by Nicole Loughan

Family-Fun-Day-CheapGoing out with the kid’s can get a little pricy considering that the meter starts running the moment you leave your house. One of the best ways to entertain your kids is to take them to a park, which is completely free. The park is great but you can bump it up a notch by pairing it with a meal, ice cream or water ice to make it a nice day out. To keep the prices within budget there are three things you should do before you even think of walking out that door: first, check websites for coupons/discounts,  then go to their Facebook page and like them & last but not least check the NDH kids eat free list to see if they are running a special.  Restaurants will send unannounced coupons and deals only to those on their mailing lists or friend list. Once you have coupons in hand try some of these ideas to have a great $10-$15 day out.

Chammps, Big Fish, Grotto’s, Jakes, Kid Shelleens…just to name a few fun kid friendly spots with A Kids Eat Free program.

Lunch for three for $9.00 – We love pizza by the slice places.  Most parlors offer a slice for around $3.   To keep the cost down pack milk, squeeze fruits and any other complimentary snack.  We haven’t been given the boot for taking this liberty.  If you don’t want to take that chance then pack up those slices to go & have picnic in the park.

Cafe Verde & Ciao Pizza in Trolley serve very generous slices and are seconds away from Rockford Park.


”family-having-ice-cream”Frozen treats – Perfect for family members of all ages.

There are frozen yogurt places popping up like crazy around town out & they are all vying for your business. Because of this I have been able to find a coupons for $2.00 off my frozen yogurt purchases, free ounces or 20% off at almost anyplace. I have gotten a fro-yo big enough to share for around $5.00. Watch out they charge by the ounce, so make sure you are paying attention to weight.

Our favorite frozen yogurts spots are Berri YumiScrumptious.

Woodside Farm Creamery

I scream you scream we all scream for Ice Cream!  Boy oh boy there are some awesome places to grab a cone or a shake in ND; Dairy Palace, Woodside Farm Creamery, Marble Slab Creamery and Sweet Lucy’s come to mind.

Water Ice with Gelati…Yummy and Rita’s has some wonderful Sugar Free options for those of you who are watching!  Typically, I like to support my local Italian Ice place and you know if you find a lemon in your water ice it’s good luck.

Pair one of your KIDS EAT FREE options with one of these outings and you are ready for a $15 & Below day.

Fridays after 5 - DCMAla Carte play places There are several indoor play places that offer a full day of fun if you buy a wrist band or all day pass. These passes can be upwards of $12. Most young children play for only an hour then tucker out, so rather than buy an entire day pass just purchase one or two things.  Pump It Up has a Pop in and Play program that is ONLY $8.00 for roughly 2 hours of jumping, bouncing, climbing and sliding fun!   The Delaware Children’s Museum will be having a “$5 Friday after 5pm” promo that starts June 21st.   Vince’s Sports Center has indoor miniature Golf for $5-$6 (perfect for a rainy day) and a slew of other activites and acrade games are available.

Flower gardens Visit area flower gardens~ most are run by the county, non-profit agency or local universities. Some are free, and other have steep discounts for children and NCC county residents.  Check out the Mt Cuba Center, Rockwood Mansion & Garden,  Nemours Mansion & Gardens, Winterthur Garden, EI DuPont Garden or The Botanic Gardens @ the University of Delaware.

summer-concerts-state-of-DelawareOutdoor concerts-  Plenty of places to go for a free concerts this summer & you can’t get much better than that!  The parks will often charge $3 per car, so load up the family.  Click here to see out the Delaware State Parks Summer Concert Series for a MUSNIC (music/picnic) opportunity.   The Riverfront in Wilmington also hosts the Shipyard Summer Concert Series on Thursday Nights with a whole slew of shopping & eating options along the waterfront.

Take them out to the ball gameWilmington Blue Rocks have tickets available in GA and pick a night with a giveaway for an added bonus or a charity night when a portion of the money you spend will go to a good cause.

Summer Festivals & Car Shows-  There are lots of festivals this summer, but not all are free, the Jazz Festival Downtown Wilmington is one of the freebies.  There’s also a really cool car show coming up in June called Wilmo A Go Go, another must do event!

Be on the lookout for our Summer Festival Guide…coming soon!