to volunteering to help the homeless and continue to develop reading skills, etc. You will see that mixture reflected below, because I really want my children to grow up to not need to be ‘entertained’ every single moment.
I mean that I want them to learn to find value in helping others, continuing to evolve as people, learning about new places, being outside in nature and of course, having fun, eating out and indulging in all that Baton Rouge has to offer.
If you know me at all in my ‘real life’, then you know that I am a bit passionate about protecting the environment. As such, I have taken the time to create links for each of the locations listed below. Whenever you see an address listed below, just click on it and you will be taken to a map where you simply enter wherever you are starting from. I took the time to do this so that you don’t have to write down the addresses or print them out. This will save you time and frustration when you have antsy children in your car who want to get going. Simply come back to this page, find your activity, click the address and be on your way.
One more thing. We live in Baton Rouge, so the specifics listed below apply to the Baton Rouge area, but 15 out of the 20 ideas below can be used wherever you live. Just read the idea and then look up your local resources. I hope this helps you guys out. I know we are going to be out and about in Baton Rouge in the next two months exploring all of these places and I hope we see you out there.
ACTIVITY # 1:
BOWL FOR FREE AT DESIGNATED LOCAL BOWLING ALLEYS
Cost: $0-$29.95 For The Entire Family For The Entire Summer + Shoe Rentals
As part of a national program, kids can bowl up to 2 games per day, all summer long for FREE. No, this is not a joke and yes you really can do this. My children and I do it all the time. If you visit the Kids Bowl Free site below, you simply sign up your children, find your local bowling alley and go have fun. You will have to pay for shoe rental, but it’s about $2 per child and you can purchase an unlimited shoe rental pass for the summer.
Adults and older children who want to bowl with their children have the option of signing up for a discounted rate family pass for $29.95. For that price, all children above the age of 15 and any family member adults (up to 4) may bowl two games all summer long for that one price. If you have ever taken a family of 4 bowling, you know that you will pay this for a single visit, so the $29.95 for 4 people, coupled with the little ones bowling for free, is an absolute steal!
In our local area, the participating bowling alley is:
Baton Rouge, LA, 70815-4024
Times When This Program Is Honored At Circle Bowl:
12 PM – 5 PM Monday-Saturday
12 PM – 7 PM Sunday
Register your little ones and learn more at www.kidsbowlfree.com.
ACTIVITY # 2:
GET INVOLVED IN A LOCAL CHURCH
Cost: $0-$? For The Entire Family, Depending On What You Decide To Tithe To The Church
Most churches have fantastic summer programs and several events for children. Use this free time to get plugged in to a church family. Simply call the churches that you are thinking of visiting and ask if someone can greet you on Sunday and walk you around. They are always extremely helpful because they want your family to become part of their church.
Additionally, they have many family events and life groups that meet all summer long, so get out there and started building up your support network while working on your faith.
Most churches also participate in the Right Now Media program, which gives you access to thousands of Christian videos, Bible study programs and Christian shows for the kids and the whole family, all free of charge.
Simply go to Google and type in ‘local churches and whatever your religious preference is’ and then go church visiting until you find one that you and your family love. Once you have selected a church, ask them to give you a username and login to the Right Now Media program if they are a member church. They will get you signed up right away and you and your family can start enjoying this amazing resource.
Find your local church now at: https://www.google.com.
ACTIVITY # 3:
EXPLORE ALL THAT BREC HAS TO OFFER (COMMUNITY PARKS AND RECREATION)
Cost: $0-$15 For The Entire Family, Depending On What You Rent At The Parks
BREC (Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge) is a finalist for the 2018 Gold Medal Award for Parks and Recreation, so if you are local to the Baton Rouge, LA area there is a seemingly endless array of options for the public to enjoy. Whether you enjoy running, hiking, swimming, tennis, fishing, horseback riding, bmx racing and so much, BREC has a park for you.
Don’t let the fact that you don’t have your own equipment stop you from getting out there. You can rent BMX bikes, cruiser bikes, canoes, kayaks and pretty much anything else that you can think of right there on the grounds at each park. Check find the activity that you are looking for and then click the page for that park and all of the rental details are on their website. Here is just an example of what three of our local parks offer:
North Sherwood Community Park
-Indoor Air Conditioned Track
-Indoor Gated Play Area
-Mini Rock Climbing Wall
Perkins Road Community Park
*All Of The Above Are Free
-Huge Rock Climbing Wall (*Minimal charge for this.)
Greenwood Community Park
-Canoe/Kayak/Cruiser Bike Rentals
-Waterfront Restaurant On The Grounds
Address: 13350 Hwy. 19, Baker, LA 70714
To learn more about BREC parks, visit http://www.brec.org/index.cfm/park/search-home
ACTIVITY # 4:
GO GET SOME SUN AT SPLASH PADS, POOLS OR WATER PARKS
Cost: $0-$150 For The Entire Family, Depending On Which Location You Select
I am going to list these in order from free to most expensive so that you can find the one that works for your family.
If you are looking for free splash pads for the kids to just cool off at, check out this huge list of local gems where the kids cans enjoy some water play:
$6 Per Person
If you are looking for a community pool, check out the Jambalaya Park Pool. For just $6 per person admission daily, it’s hard to beat. Hours are as follows: Closed on Mondays, Tuesday-Saturday 11 AM-6 PM and Sunday 1-6 PM through July 31st. After that, the pool’s hours change, so check their site or call them for updated hours towards the end of the summer.
Location: 1015 E Cornerview St, Gonzales, LA 70737
Learn more at https://jambalayapark.swimtopia.com.
$12 Per Person
This park is a great local alternative to Blue Bayou Waterpark. It is smaller and vastly less expensive. They have an amazing array of water activities from a surf zone and splash pads to a lazy river. You can not take anything in here (water, food, etc), so take money for the concession stand, but it’s a fun and inexpensive day of play. Get there early, don’t leave anything in the car because they do not allow you to go in and out. Still, all told between admission, food, drinks, and rental upcharges, a family of 4 could easily spend a day here for under $75.
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m.- 6:30 p.m.
Sunday: noon – 6:30 p.m
12 Months And Younger: Free
Under 48” Tall: $10
Over 48 “ Tall: $12
Shockwave Wristband (Surfing Area): $5 Additional Per Day
Lazy River Tubes: $1 Per Day
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Learn more at: http://www.libertylagoon.com/
$36 Per Person
Check Out Blue Bayou if you want a water park and an amusement park all rolled into one. They have amazing kids rides, a pretty scary rollercoaster and more tall water slides than you will be able to ride in a day. They also have a great wave pool and a lazy river. This is a great place to take the kids if you have a full weekend to spend here, as you will see below that you can go two consecutive days for the price of one, just not on a Saturday.
My recommendation is to go on a Saturday and then use your second free day on Sunday. When you get two day’s admission for the price of one day, it actually only works out to $18.50 per day, and that’s not too shabby for all that this park has to offer.
$36.99 — 48″ and taller
$29.99 — 48″ and under
$29.99 — Senior Citizens (60 years of age and up)
FREE — 35″ and under
Blue Bayou does offer these 2 perks that may make the increased price worth your while:
DEAL # 1: COOL TIMES, COOL PRICING
MAY 25 – AUG 6; AFTER 3PM; MONDAY – FRIDAY, NOT INCLUDING HOLIDAYS OR SPECIAL EVENT DAYS.
$17.99 — 48″ and taller
$14.99 — 48″ and under + Seniors
Free — 35″ and under
DEAL # 2: 2ND DAY FREE
If you pay the full daily admission price, and get your ticket validated before you leave that day, you may return the next day at no charge. May not be combined with other offers. Your 2nd Free Day may not be a Saturday.
Learn more at Blue Bayou https://www.bluebayou.com.
ACTIVITY # 5:
TAKE THE KIDS TO SEE THE DRAG RACES AT STATE CAPITOL RACEWAY
Cost: $40 For The Entire Family + Concession Food
What kid doesn’t enjoy playing with cars, so imagine how much more excited they would be to go watch them in real life. Take hats and water and don’t forget the sunscreen as it gets hot standing there, but your kids will love a day at the track. They have so many different events and times, but this is a great way to spend a day with the little ones. Take ear plugs to protect their little ears, because it gets very loud. You can grab them at any Walmart for about $2.
They seem to always have a Friday Fun Race at around 5 PM, but check the link below for the current schedule before heading out there. When we went, they had a cute little concession stand with usual fare (hotdogs, nachos, sodas, etc) that were all reasonably priced. They do have a covered area where you can sit and eat before heading out to take your seats on the bleachers.
It does get soul crushingly hot during the day events, so take a lot of water and tons of people had umbrellas over their heads to take shelter from the brutal sun. You can take anything you want here; food, beer, whatever, which is kind of cool because if you want to make a day long event of it, you can take your own food. Obviously, if you are the one driving, it goes without saying that you should skip the beer. I had to put this in here as a disclaimer.
Usual admission prices are $20 for adults and kids 12 and under are FREE.
State Capitol Raceway
Port Allen, LA
Phone: (225) 627-4574
Learn More At: https://www.statecapitolraceway.com.
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