©2016 E. R. Smith All Rights Reserved
What to do and where to go with your family this summer….when economic realities make it tough to leave the city? Hmmm…well I do a few things to keep my loyalty to my pocket while giving my children a very necessary education about the world around them. First before going anywhere we need to go shopping. I buy fruit, large bags of multigrain chips, cases of water, and 100% organic fruit juice in small bottles, paper towels, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer. I call this my answer to, “Mom can I have?…”. I divide all snacks into zip lock bags. I pack fruit in resealable containers. I freeze water bottles and fruit juices. The goal is to be loyal to my pocket, as you know buying AnYthing away from home is just way too pricey.
Next, to help avoid unnecessarily injuring myself, everyone over the age of 5 has a backpack. I honestly learned this by watching Dora the Explorer. I realized if she was strong enough to carry what she needed for her daily run, so were my kids. This super Bronx mom need not suffer from unnecessary back pain anymore! The little ones carry dry snacks and one frozen water bottle and a book or two. I carry frozen snacks, fruits, sandwiches, juice and an additional water bottles….frozen of course. The frozen water in a backpack is an excellent lightweight cooler. Weight training and cardio are definitely part of the excursion; which is always worth it. However outings can be pricey so this exercise is worth it to my pocket as well as my heart.
The Bronx Zoo has a lot to see. We use the Family Package for $195 (tax deductible) so that three adults plus all children from household can go everyday; to every attraction. Trust me when I say you can’t see the Bronx Zoo in a day. The little ones are never bored…from four to nineteen (seriously the selfies were non-stop)…everyone’s happy. This pass is a keeper because it allows you into all NYC zoos and the NY Aquarium with the same perks. Tour all of the city’s zoos plus the NY Aquarium for one price.
The Botanical Garden is beautifully maintained space with a great children’s garden, workshops for kids, special events such as the Holiday Train Show and the Orchid Show. We like to hike there since it’s a closed in guarded area we feel very safe in the woodier parts. I don’t like hiking alone so we chose the Family Package at $125 per year (tax deductible). Includes all children up to 16yrs, eight parking passes and 4 guest passes.
Wave Hill is an extraordinary maintained 28 acre space with colonial homes located on the property. Wave Hill is great for hiking, nature watching, meditating, and touring historical buildings. Leave kids’ toys at home, they are not allowed. Bring a pen and paper with you to the Cultural Center. Have a “throw back day”; when you enjoy a park for the park’s sake. The $250 Supporting pass gets you 6 parking passes, 8 guest passes, invitations to VIP events, and a Wave Hill travel umbrella. $214 of the price is tax deductible.
This is just some of the fun our lil borough has to offer. There is always Orchard Beach. Oh, now I can hear the debates starting….cleanwater?!!….pampersfloating!!!. ..eeekkk!!!. However Orchard Beach also has a great play ground with sprinklers, wooded picnic areas, hand ball courts, fantastic free concerts and a conservation society that loves when kids find them along the pier. Most of all it’s free for all. Pack a lunch as outlined above and come enjoy.
My last suggestion is do this as a family….I mean your whole extended family. Meet to see who wants to go where and split the fees. Share your membership cards by making sure you get at least two for adults to carry. I am open to any other and all suggestions. So…please share.