*Article by Ana at Mrs. Mama Llama
A guide to fun low-cost to no-cost family activities for November and December. Extra savings for military families and their dependents.
It’s been a tough first week of November with the passing of our pug Bugsy. The holidays seem oh so lackluster and I have been driving myself and my family crazy with holiday planning. We are a military family on a budget so it was important for me to find activities that were fun and low-cost to no cost. We have been following the Dave Ramsey baby steps, but have been way off the rails due to falling back into some old habits. BUT I am determined not to let that lessen the holiday spirit of building memories together as a family.
Some of my favorite go-to’s include the library. My city has several libraries and they all put on some amazing and free events! The libraries have arts and crafts, storytime, sometimes guest appearances from local magicians or performers and a myriad of other activities. I would highly encourage you to check out your local library. The one feature I love is the free audiobooks I can listen to just by using my library card. I can listen on an app on my phone, tablet or plug my phone into the car and have the audiobook playing on long car rides. Check with your local library, some may require you to have a free library card.
Home Depot!!! Yup. Not just for home renovations, they have an amazing workshop program for kids. Just go to the link provided, put in your zip code to find the store nearest to you. They have a time frame and date along with a description of upcoming workshops. The time frame means you can arrive anytime during that time frame and start working on your workshop kit. They also give you a workshop pin and certificate for each project you complete. You can collect pins on your mini Home Depot apron they provide.
Two other stores I love going to are Michaels and Lakeshore Learning. Same as with Home Depot, these stores offer fun projects you can do with your kiddos. Most of them are free but some require a small fee under $10 for materials. The best part? It’s a great way to get everyone out of the house, meet new friends and create memories without getting your house messy with glitter! I have added to our shared family iCalendar all the activates for November and December. Some of these activities include making a Thanksgiving hat, making a wreath, making a box for the Christmas tree, decorating cookies and a gingerbread house, making your own ornaments, making party poppers and a Christmas count down calendar. With all these great hands-on activities, the kids will be fully engaged and the memories of the holiday season will be that much more special.
Other Ideas include creating an Elf Box for Christmas Eve, going through a drive to see Christmas lights as those you usually charge you per car not per person and there is always snuggles on the couch with hot chocolate watching Christmas movies. Every year we like to go to Sea World to see their amazing light display. Sea World is kind enough to give out free tickets to active duty military and up to 3 dependents once a year so we wait up and use that for Christmas as an extra bonus since our budget is usually tighter this time of year. It’s a great tradition we started since moving to San Antonio.
Lastly, check out resorts near you for free public events! By where we live we have JW Marriott and La Cantera resorts. If you are doing a staycation check out day passes for resorts. You get to enjoy all the amenities while sticking to your budget! This year we are going to check out their Tree Lighting, Christmas Caroling and made dinner reservations as an extra treat for my family who will be visiting out of town. The resorts always deck out their grounds with beautiful holiday decor and I thought it would make for a magical dinner with our loved ones.
About the Author
I created my blog to connect with our family and friends as we move around in our journey as a military family. There’s a little bit of everything here from places we travel to, to recipes I share, family moments and some projects I am working on. I hope you can find something of worth and that my posts can be helpful in some way.