Don’t blow the budget on summer play

Rachel L.


Logan County Extension Agent Family & Consumer Sciences

After a year of staying safe at home, many people are ready to get out and explore this summer. For some, that may mean vacations and travel. Others may enjoy smaller trips closer to home. Either way, just because you can get out of the house doesn’t mean you should spend all your money on it.

The Federal Reserve reported in April that demand for leisure activities and travel is increasing. The agency said this might be because cities are easing pandemic-related restrictions, vaccines are available, and people have stimulus money. Current CDC information says fully vaccinated people can begin safely resuming some pre-pandemic activities. Outdoor activities are generally safer than indoor. And fully vaccinated people have less risk in indoor situations. When you plan a trip, you might consider COVID-19 numbers in your destination. Don’t forget to look at how crowded it might be.

The following ideas could help you plan a trip away from home when you feel the urge. You might also think up a new activity to do in town when you just want to get out of the house. Consider these places to go that won’t break the budget:

Farm, orchard, or farmers’ market — Enjoy entertainment and food that is fresh and healthy for your family.

Park or nature preserve — Explore a hiking or biking trail, pack a family picnic, let kids monkey around on the playground, or just relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

Pool, splash park, or beach — Find some water and cool off, whether it’s a local swimming pool, river or lake beach, or something a bit farther.

Zoo, amusement park, museum, or factory tour — Look for discounts and off-peak times.

City streets — Visit a nearby city. Many cities have guided or self-guided tours with online or paper walking maps.

Date night — Yes, it could be a traditional adult date, but another option is a parent-child “fun day” date.

Try something new — There are many options such as geocaching, birdwatching, flying a kite, stargazing, participating in a photography challenge, or many others.

Whether you go near or far, continue to follow safety guidelines. These may include avoiding large crowds, eating outside, wearing a mask, and washing hands frequently.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (April 27, 2021) Choosing Safer Activities. Retrieved May 10, 2021, from

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. (April 14, 2021) Beige Book. Retrieved May 10, 2021, from

Source: Kelly May, Senior Extension Associate for Family Finance and Resource Management

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