Thanks to Freedom Mobile for sponsoring this article
Sometimes, winters here in Calgary seem to stretch out forever. I find keeping the kids entertained on a budget to be easy in the summer, but this task seems way harder when it’s cooler outside.
I have a tendency to stay inside resulting in stir crazy kids, climbing the walls. To help you out (and me!) I’ve compiled a list of ways to have fun with the kids in cooler weather while keeping your budget in mind.
One of my favourite ways to enjoy the cold weather with kids is to take them ice skating. In Calgary, you can find community run outdoor skating rinks as well as a number of city run rinks and ponds and they are all free to use!
Although helmets and skates are required you can often find second hand skates pretty inexpensively. Some rinks even have skates available to rent.
Many indoor rinks also offer public skating and is it usually pretty inexpensive too.
Public swimming is one of the cheapest things you can do as a family. The best thing about going in the outside of the summer is that for a little while you forget how cold it is outside. But don’t forget to bring a toque for afterwards!
For free, indoor fun, it’s hard to beat the library. Not only are they full of great books, they also offer great free programs for all ages. In the last few years, Calgary’s libraries have been getting more kid friendly as well. All of the libraries now have at least some toys and games for kids and several have Early Learning Centres for kids 5 and under to play and learn. Hands down the best place to drink your coffee while the kids entertain themselves.
I think tobogganing is my kids’ favourite winter activity. It’s also super cheap – you can find plastic sleds for under $15 and the hills are free! Make sure the hill you are sledding on is free of obstacles and has a long, flat, hazard free runoff at the bottom.
As an adult, taking the bus or train is not particularly exciting but kids always seem to love it. Kids 5 and under are free, which helps keep the costs down.
Pick a destination that you don’t normally go and make the trip part of the experience. The Devonian Gardens, Olympic Plaza’s outdoor skating rink and the new Central Library are all easily accessed with Calgary’s C-train.
6. Lesser Known Attractions
Big attractions usually mean big money – look for some smaller/lesser known attractions instead. Not only do they tend to be cheaper, but you may find a hidden gem!
Great options in Calgary include Youthlink the Calgary Police Museum, Spaceport at the Calgary Airport, Bow Habitat Station and Military Museums.
7. Stay Home But Add a Little Sparkle
Sometimes you don’t actually need to go anywhere. You just need to do something different to make your yard seem fresh. Try Snow painting, build a snow fort, make dinosaur snow prints, or create an obstacle course.
8.Keep your Phone costs down with Freedom Mobile’s Big Offers
When I am out with the kids, I use my phone a lot. Whether it’s finding information, taking pictures and videos of the kids, amusing the kids while we wait or chatting with my friends because I finally have a few minutes of peace while they play.
Until I switched to Freedom Mobile, I thought the high cost I was paying was just something I had to accept. But now, this Freedom Mobile’s Big Gig Offers, I’m getting all the data and service I need at a price that’s actually affordable.
I absolutely love this new iPhone X. The photos I’m taking with it are so good people have mistaken them for professional photos, and I’m loving that they’ve given me more data than I’d ever use. Freedom also doesn’t charge me for going over my limit (if it ever does happen), which would definitely be helpful in case my kids decide to watch Dinosaur Train with my WiFi turned off.