Kinsey Love, marketing manager, Lewiston State Bank
I love spending time with my family. I definitely enjoy spending more time outside, but sometimes doing the same things every week gets a little dull. Here are some of the things I do when I’m looking for something new:
Play “tourist” in your own city. Do some research about your city, county, or state as if you were visiting. Look online for activities to do and places or things to see. It’s easy to forget about some of the popular attractions when you live close. Playing “tourist” reminds me of all of the great national parks and state parks close enough to visit for a day, like Golden Spike National Historic Site, and parks close enough for a weekend trip, like Zion National Park or Yellowstone National Park.
Try new things. I love visiting national and state parks with my family, going on hikes or long bike rides, and spending time in Logan Canyon. After looking at our adventures, I realized that I rarely take my family to places other than outdoor sites. I made a point to look outside our typical rotation of activities to find new things to do. I ended up finding a lot of reasonably-priced or free things I could do with one of my kids, as a family, or on dates with my husband.
Look on social media. You have probably searched online for “things to do in my city,” but have you checked out Instagram for ideas? Try using the search feature under the “places” tab. You can choose to search places “near current location.” I have found new restaurants, fun activities for my kids, and new hikes using this feature. On Facebook, you can use the “ask for recommendations” feature to find out if your friends have ideas for inexpensive summer fun.
Scan local activity guides and coupon books. When I’m looking to mix up what we’re doing during our family time, I scan the coupon books that come in the mail. Sometimes there are coupons that are great and sometimes they are just OK, but I usually find at least one new restaurant or activity to try out.
Give your kids a turn to plan the day. Give your kids a date and budget (depending on ages, you might have to give more or less guidance) and let them plan the whole day. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what really makes a child happy, and letting them plan a day makes it feel like an adventure. A few weeks ago, I asked my five year old to plan a date for us. He planned a walk on USU’s campus, a visit to the free Museum of Anthropology, and a scoop of ice cream at Aggie Ice Cream. It ended up being an inexpensive date, and it felt so much more exciting because my child planned it for us.
Make a day of it. When you have to drive to or visit a nearby city for an errand or event, make a day of it. When we need to go to Salt Lake City, we like to pack lunches and plan activities for the whole day. Sometimes turning a mall errand into a whole-day event makes the task an adventure.
Remember that whether you’re looking for solo activities, date-night ideas, or family activities, having fun together doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money.