Jun 102013

Summer vacation

Today was my kids’ first official first day of summer vacation, and we started out with a bang…frugal style.

Due to some very impressive grades we started out at Chuck E Cheese, a place we only go once or twice a year. The kids were excited, and I managed to save a few cents by using a coupon. Not much, but this was a special treat to reward the fantastic grades. Instead of eating at Chuck E Cheese, we went by a nearby Taco Bell, where we walked through the Drive Thru due to construction inside. This sure was a highlight of the day, and although the kids were a bit taken aback by the invitation to take the stroller through the drive thru, they sure felt special afterwards.

We had brought our own drinks, so we walked to a nearby college, where we had a “Taco Bell” picnic on the playground. The kids played, the  baby and I stayed in the shade – everyone were happy. When we had enough sun and fun on the playground, we continued on to the college library, where we signed the three boys up for this year’s summer vacation reading program. The kids get prizes, each time they have read a certain amount of minutes, and they also receive several entries into a big drawing of fun prizes at the end of the summer. One year, we won four tickets to see a Miami Dolphin game, and the kids will never forget this special reading prize.

We picked out books to take home for some summer reading including Goosebumps, Magic Tree House, a few Newbury Medal books, a shark book plus some dvds about sharks, the ocean and astronomy.

Then it was time for a magic show, because the library had a fantastic magician come in for about an hour. The kids were thrilled, my empty wallet was thrilled, and they were especially amazed by the brown rabbit which magically appeared out of a pot full of fire.

My highlight of the show was watching how a couple of tween girls moved closer and closer to my tween son, who is amazingly unaware of his good looks. I kept on thinking, how did this happen? When did this start? But, yes…it has begun. By the end of the show, the giggling girls were sitting right next to my son, who still was completely oblivious to the fact that he was the center of their attention.

After the magic show, the boys requested a trip to a nearby lake, and so we went. We bypassed the many vending machines on campus, and instead I pulled out some cheap snacks and a couple of bottles of our frozen water, which was deliciously ice cold. We found a bench in the shade, where the kids could study the turtles and other wildlife.

Finally, we played a game of Periodic Table at the college, where I attempted to pass on a bit of my knowledge of the elements. The college has a great huge periodic table in stone, and I sure plan on incorporating it into our studies although I am not a fan…

After returning home the kids did their reading for the day, before we started out a Goosebunp marathon with sweet affordable popsicles.

Summer vacation has begun, and our kids are looking forward to a fun time with days at the beach, the pool and wherever else we can find some free or frugal fun.


Did your kids start summer vacation yet? What fun and frugal stuff do you have planned?


  6 Responses to “A Frugal First Day of Summer Vacation”

  1. It sounds like you guys had a great start. This is my son’s third week of summer vacation, and we’ve been pretty busy so far, too. We are actually supposed to be having a planned slower week this week, so we’ll see whether that actually happens or not. We aren’t doing much school work this week, since I took the last two weeks to kind of see where he was, on different things, and am now making more definitive plans for the next month or so.

    We’ve been to a bunch of yard sales, the zoo 2 times, and three different parks. We also bought a basketball goal, and are just about done setting up the pool for the summer (it’s 14 ft by 42 inches and round). So we have been pretty busy. Elliott and I are signed up for the summer reading program here as well.

    • Carla that pool sure sounds like a dream:) We would love to have one that big (or bigger), but our backyard just isn’t big enough…so thankfully we have the YMCA to go to a few times a week.
      Are you still thinking about homeschooling for next year?

      • The pool should pay for itself here fairly quickly here, since we don’t have a public one close by.

        We aren’t going to make a decision on whether or not to homeschool Elliott next year until next month. He’s doing really well with the stuff we’ve done so far, and he really enjoys being able to go at his own (much faster) pace.

        Even if he does go to public school next year, I’m pretty sure we will continue to work on a foreign language after school at least twice a week, and possibly continue with some of the other things that he really likes as well.

  2. love love love library and summer reading we are participating again this year as well. Sounds like you all had an awesome day as well

  3. I love this picture! Sounds like you had a wonderful (and eye opening) day. Libraries are wonderful places!

  4. It sounds like the perfect start to summer vacation! My kiddos got out of school on June 6th. We sat down together a few days ago and made a summer bucket list… that I shared on my blog! 🙂

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