The clock is ticking on the time you have left together before your teenager leaves home. But you’re saving for college tuition, and keeping the refrigerator stocked costs a fortune these days.
Fortunately, there are lots of things you and your teen can do to make good use of your time together. And they won’t bust your budget.
Here are a few ideas:
Check out a museum for free
Lots of museums offer regular free-admission days. The Heard Museum in Phoenix, for example, offers free admission on the fourth Sunday of every month in the summer.
And if you’re a military family, take advantage of the Blue Star Museums‘ program with free admission for families of active-duty service members from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Or if you have a Bank of America credit card, use it for one free general admission to select museums on the first full weekend of every month. Use a little of the money you save to buy cheesecake to share in the museum cafe.
Go for a hike
Put on sunblock, a hat and a sturdy pair of shoes and hit a trail near you.
You’ll both be getting exercise and fresh air while you talk or just enjoy the sounds of nature. Here’s how to find a trail near you. And if you’re new to hiking, here are some tips to make sure you stay safe while enjoying the outdoors.
Save room for dessert
If restaurant meals aren’t in the budget, eat at home, then go out for a treat together. That could be ice cream at the neighborhood Baskin-Robbins or one of the fancier concoctions at your favorite sit-down restaurant.
Make something delicious
Try a new recipe, letting your teen take the lead. Your teen will shore up some important life skills and you’ll get something yummy to show for your bonding time.
Working together for a worthy cause is a great way to share your values with your teen and your community. It can be a one-off deal or a regular commitment, light or hard work, whatever suits you best. Not sure how to find volunteer opportunities? Start here.
Visit a local college campus
If your teen hasn’t started seriously thinking about college, this is a good way to get them going. Walk around campus and soak in the vibe of college life, visit an on-campus museum or gallery (they’re often free), browse the bookstore, then maybe hit the student union for a snack.
Did we miss one of your favorite inexpensive things to do with your teen? Tell us in comments and we might include it in another list.