Affording a family vacation can feel out of reach considering a trip to Disney World or Disneyland ranges $3,227–4,954 for all the Mickey ice creams you can eat (plus all those rides, resort fees, transportation, etc). Those figures add up to nearly $1,145, or $4,580, on a family of four to travel. Unfortunately, that might be more than a family’s entire monthly take home pay.
But let’s all remember that doesn’t mean your own family vacation needs to cost upwards of $5k for a good time. Instead you can do it on the cheap with a road trip, crashing with friends and finding free things to do in every city with kids. Here’s where to find them.
Libraries are goldmines for finding free things to do from on-site storytimes, sing-alongs even to crafting activities. But libraries are usually also full of flyers and advertisements for local family-friendly activities. Asking the librarians in the children’s section for advice on where to go and what to see for free or on a budget will also yield success.
Free Parenting Circulars
Keep an eye out for the free circulars stocking magazine bins on street corners, libraries and coffee shops. Many parenting publications are free and up for grabs. Look through the events section and look for free activities like movies, art and festivals that would be a good fit for your family.
Local Mommy Blogs
No one knows the local family market better than mommy bloggers. Do a little online sleuthing to find popular blog options in your destination of choice. They will likely have plenty of evergreen content on places to go and things to do for free, and bloggers are usually thrilled to share their knowledge of their city with others and point you in the right direction.
Most museums have some kind of free admission day out of the goodness of their heart, or time when a corporate sponsor will foot the bill for the day. You can check the websites or just call ahead and ask when the next free day is. They also might have some ideas on where else to look for similar sponsored events. But if you come up empty, museums still have fantastic gardens to run around in or grab a frugal treat from its cafe.
Aside from the fact parks and playgrounds are free in just about every city, you can also find other parents ready to share their best tips. You’ll be hard pressed to find a mom who can’t share at least one gem to visit or free and frugal option. The park is also a fun way to meet locals and other kids and even stumble into a free festival or outdoor concert.
Just don’t assume the city you’re visiting won’t have anything worthwhile to do for free. Some of New York City’s best attractions are free including exploring Central Park, kayaking on the Hudson, visiting Socrates Sculpture Park and taking advantage of the free days at the biggest museums.
What better setting for grandparents and granddaughters to connect and share than a fairy-tale château set beside a fabulous forest? The Gramping Getaway at Chateau Mcely Spa Hotel & Forest Retreat in Mcely, Czech Republic, offers a themed adventure centering around the charming story of the château’s Princess Nely and her magical cheetah friend Pralinka. The character of the princess is based on the children’s book Nely, the Princess of Chateau Mcely written by château owner Inez Cusumano.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
This October, take the whole family to London and take time to not only enjoy the classic sites but also these scary fun Halloween events and experiences. Whether it’s a spooky-filled trip to the London Zoo or a step into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, here are the three can’t-miss experiences:
It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Medellín, Colombia, with us.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Make your family trip to Orlando so much more than just visiting the theme parks. Thanks to new vacation bundles from luxury hotels in Orlando, available as of Sept. 1, you can enjoy exclusive boating experiences during your trip.