Month: March 2017

Free or discount places for kids in the Twin Cities

I am always looking for new places to take the kiddos on a weekend or during any of the many breaks in the school year. We don’t’ have a lot of money to spend on entertainment, so I must search for places the whole family can go on the cheap or even better, for free!!! Lucky for you, I have put together a list of some of these places in the Twin Cities, MN. Although, I’m sure that many other cities in America may have some of the same type of deals. This list can at least give you an idea of where to start.

Some of these deals are only available to low income families and some of them are available to everyone. Being from a low income background, it has been awesome to be able to take my kids somewhere that they may never have experienced had it not been for these programs. And I am forever grateful for that.

Free or Discount places to visit

  1. Science Museum of Minnesota– The science museum has a discounted program for low income families to visit the museum and omnitheater at an awesome discounted rate. All you must do is show your EBT card, WIC folder or other documentation at the box office and ask for the low income discount. You will have to pay for parking in the ramp though and it varies depending how long you stay. Click here for more info.
  2. Children’s Museum of Minnesota– Another awesome discount program for low income individuals. You do have to fill out an application and submit supporting documentation. Once you do though, you will have membership for an entire year for free for the entire family! They also have Target Sundays, where the whole museum is free to everyone on the 3rd Sunday of every month. When visiting the location in St. Paul, you will have to pay for parking.
  3. Children’s Theater in Minneapolis– This is a low income program that you will have to fill out an application, but you can do it online. Once approved, you will receive a login. Periodically, as new plays are showing, you will receive an email from the theater. This will give you a chance to purchase ACT passes for $5.00 per person. You login through the email to purchase your tickets. This a great program to see plays that would otherwise cost my family a fortune! Click Here
  4. Como Zoo– Free for everyone!!! And you don’t even have to pay for parking!!! Although, they do ask for a donation if possible. I always like to try to give at least $1 for each of us when we go, which would be $7. But if we’re low on cash that week, we can still enjoy all of the animals for free! Plus parking is free too!
  5. Minnesota Zoo– The Minnesota Zoo has a program for low income individuals as well. You just need to show your WIC folder or EBT card at the window and you can get in for free!!!! You do have to pay for parking, which was $7 last time we went.
  6. Walker Art Center– While youth under 18 years old are always free, adults are $14 each. Which isn’t too bad of a price for this museum located near downtown Minneapolis. But if you just can’t afford it, you can wait until Thursdays between 5-9pm, where admission is free or the first Saturday of every month, admission is free all day!
  7. Weisman Art museum– You know that really awesome looking building that looks like a big metal castle on the Mississippi river? That’s the Weisman Museum! Admission is always free for everyone!!
  8. Choo Choo Bobs Train Store– Located in St. Paul, this little train store has daily story time and special days and events often. While I have never taken the kids there myself, I have only heard good things about this place.
  9. Parks, Lakes and Trails- These are always free and so much fun to go exploring with your kids. The kids often just want a new set of scenery, even if the playground equipment is pretty close to the same thing! The twin cities has tons of parks and trails to check out. Also, check your city Park and Recreation website. There are so many free events that take place in the parks, especially in the summer!
  10. Community Centers- The community centers and parks often have free or way cheap activities and programs the kids can do. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your little ones new interest (or they just are always changing their interest), check out the community centers and parks for available programs. Ours has really cheap swim lessons and dance classes!
  11. Lowes– This department store has free monthly workshops for kids! At Lowe’s Build and Grow,  they will build anything from bird feeders to planters! Check your local store to see about dates and times. Seating might be limited and you may have to pre register online.
  12. Humane Society and Rescue groups- These are always great places to take the kids to hang out. Who doesn’t love looking at adorable puppies and kittens??? Just be sure to let the kids know ahead of time if your not planning on bringing a furry kid home today.
  13. Riverview Theater– located in south Minneapolis, this awesome theater only costs $3 a ticket! They only have one screen and tend to get the newest movies a little later on. But if you want to see something on the big screen, but can’t afford the big theaters crazy prices, this is the place to go!
  14. Heart of the Beast– This is an amazing puppet theater located in South Minneapolis. They have Main production performances that are pretty cheap (around $15 per ticket). Also, they have kids puppet shows on Saturdays. These are only $7 per person, $2 if you live in the Phillips or Powderhorn neighborhoods. They also have workshops for kids on Saturdays that are only $5 for kids, $3 for adults.
  15. Local Community Gardens- If you check your city and/or neighborhood website, often there are community gardens that you can sign up for a spot for around $25 a season. This is a great learning opportunity for the kids to know where their food comes from and to help in the growing of it!. Also, many have volunteer opportunities for the family as well.

Hope this list will help you and the kids get out of the house and on an adventure!! This is just a small list that I will add to as I find more free and discount deals to share with you all.

 

Top 6 reasons your kids should have chores

Why kids should have chores

As parents we always want the best for our kids. We try to do everything we can to make sure they are growing up in a way that will help them be awesome adults someday. We want them to be happy and have everything they could possibly need or want in life. As babies, we must cater to their every need. They are helpless and we must make sure that they are comfortable and have everything they need. But as our children grow, they are able to do more and more things for themselves. They are becoming individual little human beings. And it is our job as parents to give our children the skills they need to go out into the world self-sufficient and able to take it on. I see chores as a way to prepare our children to become young adults.

You wouldn’t say your 9-year-old is helpless, would you?

So why do so many of us let them go through life without doing chores and contributing to the household?

Top 6 reasons why you should give your kids chores:

Chores give children precious skills they will need to survive by themselves.

We all want our children to leave our home one day ready for their life as an adult. But how are they going to know how to do the basics in life like, dishes, washing a load of laundry, sweeping and mopping the floor or mowing the lawn, if we never show them how to do it? When I was a shift manager in college for a local restaurant, I had 16 year olds come to work not knowing how to use a broom and mop! Now I’m suppose to teach them??!! I can only imagine what their first apartment will look like! Unless, you really want to clean your child’s house and do their laundry when they are 24 years old, a few chores now will show them how to do these things themselves.

It boosts self-esteem

Children want to be able to do things on their own. They want to feel grown up. By giving your child chores, you help to build their self-esteem, by giving them a reason to feel proud. When they complete a chore and you are proud of them, they will be proud of themselves.

It shows them to be responsible and helps with time management.

Giving kids chores will help them learn responsibility. Children need to learn that they must do things for themselves in order for them to happen. By having them do chores they learn that mom and dad will not always be there and they will have to one day do these things themselves or they just wont get done. It also helps with teaching time management. By setting a time for your child to have their chores done by, it shows them how to manage their time in order to do all the things they need to do. This is huge in the real world.

It gives them a sense of what hard work and accomplishment is.

Children feel a sense of accomplishment when they do something all by themselves, without the help of an adult. Doing chores shows them that working hard will pay off. We want our children to know that nothing is handed to them in the world and you have to work hard in order to have the things we want.

It shows them that the world isn’t all about them and they must help to make their home what they want it to be.

Doing chores will help them to learn that we sometimes have to do things we don’t want to do, in order to make our lives the best they can be. That the whole family will benefit from the things they do. It will help them to take pride in their things by taking care of them.

It helps them feel more connected to the family unit

Giving our children chores isn’t about being mean or making them do what we don’t want to. (Although, they will say you are mean many times when making them do their chores!) It is about being a part of a family and helping that family be all it can be. When the parents can spend less time doing household chores, that means more time to spend doing fun things with the kids.

 

I think one of the greatest things you can do for your kids is to give them chores. Although, they won’t think so. And sometimes it is just plain painful to watch them struggle doing something for 20 minutes that you could have just done yourself in 5. We cannot hold their hands and coddle them for the rest of their lives. They will soon turn into young adults and leave our homes. I think giving them some chores now will prepare them to do just that.