Summertime is nearly here. Unfortunately for parents, that means kids will be whining how they’re bored. Unfortunately for kids, things aren’t so great for the middle class, meaning there might not be a secret trip to Disneyland in the works.
Luckily, we’re here to kill both of those birds with on listicle: the top-five summer sports activities you can do on the cheap! With any luck, these will keep the kids entertained and the adults solvent.
1. Cheap baseball tickets:
America’s Pastime is a good source of family fun for two reasons: not only are games long (occasionally too long) but fun can be had on the cheap. Whether it’s catching a minor league contest – where neither the tickets nor the snacks will blow your budget – or getting outfield seats for your favorite major league team, there’s no better bang for your buck in the summer. There’s even a push around Major League Baseball to set prices that rival the cost of taking the family to the movies.
To make things extra interesting for the kids, make sure your seats are reachable by home runs and bring your mitts! Just the possibility of catching a ball always kept me on the edge of my seat, regardless of the score.
2. A day at the races:
Don’t laugh. Speaking from experience, there are plenty of fond memories to be had at the track for kids. Not much beats watching speedy thoroughbreds race down the homestretch, especially if you’ve had the chance to get up close and personal with the horses beforehand. The best part? Admission will either be free or pretty darn cheap. Tracks just want to get potential bettors in the gate.
3. NFL summer training camp:
A recent look at the NFL revealed the average ticket is more than $84. That’s a lot of money to take an entire family. So, instead, why not select another NFL experience – summer training camp. Not only are kids entertained by sitting relatively close to the action but, at the end of the hot-and-sweaty session, the players sign autographs seemingly ad nauseam.
4. Beach volleyball:
The beach is the quintessential family fun destination come summer, but ultimately the endeavor can be tedious unless you’ve planned something for the kids when you get there. Beach volleyball should keep everyone entertained for hours – it certainly distracted Maverick for quite a while.
Nearly every beach boasts a net, so just bring a ball and, well, you can have a ball. Don’t feel obliged to stick too closely to the rules. Pile as many people as you want – or as many as you can – on either side of the net. This should help keep the ball in the air, literally.
5. County fair demolition derby:
Taking the family to see a NASCAR Sprint Cup race is costly and, if the kids are too young, it’s downright frustrating. Instead, try the demolition derby at your nearby fair! The kids will stay entertained by the cars crunching into each other while you nurse a beer and maintain your gearhead bona fides.
So get out there with your SPF 60 and enjoy the sun, and use our suggestions to make this the summer where family fun doesn’t mean paying off the credit card until Christmas.
(Photo credit: Jon Marthaler (First Pitch at Target Field) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)