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Entertaining the Kids on a Budget


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Kristin Callinan

Mommy Minute

7:13 AM EST, March 4, 2014

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Cabin fever has taken over our house!

I can't wait for that first warm spring day when we can just go and play on the swings or go for a walk!Until then, I know it can be a challenge to entertain the kids, especially on a budget, or no budget for that matter! My sister Amy told me how the library was a great resource for her and her children, so I checked out my local branch. Not only do they offer free children's storytime every week for my oldest, they offer free or discounted passes to area attractions. 

Included in the list, the Lutz Children's Museum in Manchester. The library offers a free family admission with the pass. Also included in the packet, museum hours and directions. The only catch is, you don't know when someone has already checked it out. So you have to go to the library to see if the pass you're looking for is available and be flexibile. I called ahead, and they were kind enough to hold it for a few minutes.  Jackpot! I was looking for some fun and different toys to play with too!

Cody, the Alaskan Bear, stands tall, greeting visitors at the entrance!

You can either head left to a big room filled with a make believe farm, post office and schoolhouse or right to visit live animals.

Without saying a word, Brianna, my two year old, ran into the middle of the room, trying to decide where she was going to start. It's pretty loud in there because there's a train constantly going around above your head.  They have a lot of hands on activities, including some stuffed chickens laying eggs on the farm and a fruit and vege stand! From there, we moved on to the schoolhouse, which featured old fashioned desks and chairs as well as a chalkboard for kids to write on. Kids can also mail packages at the post office or be their own conductor aboard a train!

Although all of that was a blast, Brianna wanted to spend most of our time with the animals.

To the left, my daughter swore she spotted "Nemo", to the right, a sleeping woodchuck and straight ahead were the chickens, pecking at the window! (her favorite)

There were also doves flapping their wings, lizards sunbathing under their lamps and snakes (my least favorite) doing what they do best, scaring me and fascinating my daughter!

Although the museum doesn't serve more than snacks, there is a craft room where the staff allowed me to feed my youngest daughter her lunch while we were there.

The best part of our trip to the museum was when we got in the car and Brianna said, "that was SO much fun!" 

Who says you can't get anything for free?