What To Do? What To Do?

Hello, all! I was sitting at the computer tonight and thinking how much I’d really like to be /doing/ something. Anything! I could watch a movie I stored in my Netflix queue. I could just surf the web. I could wait for someone to talk to me, or start up a conversation with someone on a social website. But I’d really rather be doing something more active with other people. Board games aren’t an option right now. Our hosts are out or asleep so I wouldn’t know wear to look for them and I don’t dig. It’s a point of honor, I guess. Two of my kids are watching an Avatar marathon (the /real/ Avatar, btw, and not the fake one with blue people). My youngest is watching an anime (Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple). My husband is surfing the web/using his tweetdeck. And I sit here, blogging. *shrugs* Ah, well. We can’t always get what we want, eh?

So, what do you, my awesome readers, do for fun that doesn’t cost money? What’s your favorite game or hobby? What’s your favorite place to go for a relaxing time or valuable conversation with your spouse/date? Try to give answers that are great for a tight budget. I can’t wait to see how many folks give an answer. And please do keep it kid friendly. My kiddos are sometimes hovering under my elbows… 😉

Here are my top ten ideas for fun, inexpensive things to do with my family. The first 5 will be family activities. The last 5 will be date night activities.

1. The Zoo-Our whole family loves the zoo. The only downside is if the zoo is big or in a town that gets most of its income from tourism. We usually look for smaller zoos. Those are best for my husband (who has trouble with his knees) and much better for our budget.

2. The library-While going to the library with an active 6-year-old can be quite trying sometimes, on a good day, the library is a great way to get out of the house and enjoy some forced quiet. This can be an awesome thing when there’s been nothing but noise for days on end.

3. The park-While the kids really enjoy going to the park, I’m not a big fan. We do take them from time to time but I generally like to avoid the park. We usually try to go when there are fewer children since too many children makes it very hard for me to keep an eye on mine. I’m easily distracted by conversation and sights and losing them in a crowd just isn’t an option. Not to mention, crowds of children are very intimidating to me.

4. The pet store-I don’t know if any of you have tried this but my kids (especially my girls) love going to the pet store. We’ve been avoiding it lately because our youngest wants a hamster. It’s not fun when you leave the pet store with a whiney 6-year-old.

5. The Arboretum-Our ‘local’ arboretum is about 30 minutes away but it’s free to go through it. Some Saturdays, they host a discussion about nature. The did a good little presentation on butterflies that we were able to attend. Not only is it relaxing there, it’s also educational!

6. A local cafe-Our local cafe is called ‘Cafe Mosaic’ and it’s an awesome venue for some fun conversation and a little bit of online fun. They also make a fabulous gelato! However, if you want intimate conversation and a more private venue, this isn’t it. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s so packed you can hardly hear yourself think.

7. Go to a movie-It’s always nice to go to dinner and a movie, even if you have to eat at McDonald’s or Subway. During the dinner, you get some conversation and after the movie, you have the opportunity to discuss the finer (or awful) points of the movie. This is sometimes the jumping off point for further discussion. From a woman’s viewpoint, that’s always a plus!

8. Karaoke-While I’ve never done this as a date, some might enjoy it. I prefer to do karaoke with a larger group. It’s a great adult activity and gives parents time with other adults while they take a small portion of time away from the daily grind.

9. Visit a museum-Our small town has 2 museums-a Cajun culture museum and a Cajun music museum. At least, I think the second one is a music museum. It’s located in a couple of refurbished train cars, one of which is an actual caboose. 🙂 We haven’t visited it in quite some time. But both of these museums don’t cost much at all to go into. One of them asks for a donation.

10. Go for a drive-There’s nothing like going for a drive down country roads on a star-filled night. The music is awesome (because you choose it) and the conversation is as private as can be. It’s a great way to focus on the conversation and talk about things you might not otherwise discuss. Most places have beautiful country roads that are scenic and beautiful. Talk about great ambiance!

Well, I’ve wracked my brain and now it’s your turn. Get ready! Get set! GO!