DIY Chore Chart For Kids | Easy To Make | Kids Love | Responsibility And Rewards Family System 2018

DIY Chore Chart that you can create for only a few dollars. In this tutorial, I show you how to create a customizable chore chart to make running your home a lot easier for both you and your children. I have included links to the printable files that I created in this video that you may download for free if you want to use the same chores that I did. You may print them like this, or customize them in Cricut Maker to fit your chores. Enjoy!

20 Cheap Family Friendly Things To Do In Baton Rouge (16-20)

This article concludes this series and is Part 4 of 4, which details activities 16-20.





Cost: $0 For The Entire Family 

Go stargazing with the littles at the Highland Road Park Observatory. They have all kinds of cool science exhibits for the kids to look at and touch and then you get to look through the large telescope at the planets, all for FREE. The kids love this place. The schedule changes a fair amount so check before heading out, but Saturday nights are usually Family Nights and in the fall they have a great activity where the kids can roast marshmallows and have smores. We never miss this.

They also have a little daily science academy on Saturdays where children can attend for roughly $5 or $6.

Highland Road Park Observatory

13800 Highland Road

Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Ph. (225) 768-9948

Learn more at:




movie stars

Cost: $0 For The Entire Family + Concession Food 

At least once a month, BREC puts on a FREE family movie night. The location changes practically every time, but the kids really enjoy this. They usually have at least one food truck and snow cone truck there, so take a little money for the concessions or pack your own. You just grab a blanket and some lawn chairs and you are all set. Get there early, as you will want to try to score good seats on the lawn.

At the last one that we went to in June 2018 (Peter Rabbit), they had free popcorn, gatorade, ice cream and hotdogs. The movie time was listed at 7:30, but we didn’t actually start the movie until 8:20 because it wasn’t dark enough to see the outside screen. In other words, don’t kill yourself getting there on time, because the kids were just running around playing until just before the movie started around 8:15. It was a really great night and we had so much fun going to this event.

To that end, there were also tons of families who brought coolers with all of their own food and drinks, so do whatever works best for you. It was still very hot at that time of night and we had a spray bottle filled with water that was used about 40 times to cool off various people.

This summer’s schedule is as follows. If you click on the address, I have built links that you may use to find point to point directions to each park:

Thursday, 28 June 2018:

Peter Rabbit: Baringer Road Park, 7401 Baringer Road, B/R, LA 70817. Movie at 7:30

Thursday, 12 July, 2018:

Paddington 2: T. D. Bickham Jr Park, 6850 Petit Road, B/R, LA 70814. Move at 7:30

Friday, 10 July, 2018:

Cars 3: Nairn Drive Park, 2800 Nairn Drive, B/R, LA 70808. Movie at 7:30


To learn more visit





Cost: $79 For The Entire Family  (Includes Safari Feed For The Animals)

Yes, this one is a little bit of a drive, but it’s worth it. In Folsom, LA (about 70 miles away) there is the largest, totally free-roaming wildlife preserve in the country. It is home to over 4,000 exotic, endangered and threatened animals from all over the world. This is not a zoo or a petting farm. It’s an actual safari. The price tag is a bit high, but for a family of 4, you could bring this one in under $80 (including Safari animal feed), which for a safari isn’t really all that bad. You will load up in open air safari buses. The animals come right up to the side and you can feed them, if you buy the feed, which I included in the price above.

Admission Prices:

Adults: $19

Anyone Over 62: $17

Ages 2-11: $13

Ages 1 and Under: FREE

Bucket Of Animal Feed: $30 *It’s a huge bucket though, so just grab another family and split the price, which will make it only $15 per family. The kids go wild over being able to feed the animals, and if I’m being honest, it’s a pretty big thrill for the adults too. This is a wonderful outing for the family. It’s better than a zoo in my opinion, because the animals are free to roam and exist more naturally.

Global Wildlife Center

26389 Hwy 40

Folsom, LA 70437

(985) 796-3585

Learn More At:





Cost: $0 For The Entire Family + Cabela’s Restaurant Food If You Buy It

Taking your kids to Cabelas (Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Store) for the day may seem like a crazy idea, until you actually go inside of one. There is just so much to do here. There are so many different kinds of animals to see (of course, they are preserved and not alive) here. There are hunting and fishing games here that are free of charge. This place is huge and it’s air conditioned. There is so much to look at and to do and when you are tired, just pop into the Cabela Cafe for a bite to eat or a drink.

I promise you that your children will have a good time here. It’s an easy couple of hours worth of entertainment that is basically free of charge, unless you purchase something or grab lunch there.

In the Baton Rouge are, the local Cabelas is at:

2200 W Cabela’s Parkway

Gonzales, LA 70737-5154


Store Hours


9:00 AM – 9:00 PM


9:00 AM – 7:00 PM


Find your local Cabelas at





Cost: $22 For The Entire Family + Lunch At Tabasco Restaurant If You Eat There

This place is just plain cool. When you pull onto Avery Island, you are at the actual home of the current bottling operations for Tabasco Sauce. You can take a self-guided factory tour for only $5.50 per ticket. There is so much to look at. You get to see the actual bottles being filled and labeled, you get a little sampler pack and the history here is just amazing. At the end there are so many cool photo opportunities with the life size Tabasco bottles, Tabasco bottle chandelier and more. There is a cute little gift shop too if you want to buy souvenirs, but it’s optional.

When you are done with the tour, head over to the Tabasco Restaurant, which you can walk to, and grab a bite to eat. They have a great outdoor patio where you can dine if the weather is nice, or grab a seat inside to cool off. Trust me, for the price, this day long adventure is hard to beat.


Everyone Over Age 4: $5.50

Everyone Under Age 4: FREE


Hwy 329, Avery Island, LA 705

(337) 373-6129


Learn more at


Well, that brings us to the end. I know that was a lot of information, but I figured that since I was already looking it up for myself, that I should share it with the rest of the class. If you know of any other local treasures that we should all know about, please post them in the comments section below and please share this article with your friends.

The next time that I can’t think of something to do with the littles, I will have this list to fall back on to keep the machine moving forward :-). I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Thanks for spending some time with me. See you around out there.

You just finished reading Part 4 of 4.

To read the other parts of this post, just click on the links below:

Part 1 (Activities 1-5)

Part 2 (Activities 6-10)

Part 3 (Activities 11-15)

Part 4 (Activities 16-20)



20 Cheap Family Friendly Things To Do In Baton Rouge (11-15)

This article is Part 3 of 4, which details activities 11-15.




Cost: $5-$10 Parking + Lunch On Campus If You Eat There

Go to the Dollar Store and grab a few kites and some other little toys and then head out to LSU for a day of fun on the campus grounds. You can go see Mike the LSU Tiger, fly a kite, have a picnic and so much more. If you get hungry while you are there, there are fast food restaurants and available bathrooms in the LSU Student Union  and if you want to take a break from the heat. If you want to grab lunch and a book, then there is a Barnes and Nobles on the campus. Pack up the car, some snacks and head out to LSU for an inexpensive day of fun.

These are the hours for the Barnes and Nobles on campus: M-Saturday: 8AM- 8 PM, Sunday 11 AM-6 PM. The LSU Cafe is in that building, so you may grab a snack in there too. The Barnes and Noble/LSU cafe are located at 2 Union Square, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. If you click that address, I have created a link that will allow you to find point to point directions from wherever you are on the campus. Just click that link and then tap ‘Your Location’ as the starting address, flip you GPS to walking instead of driving and then head on over. Here is the phone number in case you need to call while you are on campus for directions (225) 578-5137.


To Get To The Visitor’s Center:

As many of the buildings on campus don’t have an actual physical address, here is the best that I can do for you. If coming from the Prairieville area, take 10 west to Dalyrimple exit. Go through the main gate and continue straight onto Dalyrimple until you come to the intersection of Dalyrymple and Highland. You will see the Visitor Center there. There is metered parking there, which you may purchase by the hour. Here is a link that I created to help you get there, just click here to have your phone direct you to this location.


To Get To The Public Safety Building For A Parking Pass If The Visitor Center Is Full:

If there are no parking spaces left in the Visitor Center, go back towards the traffic circle at the main gate. You are basically going to act as if you just came through the main gate again, which means that you will pass the main gate on your left, and then take the first right after the main gate. This road will become a dead end. Make a right onto South Stadium at the dead end. You will be looking for the Public Safety Building, which will be on your left side approximately ¼ mile down after you make the right at the dead end. They will issue you a visitors pass for $10 per day and instruct you where to park. Here is a link that I created to help you get there, just click here to have your phone direct you to this location.

**These parking rules only apply Monday-Friday. Saturday and Sunday the campus is open to the public and no parking permits are required.


People are pretty friendly on the campus, so just stop someone and ask for directions, but here are some LSU attractions worth visiting. If you click on the name of the attraction that you are trying to visit, I have created links to directions to get you there.

Mike The Tiger Habitat 

Depending on what time of the day you go, you may or may not be able to actually see Mike the Tiger, but you can always see his habitat. If you go around 6:30-7 PM on most nights, he comes out for his feeding and you can see him walking around in his habitat.

LSU Tiger Stadium

The Indian Mounds

LSU Dairy Store

They make their own ice cream….grab a Tiger Bites ice cream..yum! Ice cream here is roughly $2 per scoop for the little kids and it is unbelievably delicious.

Parade Grounds

This is a great place to fly a kite, run remote control cars around, throw a ball, or just let them run around and get out their wiggles. If you want to grab a coffee before you go over there, just look for the Barnes and Nobles on the corner near the parade grounds and grab a cool drink before heading over to the Parade Grounds. There are huge trees that provide massive amounts of shade for parents to cool off and get a break while the littles play. Take a blanket and chill while the kids run around.



Here is a picture to give you a general idea:


To learn more about each of the locations above, visit:






Cost: $0-$10 For The Entire Family Depending On What Supplies You Purchase To Donate

Yes, it’s fun to take the kids out and show them a great time, but summer is also a great time to teach them about giving back and community service. This is one of their favorite activities. They absolutely love giving back. It makes them feel grown up and responsible.

Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge

Call 225 387-0061 To Drop Off At 3949 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Bake a Treat for the Homeless: Bake homemade muffins, cookies, or other goodies at home and drop off at our main office Monday through Thursday for people served through our homeless programs. Great for scout troops, students needing service hours or families with young children. Contact

Make Detergent Bags for our Laundry Center at the Drop-in Center: Great project for young volunteers or students! Portion out single scoops of powdered detergent into zip-top baggies so that the homeless, low-income seniors and veterans can wash their clothes. Dropoffs are accepted Monday through Friday. Contact

Learn more at


Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank:

Volunteer to sort and pack food donations or volunteer with your family to serve at one of their Family Nights. All volunteers must be at least 7 years old. Check their website calendar for availability and sign up on their website.

The kids absolutely love doing this. It is so fun for them to help organize the massive bins of food that they get to work with on Family Nights. They take all of the donations that are on about 15 pallets and they help to pull them out of the boxes and then find the correct bin to place the items in. At the end of the night, the kids get to choose a drink and a bag of candy as a reward for their help. The kids all work together and it is just a great night of community service. Make sure to wear closed toe shoes to protect your feet from pallets and heavy objects moving around.

Call (225) 359-9940 with questions.

10600 South Choctaw, Baton Rouge, LA 70815

Learn more at





Cost: $2-12 For The Entire Family Depending On Whether You Use Backboard Or Rent A Court

Whether you are a seasoned pro, or you simply want to take the kids and let them hit against the backboard (BREC calls it a hitting wall), this can be hours of fun. My kids love and I mean love trying to see how many times that they can hit and return the ball against the wall. It’s great for hand eye coordination and the kids always have a great time doing this.

Just rent the court or backboard for one hour and then go back if they are loving it, which they will. They have snacks, rackets, and more for rent and purchase in the little tennis shop on site here.

$12/Indoor Court Rental Per Hour

$2/Per Hour Hitting Wall/Backboard Use

7505 Independence Blvd.

Baton Rouge, LA 70806


Monday-Thursday from 8 AM- 10 PM

Friday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Learn more at





Cost: $10-$20 For The Entire Family For Supplies (Cups, Lemonade, Etc)

Find a local charitable cause by simply Googling ‘local causes (add your city name). I found this for the Baton Rouge Area:

Call a local business and explain that you would like to set up a lemonade stand to raise money for the cause and pick a date together. It’s good business for them and more traffic for you.

Just grab a folding table, some cups and lemonade and you’re ready to go. Don’t forget to take change (quarters, dimes, dollars, etc) and make a sign with the logo of the cause that you are selling lemonade for by using free sites like and then printing them out at places like Walgreens in full color for just a few dollars. If you want to keep it old school, just grab a Sharpie and hand write your sign. No one will care. It’s all for the cause.

Don’t forget to create an online event and promote it on Facebook so that people know to come out and support the cause. It’s also a great idea to set up a Facebook Fundraiser page for people that may want to donate who are not local to you, but may still want to help.





Cost: $0 For The Entire Family + Groceries If You Purchase Any

Almost all, but check with your local store, Trader Joes hide a stuffed animal on their shelves every day. When your kids find him, they go to the counter and they get a free lollipop. While you are there, enjoy the free samples and pick up some food for a healthy outdoor barbeque with the family. My kids love trying to hunt this little guy down in the store. It’s a good way to distract them while you are trying to shop so that they stay focused and quiet. You’re welcome. 🙂

The local Trader Joes here is at (yes, they do participate in this activity):

Baton Rouge Trader Joes

3535 Perkins Rd

Baton Rouge, LA 70808



8AM – 9PM (Mon-Sun)

Find your local Trader Joes and see if they participate:

You can also print out scavenger hunt forms for so many other places and just make a day out of it. They are all over Pinterest. Here is a good place to find some to print out.

Grocery Store Scavenger Hunts:[]=grocery%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=store%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=scavenger%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=hunt%7Ctyped

Mall Scavenger Hunts:[]=mall%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=scavenger%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=hunt%7Ctyped

Wal Mart Scavenger Hunts:[]=wal%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=mart%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=scavenger%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=hunt%7Ctyped


You just finished reading part 3 of 4. Click here to read Part 4 of 4, which details activities 16-20.

To read the other parts of this post, just click on the links below:

Part 1 (Activities 1-5)

Part 2 (Activities 6-10)

Part 3 (Activities 11-15)

Part 4 (Activities 16-20)

20 Cheap Family Friendly Things To Do In Baton Rouge (6-10)

Here is a continuation of the first post. This is part 2 of 4, which lists activities 6-10.




Screen Shot 2018-06-17 at 4.38.54 PM.png

Cost: $56 For The Entire Family 

This place is seriously hard to beat if you have children ages 6 and under. Older children may enjoy some of the activities, but this place is an all out wonderland for younger children. They have so many pretend zones; car wash, mechanic shop, grocery store and more. They have tons of arts and crafts. There are plenty of places to get their wiggles out with the outdoor picnic area, the inside climbing area, dance zone and so much more. It is a little pricey but it is a very clean facility and you could easily spend the entire day there and not get bored.


Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Thursday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Visitors: $14

Ages 0-12 months: FREE


1900 Dalrymple Drive

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808


call 225-388-3090

Learn More:




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Cost: $20 For The Entire Family + Concession Food 

Grab a ticket for only $5 all day long, every Tuesday at AMC Theatre locations. That’s a steal when you consider normal ticket prices are between $8-$13 a piece. If you join AMC’s free AMC Stubs program, you earn points towards free tickets, drinks and more. They have a premium loyalty plan too, which is $15 per year. If you go to the movies even a few times per year, it’s totally worth it, because you get free upgrades on soda and popcorn and you earn free tickets much more quickly.

When you go on Tuesday, you can ask for the Cameo Combo and grab your movie ticket, a popcorn and a soda for only $10. Good luck beating that deal anywhere.

**Quick tip, when you are looking for a $5 movie, make sure that whatever movie you choose says Digital and not Dolby, Imax 3D or Real 3D. I didn’t know this the first time that I went for $5 Tuesdays and we had chosen a 3D movie time showing. The tickets ended up being $9.50 each. Needless to say, that defeated the purpose of $5 tickets. I just wanted to mention it so that you can avoid this little surprise.

$5 Ticket Tuesdays:

AMC Stubs Loyalty Program:


In Baton Rouge, the local theatres are:

AMC Baton Rouge 16

16040 Hatteras Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70816


AMC Mall Of Louisiana 15

9168 Mall Of Louisiana Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70836


Find Your Local Theatre Here:




Screen Shot 2018-06-17 at 4.42.20 PM

Cost: $10-$? For The Entire Family Depending On Where You Eat

During the summer, food costs go way up. We are always either on the go, or at the house for longer hours because school is not in session. Don’t break the bank. Use these resources to score free or near free meals for the kids and build it into your day. The kids won’t know the difference, but you will when the bill comes. Go out, have fun, save money!

Amazing App To Help You Find Local Deals: **Seriously Amazing App**


Some National Chains Offering Discounts At:


A Few Other People Have Put Together Lists (Some May Be Outdated)


My Personal List

***I update this list regularly, but it’s always wise to call or ask when you arrive to make sure that this deal is still being honored.



Izzo’s Illegal Burrito: Anytime after 4 PM, Kid’s meals are just $.99 cents with the purchase of any adult meal. There is no limit to the number of children that you can purchase meals for. The kid’s meals come with chips and a drink, so it’s a steal! They also have a face painter or a balloon animal artist on site for free, but they don’t usually show up until around 5:30 or 6. If two adults split a medium burrito, chips and the drink, a family of four could bring this whole meal in for less than $15.

TGI Fridays You can find one of these just about everywhere. With every adult entree purchased, you receive one free kid’s meal. Good on Monday and Tuesdays.

Red Robin: Kids 10 and under eat free all day long.



Las Palmas: One free kid’s meal with the purchase of any adult meal anytime after 4PM.

Brewbacher’s Grill has a kid’s night every Tuesday.

Ruby Tuesday  One free kid’s meal You can claim one free kids’ meal with the purchase of an adult entrée from 5PM to close.

TGI Fridays You can find one of these just about everywhere. With every adult entree purchased, you receive one free kid’s meal. Good on Monday and Tuesdays.

Denny’s On Tuesday, from 4 PM-10 PM, kids under 10 eat free.



Buffalo Wild Wings On Wednesday, from 4-10 PM, you can purchase a kid’s meal for only $1.99.

Firehouse Subs All day on Wednesday, for each adult meal purchased, you will receive one free kid’s meal. The deal applies to kids 12 and under.

Gatti Town Every Wednesay, kids 10 and under receive a free buffet meal with the purchase of an adult buffet meal.

Qdoba Grill: Every Sunday and Wednesday kids eat free.



Captain D’s: On Thursdays, you will receive two free kids meals (kids under 12) with each adult entree purchased. **Call before going to see if they are still honoring it.



Piccadilly Kids 6 and under eat free all day long on Friday.

Shoney’s On Fridays, kids 4 and under will receive a free meal with the purchase of an adult meal.


Saturday: None

Steak n’ Shake is a national fast food chain that offers burgers, shakes and more. On Saturdays, kids can order one kids combo for every adult purchase of $9. The $9 cannot include drinks or shakes, just meal items.


Quaker Steak and Lube Every Sunday, from 11AM-3PM, kids under 10 will receive a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entree.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Kids 12 and under receive a free kid’s meal with the purchase of at least $10 in food.

Qdoba Grill: Every Sunday and Wednesday kids eat free.





Cost: $0 For The Entire Family

The library holds so many fond memories for us. We love to go to the library. I always make a deal with my littles when they want a new book. I tell them if they can’t find it at the library, that only then will we go to a bookstore. We haven’t had to go to the bookstore yet. There are so many resources available at the library from computer games and arts and crafts, to summer reading programs with competitions and prizes.

They have several free classes and art project events for children every day of the week, Monday-Friday. It’s a great way to keep them interested in learning all summer long. My kids always check out a ton of books when we go so that they can read and earn points for the Libraries Rock Summer Program. They have reading programs for teens and adults too, which you can view at the link below.

Program For Younger Kids:

You can view their calendar at


Check your local library for specific hours, but these are the general hours for Ascension Parish Libraries or call (225) 647-3955 to ask any questions.

M,W and F 8:30-5:30

T and TH 8:30-8

Saturday 8:30-12

Sunday Closed Except For Gonzales Location, Which Is Open From 2-6


Galvez: 40300 Hwy. 42, Prairieville, LA 70769
(225) 622-3339

Gonzales: 708 South Irma Blvd., Gonzales, LA 70737
(225) 647-3955

Donaldsonville: 500 Mississippi St., Donaldsonville, LA 70346
(225) 473-8052

Dutchtown: 13278 Highway 73 Geismar, LA 70734
(225) 673-8699


Learn more at





Cost: $36 (Includes Skate Rentals) or $24 (If You Own Your Own Skates)

Beat the heat and burn some calories with the kids. Take your own skates or rent them for just $3. The admission price is $6 or $7, depending on the day, but you can stay for the whole 3-hour session, so it’s actually a pretty good deal. We take our own skates and eat before we go, so the whole trip only costs us $18 for the three of us. They will be super tired after this, so it’s a good way to get their energy out on a rainy or super hot day when playing outside is not really ideal.

Skate Galaxy

12828 Jefferson Hwy.

Baton Rouge, LA 70816

(Corner of Old Jefferson & Pecue Lane)

Phone: 225-756-2424

T, Th and Friday 9-12, 1-4, and 7-10

Wednesday 9-12, 1-4

Saturday 11-10 PM

Sunday 1-6PM

$6 to $7 for admission (everyone), depending on the day and $3 for skate rentals daily.

Learn more at:


You just finished reading part 2 of 4. Click here to read Part 3 of 4, which details activities 11-15.

To read the other parts of this post, just click on the links below:

Part 1 (Activities 1-5)

Part 2 (Activities 6-10)

Part 3 (Activities 11-15)

Part 4 (Activities 16-20)

20 Cheap Family Friendly Things To Do In Baton Rouge (1-5)

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.




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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:

Circle Bowl

8878 Florida Blvd

Baton Rouge, LA, 70815-4024

(225) 925-5471


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





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:




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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

*All Free

Address: 3140 N. Sherwood Forest Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70814


Perkins Road Community Park

-Skateboarding Ramps

-Running Track

-BMX Track

*All Of The Above Are Free

-Huge Rock Climbing Wall (*Minimal charge for this.)

Address: 7122 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808


Greenwood Community Park

-Canoe/Kayak/Cruiser Bike Rentals

-Hiking Trail

-Waterfront Restaurant On The Grounds

-Splash Pad

Address: 13350 Hwy. 19, Baker, LA 70714


To learn more about BREC parks, visit





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


$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

Admission Price:

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

Liberty Lagoon:

111 Lobdell Avenue

Baton Rouge, LA 70806


Learn more at:


$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.

Admission Price:

$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:



$17.99 — 48″ and taller

$14.99 — 48″ and under + Seniors

Free — 35″ and under


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.


18142 Perkins Rd E, Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Learn more at Blue Bayou




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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

11436 Highway 190 West

Port Allen, LA

Phone: (225) 627-4574

Learn More At:


You just finished reading part 1 of 4. Click here to read Part 2 of 4, which details activities 6-10.

To read the other parts of this post, just click on the links below:

Part 1 (Activities 1-5)

Part 2 (Activities 6-10)

Part 3 (Activities 11-15)

Part 4 (Activities 16-20)

My Secret Elf On The Shelf Addiction. Help, I Have A Problem

Hey Everyone,

Yes, it’s been like 35 years since I have written a blog post. Ok, not 35 years, but way too many months. If you follow my other social media channels, then you know that I post to them, and my YouTube channel almost daily. I really want to challenge myself to get back into blogging, because there is something about the written word that just reaches people and clarifies my soul like no Instagram post ever can.

I was posting my Elf on the Shelf ideas to my personal Facebook account, when a friend of mine (thanks Tracy) suggested that I should blog these ideas, because she had not seen anything like them before. If I may be so bold, she even used the word ‘Innovative’. 🙂

Anywho, it must be fate or something, because I have really been itching to blog lately, so here we go.

Let me start off by saying that up until about 2 weeks ago, I was (everybody hold onto their seats) genuinely irritated when I heard people talking about the whole Elf on the Shelf thing. Why? Simple. I am a bad person :-). Alright, no, that’s not true. It’s because I really didn’t understand what it was, and I kind of thought it was a little creepy.

Two weeks ago, as I was picking up my son from day care, he showed me his Elf at school, and asked when ours was going to arrive. Never one to take the last open seat on a bandwagon, I said, “Um, I will have to text Santa and find out.” After the kids went to bed that night, I looked up the general idea of the Elf kind of policing children for Santa, and by extension for me, and thought, “Yeah, I’ll give that a spin.” Oh, don’t judge, you know how this ends…with me spending $30 on a somewhat creepy little elf like millions of other parents.

I went to Walmart, then Target, to try to purchase this little North Pole Narc, and they genuinely laughed at me. They were like, “those things have BEEN sold out.” Ok, well, excuse me for not knowing that the freakin’ Elf was #trending. 🙂

Moving on. In comes my personal favy favorton With the click of a button, my own little personal Elf was on it’s way from the North Pole…Ok, yes, I know it’s from the Birmingham, Alabama Amazon fulfillment center, but go with me here. We are dealing in suspended reality.

He arrives. The kids go through a slew of names from Stinky and Jingles, to Flake and finally circle the wagons back around to Chippy. Yeah, super original, I know. 🙂 Cut them a break, what they lacked in originality for naming our Elf, they make up for in creative ways to destroy their bedrooms, so I guess it all evens out.

The first night, I read them the story, and explained the rules, at which time I was promptly informed that, “Everybody knows that stuff mommy.” Oh, my bad for missing Elf 101 at the local community college. Geez, where’s the magic anymore?

After I put the kids to bed, I had two choices; 1. Hit up Pinterest for ideas. 2. Search my own brain for crazy stuff and see what falls out. Of course, you know I chose option 2, because I feel like I need to make everything in my life vastly more difficult than it actually needs to be :-).

The first night, I wasn’t feeling that adventurous yet, so I stuck him in the cookie display, and positioned him like he was holding a cookie and got stuck in there.

Night 1: Chippy Got Caught With More Than Just His Hand In The Cookie Jar.

Originality Score: I don’t really know, but I am assuming it’s somewhere near a 1, on a 1 to 10, 10 high scale.

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Elf In A Cookie Jar

The kids freaked out. They loved it. They were yelling at him about stealing their cookies, and laughing that he got caught. They of course overlooked the most obvious question…How Did That Elf Escape From His Packaging Without Mommy Touching Him? Ah, the magic that is Elf. 🙂

Night 2: Elves Need To Netflix and Chill Too

Originality Score: I think I was probably tickling like a 3 here, maybe.

Night two. I am starting to feel a little more like I can actually do this. I was studying while sitting on the couch, and I thought, man, I would really just love to Netflix and Chill right now. Then it hit me, Elves work hard too. Those little guys deserve to kick it on the couch in their fat pants too, and so this next idea was born. I staged him with an empty soda, and a half eaten popcorn bucket. I crushed up some Oreos and Cheese balls and sprinkled them around him. I added a remote for good measure, on account of it being somewhat difficult to Netflix and Chill without Netflix. Sure, he could have watched it on his iPad, but we decided to go old school, and use a real TV.


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This Elf Needs To Netflix and Chill

The kids were sold! This one really made them think this little guy was for real. The crumbs were the real hero of this set up, or as I like to call them, The Elf Question Closer. There was no doubt left for the kids, this little dude was up and about in our house while they were asleep. They said, “he must have been so tired from flying to the North Pole and back.” Yup, mommy win!

Night 3. Elf with OCD

Originality Score: I feel like this one pushed me over a solid 5. If not, please allow me to exist in my own delusion. Thank you very much. Hey, not everyone’s work is appreciated during their lifetime, ok?

So the kids had gone to bed. I was sooo tired that night. I was unplugging the Christmas Tree, you know, because I don’t want to burn my house down and all. Yes, I have a real tree…GASP! I digress. I accidentally knocked a candy cane off of the tree, (clutz) and it hit me like a 2 x 4 between the eyes. Let’s get Chippy to try to fix the broken candy canes. Oh yeah baby, it’s show time.

I go into the garage and grab every kind of glue that I can find; Elmer’s glue, glue gun, Shoe Goo, Gem Tac, yup that’s it. I fooled you with that last statement, huh? I made it sound like it would be like 20 different kinds of glue. Seriously, I was just using a little puffery. Maybe you should lower your standards a little. Who the heck has 20 different kinds of glue?

Aluminum foil in hand, I set Chippy up on the back of the glue gun and touched the gun to the cane. Of course, I had to break a few more candy canes to really sell it, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Whack! Sorry little candy canes, it’s all for the cause.

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Elf with OCD Fixing Candy

The kids were particularly fond of this one. They said, “Man, Santa must really get angry when the Elves break candy canes, huh?” I’m thinking, “You better hope so, or our little elf Chippy has a wicked bad case of OCD. Let it go Chippy, it’s a candy cane. You can buy a whole box for a dollar at Walmart.”

Night 4. Time to Get Shredded Little Dude

Originality Score: I am definitely somewhere near a 6 or 7, but not yet at Innovative.

Ok Elf, If you’re going to stay, then you gotta stop eating that garbage and get fit! We don’t play around about fitness in this house, and I think that Chippy the Elf was feeling like he may have overdone it on his cheat meal of Oreos and Cheeseballs. As I was getting my own gym bag packed for the next day, I thought that maybe Chippy could get in on my bodybuilding action.

He really went ham and decided to lift 200 marshpounds, but hey, Go Big or Go Back to the North Pole, right? I set him up with my Beats headphones, some BCAA powder and a polka dot straw with two large marshmallows. Side note; it is super frustrating when you are trying to complete your evil Elf plan and you can not find the Sharpie, again! Why kids? Why must you constantly take Mommy’s one marker, when you have an entire basket of crayons and markers? Ugggghhh. I showed them. I went into my daughter’s room and took one of her markers to finish this set up. Nanny, nanny boo boo. My marker! 🙂

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Elf Getting Shredded

The kids literally dragged me out of bed at 5:10 in the morning to show me that Chippy was messing around with my gym stuff. Some parents have golf clubs, dishes, or electronics that you don’t touch. I have BCAA’s, protein bars, and Beats headphones that are punishable by death. 🙂

They said, “Oh Mommy, since Chippy has your headphones, I guess you can’t go to the gym today.” My face went blank. How had I not considered this outcome? Don’t freak out. I’m freaking out. I calmly said, “It’s cool, mommy has another set of headphones in my gym bag, so I’ll just use those.” Translation, once you are buckled into the car, I will say that I forgot my lip gloss and make a mad dash to separate Chippy from MY headphones. Bad elf!

Last Night. Night 5: Twisted Elf With Weight Issues

Originality Score: This is the one that pushes me over a 9, and may even qualify as Innovative. Hey, relax, I said may.

Alright, as you can clearly see if you have read the post to this part, I may be a little too invested in this Elf situation. Pump your brakes their Judgemental Jenny, you may want to find a mirror, because you’re the one who read all of this. We may just be in this Elf thing together. 🙂

All of that said, when you are this far down the rabbit hole, who knows what you will find, so of course, I keep digging.

I have to attend an event next week, and I have to wear a dress that is very elegant, but in no way forgiving. Though I work out like a crazy person and am super careful what I eat, I think this dress is going to give me nightmares. I keep trying it on thinking that it will fit differently next week, and yet, same result. Hey Oreos and Red Wine, you’re up. I quit :-).

I decided to make the Elf the living embodiment of my struggle. I went to my daughter’s room to pull a dress off of one of her Barbies to complete the look. Sidebar for a second: Remember when dolls had dresses that came off? I had to go through 5 dolls to find one where the top of the dress wasn’t permanently affixed to her body. Who are we kidding here? What Barbie wants to wear the same dress, day in and day out. Who is making these dolls?????

Alas, I found one. My victim was to be none other than, Cinderalla. Naked doll in hand, I tossed her back in the bin and went looking for her shoes. Why can’t those things be glued on? Oh, there you are shoe, in the VERY LAST bin that I looked in. The Barbie Gods are against me, but I will prevail!

I grabbed my scale, an empty wine bottle (give me a break, who doesn’t keep empty wine bottles lying around their house), some Oreos, the shoes, and a tissue. I propped Chippy up, with his butt not able to fit in the dress. Let’s overlook for a moment that he was even trying to put a dress on in the first place :-).

He clearly tried to fit into the dress, which he could not (no comment), probably because of his Oreo and Cheeseball binge from the night before. Sure, blame it on the water weight Chippy. We feel you. He weighed himself, saw the nasty cold hard number staring back at him from the scale, and decided to cry himself to sleep after drinking wine and eating more Oreos. Yeah Chippy, that’s the way to solve that problem. You show those Oreos who’s boss!

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Elf With Weight Issues

I snapped the picture of Chippy with the wine bottle for you guys, but I don’t think leaving that out for the littles would have won me the Mother of the Year award, so I did the responsible thing. I pitched it into the trash can with reckless abandon and almost woke up the kids. Way to go Mom!

The kids were laughing so hard at this in the morning. They were like, “Oh Chippy, you can’t fit it the dress because you ate too many Oreos little buddy.” I wasn’t sure that they would understand the set up, but they totally did.

Again, I was really not thinking ahead on this one, because I left him in the middle of the kitchen. Elf:2 Mom: 0. Now I have to tap dance around this Calorie Crime Scene until the kids go to bed tonight.

If you want to know what other crazy ideas that I come up with, I put these pictures on a Pinterest Board for you. I will add a new one each morning. I don’t promise that they will all be ‘innovative’, but I may have 4 or 5 more slam dunks rattling around up there.

I just wanted to say another thank you to Tracy for taking the time to not just click like, but to encourage me to get blogging again. I forgot how much fun this is. I am usually sitting here laughing while I am writing, and hope it brings a smile to your day.