If you haven’t been budgeting for your family’s summer vacation, think about a staycation.
A staycation is the concept of vacationing while staying at home. It can be fun and inexpensive if you do it right. Go to Visitlex.com for ideas.
Take time to schedule day trips to local attractions. Go to neighboring Chamber of Commerce websites, which have a long list of events.
One of my favorite places to go is the Newport Aquarium. The Holiday Inn Express in Cincinnati — 110 Landmark Drive Bellevue, 859-957-2320 — offers an aquarium package that includes a spacious double queen bed room and two adult aquarium tickets, complimentary hot buffet breakfast, indoor heated swimming pool and free parking.
Buying a combination package for any museum or special event is a way to big savings. It’s also a good idea to plan your events around special celebrations for savings. For example, the Louisville Zoo offers free admission for dads on Father’s Day. If you are creative, you can have a fun-filled staycation whether at a museum or tossing a Frisbee at a local park.
Being together as a family and taking the time to enjoy yourself and relax, no matter where you are, can be a great vacation.
Some fun kids events this summer:
▪ At the Living Arts and Science Center, 362 North Martin Luther King Boulevard, Family Fun Day is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 14. There are free hands-on activities for the entire family and you can explore the exhibits, planetarium, clay studio and digital media studio. Discovery Nights are offered throughout the summer, too. They include: Cookin’ Up a Comet, 6 to 8 p.m. June 2; Nature’s Olympians Live Animal Show, 6 to 8 p.m. July 7; and Family Planetarium Night, featuring the new show Ice Worlds!, 6 to 8 p.m. August 4. Go to LASClex.org.
▪ The Lexington Legends Kids Club is for kids 12 and younger. Sign up for free and get a free box-seat ticket to each Jif Kids Club Sunday Games. Additional Kids Club benefits include: post-game player autograph session, May 15; Curious George visits Whitaker Bank Ballpark, June 26; postgame Ford fireworks show sitting on the field, July 3; pregame high-five tunnel for the players, July 10; pregame kids play area happy hour and post-game guns and hoses event, July 17; and postgame ice cream social with the players, July 24.
▪ At the Home Depot Kids Workshop, kids get to create a craft, receive a free certificate of achievement, a workshop apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Workshopshomedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops.
▪ The Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse at Cinemark Fayette Mall, 300 Mall Road, Lexington offers $1 admission for kids and adults for movies at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Cinemark.com/images/smc2016/2016%20SMC%20-%20374.pdf.
▪ Apple Camp, a free workshop for kids ages 8 to 12, will teach kids how to become filmmakers. This workshop is held at Apple Store, spans three days and ends with campers debuting their masterpieces at the Apple Camp Film Festival. Sign up to be notified when camp registration opens: Apple.com/retail/camp/notify.html.
▪ Families and kids can bowl for one price all summer at Collins Bowling Centers in Lexington. Sign up for summer specials at Collinsbowling.com/kids-club-and-summer-family-bowling-specials.
▪ Bike Lexington, presented by Pedal Power, will include free activities beginning at 8 a.m. May 21 at Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza. The family fun ride starts at 10 a.m. Go to Bikelexington.com for a Bike Month event calendar.
▪ Tuesday morning story time takes place at Barnes and Noble at 11 a.m. and a craft/activity to follows every Tuesday. At 11 a.m. May 14, there will be a special children’s event: If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don’t! will be read, and there will be activities after story time. For other special summer events, go to Stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2953.
▪ The Scholastic Summer Challenge runs through Sept. 9. Kids can log their reading minutes to earn virtual prizes. Scholastic.com/ups/campaigns/src-2016.
▪ Barnes & Noble has a summer reading program for kids in first through sixth grades. Bring the completed journal to a Barnes & Noble bookstore between May 17 and Sept. 6, and your child can choose a free book from a selection on the journal list. Barnesandnoble.com/b/summer-reading/_/N-rs9.
▪ Free admission to the Kentucky Children’s Garden at The Arboretum, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 21 at 500 Alumni Drive. Attractions include pony rides, games and refreshments in memory of Adelaide Kennedy McReynolds. http://arboretum.ca.uky.edu/gardens/childrens/hours-and-fees.
Some fun adult events this summer:
▪ At a Home Depot Do It Herself workshop, 6:30 p.m. May 19, women can build a wooden grill tool caddy. Workshops.homedepot.com/workshops.
▪ Free entrance days in the National Parks are Aug. 25 to 28 to mark the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. NPS.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm.
▪ Through June 30, get a free Fandango movie ticket code for every 10 codes from participating bottles of Minute Maid. You can earn as many as five ticket codes during the promotion.
▪ Friday night block parties in downtown Versailles are May 27, June 24, July 22 and Sept. 16.
▪ McConnell Springs offers events throughout the summer. Founders Day is celebrated 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 21 with entertainment and storytelling. Mcconnellsprings.org/images/2016_Summer_Newsletter.pdf.
▪ Moondance at Midnight Pass Amphitheater in the middle of Beaumont Center offers music, films and community events for all ages. Spread a blanket and bring a picnic dinner while enjoying the shows. Go to the Moondance Facebook page for more information.
▪ At Subway, every dayin May, guests who buy any sub (six-inch or foot-long) before 9 a.m. receive a free six-inch breakfast sandwich of their choice.
▪ Check out Kroger’s “Summer is for Grilling” promotion. Sign in, go to the barbecue and flip the food to see if you won a prive. Also, load digital grill-related coupons to your loyalty card.
▪ Sign up for the Jersey Mike’s Shore Points rewards program and receive a free regular sub. Jerseymikes.com.
▪ The Mind Matters Health Fair is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 23 at Fayette County Extension Office, 1140 Red Mile Place. Explore interactive exhibit booths, free health and memory screenings, and presentations on healthy aging. Catered lunch will be provide. No registration is necessary. For more information, contact Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at 859-323-5550.
Deborah Morris’ every-other-week column, The Fru-Gal, can help you get more for less. Go to her website, Fru-gal-friends.com.