Free in OKC: Six ways to have fun for less - MetroFamily Magazine
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Free in OKC: Six ways to have fun for less

by Callie Collins

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

Family fun in Oklahoma City doesn't always cost a lot or even at all. 

My oldest son, Sam, is at an age where talking is essential. A good conversation reveals quite a bit about what's going on inside his third-grade mind. Angry Birds, Transformers and watching the night sky seem to take up a fair portion of his agenda as an 8-year-old boy, between summer camps and activities

"What else would you like to do this summer?," I ask, confident that it's been a good break. 

"Well, we haven't played enough board games yet," Sam replies without hesitation. "And I could use a play date with friends at the park."  Both free activities. He did proceed to name venues we haven't visited in some time, like Gattitown and Andy Alligator's, something about laser tag and the obligatory snow cones.

What Sam said next, though, was surprising:

"I want to do chores for the rest of the summer so I can earn an allowance. That way, I could decide how I want to spend my money." We have to have that talk, the one where the value of money seems suddenly relevant. It'll become easier to grasp, as coins  turn to dollars, slowly but steadily.

Sam will save up his coins and learn to manage money, pay his library fines and see how many quarters it takes for a model car, an action figure, kites, whatever it is that elementary boys dream of buying. There will be lemonade stands, if not this summer, next year, I'm sure. He'll progress to mowing lawns and before I know it, all too soon, those model cars will take another form far more grown-up. 

Summer, like childhood, is fleeting. It's up to us to make the most of it.

I'm glad family fun doesn't always have to cost so much, not just for my wallet, but also for his. There is a great sense of pride to earning your own money and being able to do what you want to do. Self-efficacy starts small but it matters.

No matter who's paying, here are six resources to help you make the most of your summer with kids:

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to make the summer memorable and go grab a snow cone

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