As time passes, we find that we are more and more disconnected from our communities and our cities. Many of us don’t know our neighbour next door and most of us would be hard pressed to name a family we know on our block or our community. As we become more and more digitally connected, we have a much larger view of the world and the cities and cultures. However, our neighbourhoods are shrinking.
I have made a point of seeking out activities in my city that get us out the door and into our community. We regularly go to the local playground and spend at least an hour there. Now, this is BIG for me, as a mom, because I’m NOT an outdoor mom! I would rather stay home and scrapbook or watch movies with my kids! At the beginning of the year I made a conscious choice to readjust how I thought about activity with my kids.
Many organizations have special deals coming up for summer traffic! Be sure to check out your local community papers and flyers. I also google events in my city and make sure we attend as many free events as possible.
Several groups in my city offer free summer programs for 1/2 day activities for kids under the age of 12. A handful push that age right up to high school students.
Here are my top resources for finding ways to get my kids out of the house (myself as well), and participating in my city!
1. Trip Advisor is designed for travellers, however, as a local you can discover many amazing things about your city that you were completely unaware of! Local restaurants that have “kids eat free” promotions, local attractions that have free entry for kids or 1/2 price days. So much more than just travel reviews!
2. ToDoCanada is a fantastic resource for Canadian cities! If you are planning trips this summer, check out this site. If you are in the United States, you can check out National Geographic and USA Travel websites as well.
3. Local Goverment websites. Check out your city’s local government webpages. On top of all the things about your city, there are an incredible amount of free activities put on by local organizations and governments that receive free advertising on the local city hall pages. That is a wealth of information and many groups have activities that you would never know of!
4. Smart Phone Apps! This is an untapped resource! I was amazed at how many apps there were on local attractions and deals they offer! Many apps for companies offer special deals only available for people showing an app! Discounts, buy one get one, special hours or events! Check out your app store and search for “Local Activities” or “City Apps” You wont’ be sorry!
5. Blogger Websites. Local bloggers in your city who are more well known are giving perks to visit attractions and quite often they are given something they can pass on to their readers. If you search for bloggers in your local area, check out their websites and see what they recommend for your city.
6. Facebook groups. Minus the drama, Facebook groups have a ton of local information! Mom meet ups, local cafe’s, restaurant deals for Facebook fans, local festivals and concerts, special movie deals and free screenings. Search out local groups and also local festivals and events on Facebook.
7. Neighbours! I know, crazy right?! Asking your neighbours actually gets you out of your house and chatting with the people on either side of you! At the local park, I make a point of saying hello to the other moms sitting there as well. I ask simple questions about them and their family. Moms want to share cool stuff they know. I found out about a bowling program for my kids simply by asking a mom about her son’s shirt one day!