Free and Fun Family Activities for 5/23 – 5/26 + Memorial Day Discounts & Celebrations

Each week I’ll post links with fun and inexpensive (or free) things to do in your local area and national deals that everyone can enjoy!

In honor of Memorial Day, there are a variety of ways you can celebrate:

National Activities:

American Girl: May In-Store Events (Events vary by location and minimum age. Find events specific to your area online. Reservations required. For girls ages 8 and up.) This month includes: Mother’s Day Card Craft, Isabelle’s Funky Fashion Headpiece Craft, Everyday Fun Doll ‘Dos, Isabella’s Celebration, Julie’s Bracelet Craft and more!

Bass Pro Shops: This Saturday and Sunday (May 24-25), enjoy Free Kids’ Adventure Activities including free crafts, free giveaways, BB Gun Shooting Range, Metal Detector Treasure Hunt, Adventure Scavenger Hunt and more!  Contact your local store for times and more information.

Guitar Center: Free Classes through their Music Mentor Series. Register online. No age restriction.

  • Saturday, May 24th: 10 AM – Recording Made Easy for Garage Band
  • Saturday, May 24th: 10:15 AM – Group Guitar Lesson

Kindermusik: Try a free class (see all the information here). Kindermusik ~ Where Music & Learning Play!

  • Classes for children from newborn to age seven
  • Child development through music and movement
  • Immerse your child in a musical atmosphere of play, song, and dance – while developing fundamental skills
  • Connect with other moms, dads, and families

Lakeshore Learning: Saturday, May 24th from 11AM-3PM ~ Kids make and take a Super Hero Puppet!

Michael’s Kids Club Workshops: Kids will create a craft that they get to take home. Designed for kids ages 3 and up ($2/child). Starts at 10 am and runs every 30 minutes on Saturday (5/17). You can shop while they create.

Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes (for kids and adults): Saturday, May 24th at 9:30 AM ~ Junior Chefs will learn to chop and dice vegetables and fruit. Make a reservation.

Thanks, More with Less Today!

Local Activities:

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Ways to Save on Diaper Products

By contributing writer Laura

My youngest daughter just finally mastered potty-training! At age 3 & 1/2, she was a little late in comparison to my oldest, but as I’ve learned through the adventures of parenting, each child is different. And sometimes things don’t go according to your own timeline.

Ways to Save on Diaper Products | The Happy Housewife

As a mom who’s recently finished her time in the trenches of diaper changing, I’m glad to have the expense of diapering products behind me. Diaper costs are pretty significant, with most parents annually shelling out hundreds or even thousands of dollars on diapers, per child. If you currently have a child (or children) in diapers, the good news is there are simple ways to save money on diapers and related products.

Ways to Save on Diaper Products

Cloth Diapers

When comparing costs of disposable diapers to cloth diapers, cloth is a clear winner, though it does involve a larger initial investment. You can save a thousand dollars or more by using cloth diapers during a 2-3 year time span.

If you are reluctant due to stereotypes of messy or archaic diapering, you’ll be happy to discover that cloth diapering has advanced over the decades, and there are a wide variety of cloth diaper products on the market. You can save even more, by buying used cloth diapers off of sites like DiaperSwappers.com and ClothDiaperTrader.com.

Free Samples

There are many ways to get free diaper samples, typically in 1- or 2-count. Register for free loyalty programs online through the main diaper companies such as Huggies, Luvs, and Pampers. You can occasionally sign up for free samples through Walmart and Costco websites.

Another great strategy is to call the customer service phone line for different diaper manufacturers and ask for samples. It helps if you tell them your experience with their brand, particularly if you love their products, or adversely, if you were extremely disappointed by their company in the past. Also, check with your doctor or pediatrician’s office for samples.

Amazon Mom

You can find great online deals for diapers plus get exclusive discounts and deals through Amazon Mom. Any parent, grandparent, or caregiver can sign up for Amazon Mom. Most discounts and promotions are geared toward products for children 3 and under. It’s free to join Amazon Mom, and you receive an additional 20% off all diaper and wipe purchases.

Drugstore Deals

Shop strategically during diaper sales and promotions at drug stores like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. Don’t just take advantage of the sale price, be sure to dip into additional savings by using manufacturer and store coupons, which will help minimize your out-of-pocket costs. By using your Extra Care Bucks, Up Rewards, and Register Rewards at each applicable drug store, you can save a load!

Local Sites

Check sites like FreeCycle, FreePeats, and CraigsList to find other parents giving away diapers. Often times, as children outgrow one size diaper, parents are left with partial or whole packages of diapers that they no longer need. I’ve noticed many parents give these away to friends or offer them for free on websites that allow you to giveaway items in your community.

Wash & Reuse Swim Diapers

If you spend a lot of time at the pool, then you know that it’s easy to go through a pack of swim diapers quickly. Most pools and waterparks require children under 2 to wear swim diapers. Of course, swim diapers tend to cost more than regular diapers.

Instead of breezing through packages of swim diapers in the summer, simply wash in your washing machine and then put in the dryer. I first heard about washing and reusing swim diapers from my friend Rachel, and it really works!

DIY Wipes

If you’re using diapers for your child, you’re also spending money on wipes. Try your hand at making your own baby wipes, so you can save money and control exactly what chemicals go into your wipes that are constantly wiping your baby. Create your own mixture of water (1 cup), baby wash or baby shampoo (1 TBSP) and baby oil (1 TBSP) and pour over paper towels, cut in half. Let soak for 10 minutes on each side, and remove cardboard roll; store in tupperware bin or resealable plastic bag.

Use these tips to save big money on the inevitable diaper costs for your little ones!

You might also like…

photo credit (text added), cc license


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Staycation on a Budget: More than 60 Cities Covered in 2014

I’ve shared with you some of my favorite things to do in Annapolis, Maryland. And, this year, I’ve partnered with over 60 bloggers to share even more great things to do in cities all across the United States!

Check out the posts below for your favorite city!

staycation-image-wide

States are listed in alphabetical order.

A – D

Phoenix-Metro, Arizona ~ Mom Endeavors
Scottsdale, Arizona ~ Saving For Someday
Tucson, Arizona ~ Desert Chica Ramblings
Bentonville, Arkansas ~ This Sweet Life
Fullerton, California ~ More with Less Today
San Diego, California ~ Southern Cali Saver.com
Denver, Colorado ~ Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia ~ Kidventurous

F – I

Jacksonville, Florida ~ Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida ~ The Educators’ Spin On It
Tallahassee, Florida ~ SwagGrabber
Tampa, Florida ~ Not Consumed
Chicago (and suburbs), Illinois ~ A Savings WOW!
Chicago, Illinois ~ Entertaining Chicago
Fort Wayne, Indiana ~ Simplified Saving
Indianapolis, Indiana ~ Chaos Is Bliss
Des Moines, Iowa ~ Eat, Play, Love Des Moines

K – P

Northern Kentucky (Boone, Kenton, Campbell Co) ~ Simply Sherryl
Annapolis, Maryland ~ The Happy Housewife
Boston, Massachusetts ~ Maven of Savin
Grand Rapids, Michigan ~ Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan ~ Saving Dollars and Sense
Oakland County, Michigan ~ Everyday Savvy
South Haven, Michigan ~ Bargain Briana
Twin Cities, Minnesota ~ Creative Couponing
Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas ~ Kosher on a Budget
Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas ~ Kansas City Mamas
Southern Missouri ~ Getting Freedom
St. Louis, Missouri ~ Apron Strings & Other Things
Omaha, Nebraska ~ Family Fun in Omaha
Reno (& Northern), Nevada ~ Premeditated Leftovers
Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York ~ Anns’ Entitled Life
Syracuse, New York ~ I am THAt Lady
Cincinnati, Ohio ~ Adventure mom
Columbus, Ohio ~ Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio ~ Savings Lifestyle
Northeast Ohio ~ Raising Lifelong Learners
Northeast Ohio (Canton, Akron, Cleveland) ~ Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
North Central Oklahoma ~ From this Kitchen Table
Portland, Oregon ~ Frugal Living NW
Erie, Pennsylvania ~ Growing Kids Ministry
Harrisburg/Central, Pennsylvania ~ Family Balance Sheet
Lancaster, Pennsylvania ~ Pandora’s Deals
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ~ The Coupon High
Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) ~ Bucktown Bargains

R – W

Providence, Rhode Island ~ Everyday Family Living
Beaufort, South Carolina ~ Kathys Cluttered Mind
Chattanooga, Tennessee ~ Living Chic on the Cheap
Nashville, Tennessee ~ The Hands-On Homeschooler
Arlington, Texas ~ Baby Boomer Rants
Bryan/College Station, Texas ~ How to Homeschool My Child
Dallas, Texas ~ Surviving The Stores
Fort Worth, Texas ~ Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas ~ Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas ~ Moms Confession
Rio Grande Valley (McAllen), Texas ~ iLoveMy5Kids
Salt Lake City, Utah ~ Teach Beside Me
Charlottesville, Virginia ~ How to Have it All
Richmond, Virginia ~ Vacation Maybe
Williamsburg, Virginia ~ The Talking Suitcase
Seattle, Washington ~ Thrifty NW Mom
Oshkosh, Wisconsin ~ A Little Bit of This and That


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Annapolis, Maryland: Staycation on a Budget

You don’t need a lot of money to have a great vacation in your hometown. If you live near Annapolis, Maryland there is no excuse for not getting out and enjoying your beautiful city. I had the opportunity to spend the weekend in Annapolis earlier this month and even though I was only twenty minutes from my home it truly felt like a vacation.

Annapolis is a historic city with so many fun free and inexpensive activities you’ll want to plan your trip right away!

If you don’t live in Maryland come back tomorrow for a list of staycation ideas for over 80 cities! 

Exploring Annapolis, Maryland

Historic Annapolis

historic annapolis

The best part about historic Annapolis, is historic Annapolis. Aside from parking (which can be a pain) there is so much to see in the large historic Annapolis area.

The entire area is easily walkable, although it will take you all day, so wear comfortable shoes. From historic buildings to quaint shops and beautiful sailboats there is plenty to see on your walking tour of Annapolis.

U.S. Naval Academy

2008 USNA Commissioning Week

The U.S. Naval Academy’s campus is beautiful and the museum admission is free. Check the security requirements and bring an id for access to the campus. The campus is absolutely beautiful and worth visiting. You can walk the campus on your own or purchase a guided one hour and fifteen minute tour. ($10 adults, $8 kids, preschoolers are free).

Check the Naval Academy website for hours and more information.

First Sunday Art Festival

Print

It’s a street festival, an art market, entertainment venue and a arts and craft fair all in one place! Admission is free to the First Sunday Arts Festival open every Sunday from May to October. This is a great free activity the whole family can enjoy!

Water Taxi

Take a water taxi from Annapolis to Eastport or cruise the Bay on one of their guided tours. Transportation rates range between $3-$8 each way and are based on destination. The water taxi operates from May to Labor Day. The City Dock Water Taxi stand is adjacent to the Harbormaster’s office in Ego Alley.

You can find a list of all the guided tours on the Watermark website. Check out their field trip pricing to save on these tours.

William Paca House

Tour the beautifully restored home of Maryland governor and Declaration of Independence signer William Paca. Guided tours are available for the house and guests can explore the gardens on their own.

pacahouse

Admission is $10 for adults, children six and above are $5. Members are admitted free.

Annapolis Maritime Museum

Learn more about Chesapeake Bay ecology and Annapolis maritime history at the Annapolis Maritime Museum. It is open from noon to 4pm every Thursday to Sunday and admission is FREE!

This summer don’t miss the  Annapolis Maritime Museum’s TIDES & TUNES Summer Concert Series, Thursdays, June 19 to August 7, 7-8:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. You can find the entire summer concert schedule here

Quiet Waters Park

The Quiet Waters Park is beautiful and admission is only $6 a vehicle, free for military and their dependents. The park has a beautiful playground, plenty of green grass to throw the frisbee or stretch out and enjoy the weather, and art exhibits. You could easily spend the entire day at this park.

Chesapeake Children’s Museum

I wouldn’t pay full price to visit the Chesapeake Children’s Museum, but take advantage of discounted days. This museum is old, and could use a little face lift, but it is totally hands on and your kids will love it! From finger painting to puppet shows your kids can enjoy the day exploring the different rooms of the museum, with minimal supervision.

Wednesday Night Boat Races

Stabled

Every Wednesday during the summer months, hundreds of sailors take to the Severn River for this weekly race. Get a great view of the finish line from the drawbridge that separates Annapolis from Eastport.

United States Naval Academy Band Concerts

The USNA Band performs all over Maryland, including several times in Annapolis every summer. You won’t want to miss a free concert!

National Wildlife Center

The National Wildlife Center is a short drive from Annapolis, but I highly recommend visiting this refuge. My family went a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed their time. The crowds are minimal and it is free. There is a small charge for the guided tram tours.

Photo Credits: Jeff Kubina, Radio Rover, ursusdave, The ClayTaurus


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.