Sorry I’m Late
Sorry, I’ve been lazy, so here’s a post that has been building up in my file folder for two months now and I just haven’t gotten around to publishing it. I have however, gotten enough emails from readers asking “why haven’t you posted any of the free weekend activities that you guys do?” to let me know that I’m slacking.
I also didn’t realize that so many of you were using my free weekend activities to spark ideas for your own family, so I apologize for being so delayed. If there is any advice that I can give you, it’s to go to your local library, recreation center, and park district office and get the informational booklets that nearly every town publishes on a quarterly basis. The booklet should detail all the events and festivals that will be going on in your area, and most should have the costs listed with the event time information.
Because I have absolutely no money for entertainment and yet I don’t want my kids to miss out on their entire childhood, I go through the book and put all the free activities right into my calender so that I can plan ahead for the ones we want to attend.
ANYWAY, I figured this extended holiday weekend would be the perfect time to drop this post’s enormity on you because some of you might have a little extra time to get through it all! So jumping back to the end of September and moving forward, here is what has been keeping us busy, free and otherwise.
Even though I’m a summer girl at heart, there is something undeniably awesome about living near so much farmland during the Fall season. I can say with total honesty that during pumpkin season we spent every single weekend at one of the neighboring farms.
One Saturday a rather expensive farm near our house had one Free Day, and my friend and I made sure we had it down on our calender’s months in advance. We all had a blast and spent a solid 8 hours there!
It’s crazy to me that everywhere you go these days you encounter inflatables, even on a farm.
The Boy Child went to his first (children’s) haunted house. This picture was taken about 2 milliseconds before he encountered a monster statue and lost his ever loving mind. I had to carry-run his trembling, tearful, little self out of there — where he then he proceeded to cry for the next 20 minutes. Poor guy!
His sister on the other hand, was thrilled that Elsa and her crew made an appearance. Only where I live is no one phased by the fact that there is a singing snowman on a farm.
Since we didn’t have the funds to spend on the farm’s over-priced concession offerings, I call this rural tailgating.
Besides the moment where The Girl Child got hit in the face and two of her (baby) teeth fell out (yikes!!), we all had a great time, and after we washed 30lbs of dust out of our hair, we slept like rocks!
Actually, The Boy Child started to fall asleep while we were still at the farm…but I won’t hold it against him.
They even had a funky little folk band that taught the kids how to play some “instruments.”
I know, right?
Surprisingly though, that wasn’t even the highlight of my day. Oh no, that came when we rode the Peter Rabbit hayride. By “hayride” I mean we rode a tractor that traveled at a speed I did not even know was possible. I held onto the kids for dear life while the kids did exactly what they were instructed to do and threw hay at “Peter Rabbit,” which was actually a golf cart. We, on the tractor, chased Peter Rabbit all over the grounds. When Peter got to close to the garden, the tractor we were on would zip up behind him and we were supposed to throw hay at him. At one point “Peter” stopped, shook his tail at us, and then we all nearly fell off the tractor when the tractor driver put the pedal to the metal and tried to run over Peter’s taunting ass.
The absurdity of the situation was not lost on the adults, which was obvious by the fact that we were laughing significantly louder than the kids. When the ride was over I asked the drivers at what drunken party did they come up with that idea and they just locked eyes with each other and laughed.
I then asked to take their picture and they were kinda stoked.
Six days later it dropped 30 degrees and we spent a very cold afternoon with my nonprofit board member friend and her daughter, at yet another… wait for it…. farm.
We sure are original with our forms of entertainment aren’t we? I can’t help it, they are on every corner! And they are free! I like free!
But anyway, my nonprofit friend and our kids froze our asses off while doing this at a farm that has no entrance fee at all (neither of us were sure how they make any money):
(Check your local YMCA. Since they are a nonprofit they are required to spend a certain amount of their budget on charitable activities, and most do that by way of offering free/reduced memberships/classes to low income families)
We had so much fun there, that a couple weeks later he took me to another one.
And… maybe even another one after that …
Basically we did them all and it was AWESOME.
Upon further inspection, Henry was (praise the Lord) not dead, but he was most definitely not well. I did the only think I could think of doing and emailed my editor at The Small Animal Channel and asked for her advice. She routed me to Claudie over at Westchester Rescued Hamster Haven, who emailed me right back. Before I knew it I was taking Henry to the exotic pet vet, courtesy of Claudie and her amazing organization.
Henry needed a strong round of antibiotics and thankfully he is doing well. Laugh all you want over the fact that I took a hamster to the vet (and then gave him medication 3x’s a day for 2 weeks), but even in hamster years Henry was still a baby and after all he has done for us, we were not ready to lose him!
When he was feeling better the kids wanted to make sure that he got in on the Halloween festivities, so we decorated his cage.
And then just for kicks and giggles we painted little Halloween houses that I found at the dollar section in Target.
(Here’s a tip for those of you who are in similar financial situations as me, I bought my kids costumes online in August, The Boy Child’s for $11 and The Girl Child’s for $4. It was close enough to Halloween for the kids to have an idea of what they wanted to be, but it was far enough away from Halloween that the costumes were still marked as a seasonal clearance item from last year.)
My friend and The Boy Child