It's only week one of summer break in the Volusia County Schools and
already many kids are bored, looking to their parents for things they can do. And while you may not want to shell out money each week to keep them entertained, there are some things you can do around Volusia County that are free or low cost. Choosing a couple of these things to do per week will keep your kids entertained and active!
Here are some free or low cost things you can do around Volusia County with the kids this summer:
1. Visit the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach. Kids ages five and under are free. They have a planetarium, as well as a children's museum area.
2. Cook or bake something each week. In our house, we plan to make Friday morning our recipe day. The kids get to take turn each week picking the recipe we will make together. It's good to get them cooking and learning about measurements.
3. Go to the movies! For the whole month, Hollywood Theatre, located at The Pavilion at Port Orange is offering free movies on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Also, the Port Orange Six theatre offers $1 shows all day each Wednesday. The Paragon Theatre at Ocean Walk in Daytona Beach offers free summer movies.
4. Visit the library. You should make a stop at the library with the kids a weekly summer ritual. Have them each pick out a number of books to read over the following week. They also have learning games and movies they can check out. Also, check with your local branch, because many offer free classes for kids of all ages (book clubs, chess club, story time, preschool power, etc.). Visit the Volusia County Library site to find your branch and see the calendar of activities that are offered.
5. Visit the turtles at the Port Orange City Center. While you are there, take a walk around the pond, or for the younger kids, have them bike ride, while you walk.
6. Have a do nothing day. A day without anything planned is a good day for kids to use their imagination and entertain themselves. A little down time does everyone some good.
7. Go bowling! There are several bowling alleys around Volusia County. Even the toddlers can get involved, by doing bumper bowling. Sign the kids up for Kids Bowl Free, so they can get two free games each day, all summer long.
8. Visit the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet. Children 3 and under are free, those up to age 12 are $2, over 13 is $5. While you are there, be sure to take the nature walk across the street from the center.
9. Go to the Lyonia Environmental Center in Deltona, where kids of all ages can engage in nature classes and check out exhibits.
10. Pack up a picnic and take a nature walk, stopping to eat lunch along the way. A good place to do this is New Smyrna Dunes Park. Volusia County has so many great places to take nature walks! You can find a list of Volusia County parks here. Or, take a bike ride together.
11. Go visit a 3,500 year old tree! While this ancient tree is located in Seminole County, it is certainly worth the short drive over to see it. You can learn more here.
12. Climb the stairs at the Lighthouse in Ponce Inlet. The kids (and you) will probably ready for a nap that afternoon!
13. Have a project day! Kids love to make projects. There are many project ideas you can get by doing online searches. It will keep them busy and get their minds active. You can find some project ideas here.
14. Plant something! You can teach kids about growing a fruit, vegetable, or flowers, by letting them help choose what to plant and assist in the process. You can pick up some plants while you are taking a short walk over at Sugar Mill Gardens, located in Port Orange, which has free admission.
15. Take them to a farmer's market. Did you watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? He demonstrated that many elementary aged children in America can't name fruits and vegetables much beyond the apple! Try taking them to a local farmer's market and showing them what everything is. Give them $5 and let them pick out whatever fruits and vegetables they want to try with it (And don't talk them out of what htey pick. My daughter once picked radishes... I got creative and made radish chips!). You can find a list of local farmer's markets on this site (bottom right hand corner).
16. Visit Cracker Creek, located in Port Orange, and take an eco-boat tour or just walk around. The kids can get a chance to be in nature, see peacock's, or engage in one of their children's programs.
17. Go to a different park. While going to a park may be a norm in your house, try taking them to a different park. Volusia County is filled with great parks and the change of scenery will help shake things up.
18. Have a dedicated game day. The closet is probably loaded with games. So set a time each week that will be used for games.
19. Go watch the sunrise. Get the kids up early, pack a light breakfast of muffins and juice, and head to the beach bright and early to see the sunrise. And don't forget your camera, because it's a great time to take photos! You can find out what time the sun will rise here, so you are sure to be down there in time.
Keep checking Volusia County Moms for local events and activities you can do with the kids. Whether you have a family garage sale, hit the beach, or camp out in your backyard, make it a great summer! Before you know it, Volusia County Schools will be ringing those familiar bells once again.
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