People often ask me, “How can I have really fun times with my family on a budget?”
This past weekend, I had such an amazing frugal family adventure with my son and daughter (hubby was working), that I decided to share our itinerary with you.
- 7 a.m.- Left for our adventure with a fully packed picnic basket and plenty of water after having a good breakfast. This saved us a ton of money as we needed to have lunch and dinner on the road.
- 8 a.m. – We attended a secret dance rehearsal in the Aquarium under Santa Monica Pier for a Heal the Bay awareness Flash Mob. (A flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse.) This flash mob was organized by Flash Mob America. Cost: gas only because parking was free.
- 11 a.m. – We hung out with my family on the Santa Monica Pier waiting to act out what we practiced at the Flash Mob rehearsal.
- 11:30 a.m. – Music starts to play from the roof of a building on the pier. Dancers, including my daughter and me, start to appear out of nowhere. We dance and create joy on the pier. My son took pictures and got to be part of the crowd.
- Noon – We arrive at Venice Peace Center in anticipation of Swap-o-rama-rama. We are early, so my son and I go to the Venice mini-ramp skatepark. I have an opportunity to meet Heidi Lemmon, the incredible Executive Director of the Skate Park Association of the United States of America and enjoy watching my son skateboarding. Cost: free
- 1 p.m. – We attend Swap-o-rama-rama, where for $5 and a bag of clothes to swap we came home with a bag of new and used clothes. With the help of a highly experienced designer we turned our swap finds into a re-purposed smock. We walked away with new duds plus lots of cool new creative ideas for turning our old clothes into new clothes. The Swap-o-rama-rama is such a creative environment that I get very inspired as an artist. Well worth the cost: $5 each, $15 total.
- Until 9 p.m. – We hung out in Venice, skating and people watching at the new Venice Beach skatepark. Cost: free
- 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Helped my teenage daughter and her friend run a face painting booth at the farmer’s market. (Yes, they are available for parties.) I got to hang out with them, buy locally produced organic veggies and eggs from free range chickens, met people and listened to a great swing band. We make sure we ate breakfast and took our packed picnic basket and water with us. Cost: 10% of what the girls made plus a few groceries (which I was going to buy anyway as part of my weekly food budget.)
- 6:30 p.m. – Curtain call for the Broadway national tour of “Phantom of the Opera.” We sat in the last row and had our own binoculars and brought a bottle of water. Cost: $40 per ticket, $80 total. No parking because my (non-opera going) son dropped us off and picked us up.
What did we get for our money? A truly unique family weekend that will give us a lifetime of fabulous memories. And it only cost us $95 and gas money.
Have you had an amazing frugal family adventure?