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Category: Frugal Fun

Free National Park Day | November 11, 2019

Love national parks? Don’t miss the next Free National Park Day on November 11th!

{Psst! be sure to also check out these 10 ways to save on visiting National Parks with kids!}

Did you know there are several times per year that National Parks offer ?

The next FREE National Park Day will be on November 11th in celebration of !

What’s your favorite National Park? We’d love to hear in the comments!

Smithsonian Museum Day | Free admission to museums nationwide on September 21, 2019

If you love museums, then be sure you don’t miss Smithsonian Museum Day tomorrow for some frugal family fun!

Looking for more frugal fun? Check out our latest posts about family fun events near you!

Smithsonian magazine is having their 14th annual Museum Day on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

Museums across the nation will adopt the policy of the Smithsonian, .

You can .

Be sure to grab your tickets, because each Museum Day ticket provides FREE admission for two people.

10 Ways to Save on Visiting National Park with Kids

If you love visiting national parks or have always wanted to visit some, then be sure to check out these great ways to save on visiting National Parks with kids!

{Looking for more budget-friendly tips on vacationing as a family? Check out our posts on Creative Ways to Fund Family Vacations, Tips to Plan a Memorable Vacation Without Spending a Fortune, and Money-Saving Vacation Tips.}

Save on National Parks with Kids

Guest post from Brigitte of

Did you know there are over 400 National Park Sites in the United States?!

This includes national historic sites, national recreational areas, national sea shores, national monuments, and just over 60 national parks that you can explore with your family. Check out the to find one near you (or for your next vacation).

If you love traveling and adventuring as a family, then be sure to check out these 10 ways to save on visiting National Parks with kids!

1. Purchase or Sign Up for an Annual Pass

Families who frequent national parks that charge a fee may benefit from , which is good for 12 months from the purchase month.

Seniors (ages 62+) can take advantage of an annual pass (or even a lifetime pass) aimed specifically at them for an even steeper discount. The senior pass will cover the cost of everyone in a non-commercial vehicle if the site has a per vehicle charge. Great way to enjoy some time with grandkids!

Families with a fourth grader can enjoy free entry at hundreds of locations from September through August by getting a free annual pass through the . Even homeschooling families with a fourth grader can take advantage of this opportunity!

Active duty military members (and their dependents) can receive free annual passes for many sites. Just ask for a U.S. military annual pass.

Even if your family has an annual pass, it is still advisable to parks ahead of time to ensure the pass is accepted at that location.

View from Effigy Mounds

2. Go on Free Days

If you don’t plan to visit the national parks multiple times in a 12 month span, an annual pass may not make sense for your family.

Instead, check to see if they offer any free days. It’s suggested to arrive early and be prepared for large crowds of people on these days!

(NOTE: Some national sites are free all year round.)

3. Check the Events Calendar

Junior Ranger days, astronomy programs, family days, historic days, nature walks, sled dog demonstrations, movies, archaeology days, and photography walks are just a few of the low cost or even free events offered throughout the year at national sites.

Schedule your visits accordingly by checking the events calendar.

4. Check out the Junior Ranger Program

Kids may enjoy participating in the where they can complete fun yet educational activities and earn badges at each national park.

Even kids who don’t have an opportunity to visit many national parks can earn badges at home! They can complete booklets about bats, archaeology, caves, the Underground Railroad, and more.

5. Create a Webrangers Account

Kids (and even interested adults) can earn virtual badges and rewards as they complete activities while learning about people, history, animals, nature, science, puzzles, and parks through the .

Registration is free and simple- just create a user ID and password. Once an account has been created, all of the completed activities are saved so progress can easily be tracked.

Kids can even have fun personalizing their own virtual ranger station! They get to choose a theme and customize the walls, shelves, chair, desk, floor, picture, and window view. What a great way to get kids excited about visiting National Parks and learning more!

6. Carpool

By carpooling with others, you can split the cost of the entrance fee if the site charges a per vehicle fee.

7. Stop by the Visitor’s Center

Visitor’s centers often provide free maps, guides, suggested tips, exhibits, and even videos to ensure you get the most out of your visit.

woods in a national park

8. Talk to Park Rangers

Park rangers are often quite knowledgeable about the area and can offer additional suggestions and information about the site.

You may even be able to get a personal tour if you ask (particularly on a non-busy day)!

9. Plan Ahead

Be sure to ceck out the site’s “plan your visit” section! It’s full of great information about fees, hours, things to do, suggestions, and more to make the most out of your visit. It’s helpful to have an idea of what you want to see ahead of time since some parks are so big!

Also, check the weather to ensure you are wearing weather-appropriate clothing for the day.

Walking Stick in a national park

10. Bring Supplies

Besides wearing weather-appropriate clothing, comfortable footwear, and a hat, it may be beneficial to bring water, a camera, sunglasses, bug spray, and sunscreen.

Finally, don’t take a bag for collecting specimens since it is illegal to remove items from national sites.

Instead, bring a bag for any trash you may have. And take pictures of all of the neat rocks, shells, and leaves if you want a record of them!

What other tips do you have for visiting National Parks with kids?

Brigitte Brulz is a homeschooling mom, creator of the , author of the book Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles, and freelance writer. She offers free coloring pages, activity ideas, and more on her website at .

More Budget-Friendly Vacation Tips:

Our Visit to Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery

Have you checked out Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery in Ozark, MO? In this post, I share about our recent trip there, the deals I found, and my honest thoughts on the store.

Deals at Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery

 

Visiting Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery

Our family met up with all of my extended family this past week in Lampe, MO for our annual week at the lake trip. On our way home, we stopped at in Ozark, MO for lunch.

I had and one of my followers messaged me and said we had to check out this discount store that was close to Lambert’s called Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery.

(Note: they don’t seem to have an actual website that I could find. They do have .)

It just so happened, that we were at the gas station right down the road when I read the message and it just so happened that we had some wiggle room in our day. So I asked Jesse if we could run into the store to check it out.

I Was So Impressed With the Deals!

Honestly, because of all of the great deals I often find at my local stores, it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to grocery deals. And when we first walked in and I looked at some of the prices, I figured that this might have a few good deals but probably most of the prices weren’t anything to get too excited about.

But then I kept looking and I started getting more and more excited. I should have known one of my followers wouldn’t steer me wrong!

I picked up a few boxes of $0.49 s and crackers and then a few more. Pretty soon, when I started dropping things because my arms were full, Jesse looked at me and said, “Um, I think you need to get a shopping basket.”

That was the point when I knew that I wasn’t going to make it out of this store with “just a few purchases” as I had initially planned on. I was quickly falling in love with Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery.

There were SO many, many good deals! I was especially impressed with the prices on crackers and s. They had boxes and boxes and boxes of name brands that were $0.49 to $0.99!

Also, I discovered that if you kept looking, there were many that were marked down to half price!

The Best Deals Were on Snack Items

Some of the prices were more than what I’d pay at my grocery stores when pairing coupons and sales. However, most of the snack prices were less expensive than I can ever find.

For instance, Jesse was thrilled to find Sunflower Seeds for $0.49/bag!

All of the protein bars — including RXbars — were $0.50 each!!

They even had this medicine area with $0.49 items!

I found a number of organic items at great prices, too!

And the candy prices were so good. My kids just couldn’t believe it!

So much for buying just a few things!

How Much I Spent at Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery

Jesse laughed as he saw me walking towards him with my precariously balanced basket. I couldn’t fit one more item in so I knew it was time to call it quits. (We didn’t have a lot of extra space in the car, otherwise I probably would have purchased 2-3 times as much!)

Guess how much we paid for this entire basket full of stuff? $14!!!

Basically, I felt like we were shopping at Dollar Tree! That said, since so many of the items were just $0.49 each, it felt even better than Dollar Tree!

If you are ever in or near Ozark, MO, I highly recommend checking out Christian County Discount Freight & Grocery!

Barnes & Noble: Free Gaming Skills Event on Saturday!

Have kids who love gaming? Don’t miss this free event at Barnes & Noble!

If you have kids who love gaming, Barnes & Noble is offering a this Saturday, June 29th, at 2 p.m..

Here’s some more info about the event:

“Elevate your gaming skills with our info-packed guides and activities at this interactive event for game-loving young readers. Event activities will not include gaming devices. Customers are invited to bring personal devices and hang out after the event to gameplay with the help of our official gaming guides.”

Thanks, !