Have you been stuck in the house and really want to lead a hike but Mother Nature is putting a damper on your plans? Sometimes just getting out of the door can feel like a hike, but when the air quality is poor or the weather is dangerous it can seem as though there are no options for getting out of the house that are inexpensive or free. Our Hike it Baby branches are very creative when it comes to meeting up on a budget and getting in those miles or just getting families out of the house! We are listing some suggestions on how to lead an event that is budget-conscious and fun!
Want to get some miles in but are unable to be outside long enough? Why not look into colleges or city indoor tracks?
- Some cities have arenas that will have public access – sometimes an hour or two that are free or reduced rate – and most will have a group rate for a discount. This takes a little pre-planning but is easy enough to plan! Just ask if they allow strollers on the track and how many people can attend at one time before showing up!
Other ways to get those miles if you don’t have an indoor track to use can be found in most any city:
- Mall Walks – Some malls even tell you in their directories how many miles you can get in a loop!
- Schools – Open Gym time! Ask to use the gym and do laps around the basketball court.
- Indoor Markets – Does your town have an indoor Farmers Market or Flea Market to walk around?
- Flower Nurseries – Stay toasty warm and walk the aisles while smelling the roses!
- Whole Foods – Places like this organic grocery store are great for strolling the aisles and kids can get a free snack!
If you aren’t looking for miles but need a reason to get out of the house and socialize there are so many options! Keeping it free or inexpensive just takes a small amount of imagination and research. You can also call beforehand and ask if the facility would be willing to sponsor a family who may not be able to financially afford to attend.
Free ways to meet up with your kiddos:
- Library Time – Most libraries have free story time. Some libraries also have passes to museums and popular attractions that can be “checked out” for a free admission!!
- Local Book Stores – Check out the calendars of local book stores and see when they hold their story time hour.
Museums- Some local museums are free. Others offer free admission days. When asked in advance they will typically let you purchase at a discounted group rate.
- Outdoor Sports Specialty Stores – Stroll through Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops or REi. This is free unless you decide there is something for sale that you can’t live without! Plus, you can pretend like you are outside while you gaze at the aquarium or habitat displays!
- Fire Station Tours – Call your local fire department to see if they can show your group around! They love to show little ones that Fire Fighters may look scary in all of their gear but they are there to be life savers!
When you’ve exhausted the events that are free you can find some inexpensive alternatives for group events:
- Check your city’s attraction guides – Does your city have greenhouses? What about a fish hatchery? Butterfly sanctuary?
- Children’s Museums usually offer discount days or even free days.
- Colleges or Universities may have free or low-cost museums – follow it up with a quick walk on campus if the air quality isn’t too dangerous.
- Swim Centers – Check out Open Swim Time at your local indoor pool. Punch passes are usually a nice discount and asking to sponsor a family in need never hurts!
- National or State Parks – Does your area have a SP or NP nearby? Check out their websites for fee-free days and children’s programs!
- Local Farms – Ask to tour the dairy sheds or see if any baby animals have been born!
- Nature Photography Exhibits – Watch your local Museums to see if they have any outdoor-themed exhibits coming up.
- Community Yoga Classes – Birth Centers and local community centers may offer free or low-rate family yoga classes.
- School Performances – Does your town have a children’s theatre? Plays or Choirs are nice options for indoor events.
What do you do in your city when the weather isn’t cooperating? How do you keep it inexpensive and fun to get out of the house? We hope these ideas sprout more creative ways to get out of the house in between the times when the weather is gorgeous and we can Hike it Baby!!