Okay, I will admit it, I am absolutely beat! Frugal living sure can be tiring! I always try to find some great frugal fun for my three boys every weekend, and today I had some fantastic frugal family fun planned. My husband dropped us off at 9 a.m. at a local marina, where we watched young and old build cardboard boats. I had no idea what to expect, but it was a lot of fun.
The boats were actually life size cardboard boats, row boats, canoes, kayaks and all of these creative people actually intended on taking them out for a sail. We found out that the actual race did not start until 1 p.m., but we were told to go grab some breakfast. Breakfast…free breakfast! My sons heard the word donuts, and they were sold on the idea. So yes, we went to get free donuts and orange juice, and I made a couple of bagels with cream cheese for an early lunch. As we were about to leave the breakfast area, we were told to make sure to return for hot dogs at lunch.
After our breakfast by the waterfront, we went around and looked at the creative people constructing and painting, and there were a few of them that definitely did not look like they would last very long if at all.
Since we were there early, we went over to a neighboring playground (Playground #1), where my boys had a blast as always.
There were a lot of little kids there, and after a while I thought my boys were getting a bit too loud, so we decided to head across the bridge to the beach.
Everyone seemed extremely chatty today, and it took us quite a while to make it to the playground, but I had some very interesting conversations with both locals and tourists. I had a very interesting conversation with a local hotel owner, who is selling is small hotel.
I am afraid that the beach area is going to turn into sky-rises only, which will completely destroy the charm. Which do you prefer gray, big and ugly, or small, pretty and pink?
While the kids were wearing their boardshorts/swim pants in preparation for any waterplay area, as we have lots of these around here, we did not go in the water. It was a bit windy, and while the waves were not big, we decided to stay mostly on the playground in the shade. We spent about 30 minutes on the beach playground (Playground #2).
My boys quickly find friends these days, and my little one loves being let loose. It is quite a challenge keeping an eye on all three of them though, so there is not one second of relaxation for me. As a frugal mom I of course had to scout for the free papers with coupons in them, and I managed to grab a few.
As noon approached the sun was high in the school, and we headed back toward the marina. My four-year-old loves hot dogs, so he made sure to remind me about the free hot dogs. When we returned to the cardboard boat construction site, the teams were putting the final touches on their boats, and all of them were extremely impressive.
We headed for our free lunch, were we chatted with some locals and enjoyed some wonderful company. After lunch the race was about to begin and we attempted to find a place in the shade, not too close to the edge of the water.
The first boat came out, and I was amazed to see that it actually sailed. Quite a few boats went under relatively quickly, but there were also some that sailed with an amazing speed as if it was a regular boat. Everything was very entertaining, extremely impressive and inspiring, and everyone were having a fantastic time.
Some were more successful…
The Dragon Racer actually made it from start to finish as the first cardboard boat, and look at how great the boat looked after it was pulled out of the water.
We did not stay to the finish, as there were probably 30 – 50 boats lined up, and we were baking in the Florida sun. Instead we started walking toward the downtown area, admiring the fabulous houses, Halloween decorations and more. On our way we stopped at a small neighborhood playground (Playground #3) for a water break.
When we got downtown, we went to Publix to scout for the great Lactaid $2 coupons, but they were nowhere to be found. The boys got themselves a cookie each, and I discovered a few deals that I was going to pick up later.
We then went to the downtown playground (Playground #4) to wait for my husband. What was supposed to be 20 minutes, soon turned into an hour, and when I overheard my four-year-old repeat something another boy said (something no little boys should say), I knew it was time to move on.
We had a little conversation about choosing our playmates wisely and about not copying bad behavior, and my little one was very aware that he was saying something that was inappropriate. My husband was still stuck in his meeting, so we continued further downtown to a small playground with less crowds and a bit of shade (Playground #5).
We probably spent 20 minutes there, befpre my husband finally showed up. Then it was time for a quick Publix run as I had found a few coupons I needed among those free papers I picked up at the beach.
We reached home at 5 p.m., where it was time for showers and dinner. It was a fabulous day with lots of frugal family fun, some great exercise and the only money we spent was $13 at Publix. The boys had a great time, and I am exhausted, but it was so worth it.
When was the last time you had some great frugal family fun?
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