Having fun for FREE!
posted by: JoAnn
The economy is facing uncertain times. Pennies are being pinched all over the place. Many of us are sitting down and re-prioritizing where our money is going. The necessities get taken care of first, with hopes of there being something left over for the fun stuff.
They say, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” That may be true, but if you’re careful with your planning and do a little research, you CAN have lots of fun in the Denver Metro Area for FREE! (And, I’m not just talking about all our wonderful parks or indoor play areas.)
Having fun for FREE? For real? Yes!
Where? Well, here are some great places to check out…for FREE!
First, we have The Children’s Museum of Denver.
The Children’s Museum of Denver is open to the public for FREE on the first Tuesday of the month. From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on that Tuesday, there is no admission charge, and you and your kids can experience all the different rooms, nooks and crannies…for FREE.
Claire and I had the opportunity to check it out, and she had a blast! It was rather crowded, so I was sure to pack a little extra patience in my bag, and we had a great time. She loved the nature exhibit where she got to crawl around in the tunnels with the other furry woodland critters. She loved shopping for groceries at the supermarket and then using those items to make a meal in the kitchen that she then served to us at the restaurant counter.
It was hard getting her to leave the workshop area where she and Daddy put together a project, using real tools! After that, it was onto the art center where she painted a picture, before heading to the dance floor to try out her new moves in front of the mirror.
There were so many things to do that her answer to “what was your favorite part” was a list of things!
The Denver Children’s Museum is located at 2121 Children’s Museum Drive or on the web. Parking was free. Admission was free. Even with the crowds, we had a great time!
So, if the normal Admission Prices (that range from $5.50 to $7.50) aren’t in your budget for the month, go down to The Children’s Museum on the first Tuesday of the month for FREE!
Another awesome example of a fun FREE thing to do is The Denver Art Museum!
The Denver Art Museum is open to the public for FREE on the first Saturday of every month. Before I visited The Denver Art Museum, I had no idea that there were a lot of things for kids to do! I love art museums, and although most sections of it are the typical “please don’t touch” displays, there are a whole bunch of things devoted to children.
In fact, when you go, there are two places you need to check out with your kids: The Bubble Floor and the Kids Corner.
The Bubble Floor is located on the second floor of the Hamilton Building, right before you cross the bridge to get to the North Building. (If you’re lost, just ask someone where “the bubble floor” is, and they can help you.) This room has a projector that shoots bubble images onto the floor, and when you step on the bubble, it bursts! It’s the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time. The kids love running all over that space, stomping on the bubbles. In fact, it’s usually the last place we go to work out that very last bit of energy before the car ride home. (There are also comfy chairs for the adults in that area. Oddly enough, the chairs are completely ignored by the kids. Go figure.)
The Kids Corner is located in the North Building on the First Floor in the Just For Fun Family Center. Claire had so much fun creating her own piece of artwork! You just grab a black palette to use as a work surface, choose a piece of paper as your canvas and then use your scissors and glue to make a masterpiece. You can use the provided markers and stencils to put on the finishing touches.[photopress:JoAnn.jpg,full,pp_image]
This is truly a kid-friendly section of The Denver Art Museum. In fact, the sign by the turtle tells you to climb right on!
Claire is only 3-yrs old, but she loves looking at the different pieces of art throughout the museum. But, like a typical preschooler, her attention span is only so long. Because of that, we’re careful to mix some “now these are the ones you don’t touch; just look at these with your eyes” displays with the “let’s go make a piece of art!” sections. In fact, throughout the museum are different “hands on” areas with fun little things to explore or make.
One thing we haven’t done yet, but we plan to do when she’s a bit older, is check out one of their free “backpacks” or “art tubes.” These are fun packs that contain different art projects to work on or puzzles to complete as you tour the museum.
The Denver Art Museum campus is hard to miss at 100 W 14th Avenue Pkwy. Their website has great directions on the best place to park and the latest information about their exhibits.
Note: Depending on where you park, there may be a fee, so keep that in mind. Every time we’ve gone, we like to park in the garage, and because we’re not paying for admission, the $5 charge for the day fits into our budget. (Parking prices may vary, of course.)
If the Admission prices (that range from $7 to $15) aren’t in your budget for the month, mark your calendar to check out the museum on the first Saturday of the month for FREE!
Both The Children’s Museum and The Denver Art Museum are free on a once-a-month basis, but what if you want to do something fun with your kids during the week or more often?
One of our favorite & FREE activities to do on a weekly basis is Story Time at our local library. Every library offers story times throughout the week. Many of them are daily and geared toward different age-groups.
Here are some quick links to find the ones in your area:
The Story Times at each location are unique. Some incorporate dancing or singing or crafts with their stories. The kids have a blast, and it’s a fun & FREE activity.
This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to fun & FREE things to do in the Denver area. In fact, Denver has a great website devoted to Free Activities, and it can be found by clicking here.
I love showing my daughter that fun things don’t have to cost cartloads of cash. So, what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars; get out there, and have fun…for FREE!
Where are your favorite places to have fun for FREE?