Cheap & Easy Summer Fun

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Summer fun and frugality go together like peas and carrots, or maybe more accurately, like the ice-cream man and the delightful chiming of a bell. So now that summer has officially set in, (we assume you’ve set up at least one sprinkler or slip and slide in your yard) here are some cheap and quick summer activities the whole family can hit up before school starts again – without venturing out on an hours long road trip.

Stay-cations: For starters, turn your own front yard into a child’s paradise. A bucket of water balloons, a sprinkler, and some popsicles will turn your backyard into an oasis on those last sweltering summer days.

A stay-cation in your own home also includes the age old art of a lemonade stand. Switch it up by selling cookies and freeze-pops (especially for all of those hard working construction workers repairing roofs after our spring storms). Turn it into a financial lesson by helping kids save and budget their profits, or encourage them to donate money to a local cause. They could even invest in some inexpensive stocks to see their money grow!

Another incredibly close vacation destination right here in Nebraska includes the Coco Keys Water Resort in Omaha, which just so happens to be kid and adult friendly. You could also skip the stress of swimsuits and sunscreen and drive up to Omaha for a restaurant you don’t have access to in your home town. Don’t be afraid of the chain restaurants, we all know there’s nothing like wearing a plastic bib at Joe’s Crab Shack or indulging in the luscious cheesecake at the Cheesecake factory.

Like the idea of an ever quicker Omaha drive? Stop at the Gretna outlets, newly renovated and full of every guilty apparel pleasure you can imagine – and at outlet prices!

Along the way, there are state parks like Mahoney, which includes an amazing restaurant. On your way home, swing by the Izaak Walton, which offers a plethora of fun and safe activities for kids interested in being outdoorsmen. Catch and release fishing, (for kids only) is a great activity. Youth trap shooting is also available at a nominal fee. http://lincolnikes.com/

Indoor Fun: As temperatures increase, consider fun indoor activities. A baking soda vinegar volcano is a foolproof science experiment. Or, use those culinary skills to create some homemade ice cream: http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Easy-Homemade-Ice-Cream-Bag-23928188

Finally, you don’t always have to indulge your sweet tooth to get some quality time in the kitchen. Try this potato starch experiment to create some mesmerizing goo, that while a tad bit messy, can provide a great sensory project with not a whole lot of effort: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0J4dRqg7CE Magic mud turns any “I’m bored” afternoon into pure enchantment.

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