How I Save Money on Family Fun in the LV (and beyond)

It’s no secret that we are on a budget in this household. Even if we weren’t I still wouldn’t stand paying full price for anything. This goes for clothing, food and even the activities we do. Compared to our old house in NC, it’s WAY more expensive for family fun in the Lehigh Valley. We don’t have as large of a selection of free and cheap family fun here, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist with a little imagination!

Here are some of my tips and tricks on how to do more for less in the LV.

Groupon

I know I have probably said this a million (or more times) but I love love love Groupon. It’s my go-to when we are looking for somewhere new to try to eat or visit. I have booked everything from family vacations to concerts to tickets to local attractions and festivals. Many times you save over 50%. I maximize my savings by purchasing the max on things I know we do frequently (like when SkyZone had their deal) and try and wait for the special coupon codes. They appear every 1-2 weeks. Most of my deals are in the $20-$50 range and some coupon codes give anywhere from $5 to $15 off that amount. We just ate at a dinner for two with drinks and dessert at Rodizio for $34 by taking advantage of sales and the coupon code. Normally we would have spent between $80-100!

Also, if you refer friends and family, you can get $10 for each person, so you can earn more free stuff! Over the years, we have had lots of fun on Groupon activities!

If you don’t get Groupons updates, you should! Signup is 100% free and  Here is my referral link if you would like to use it (Thanks in Advance!)

If you are away on vacation, don’t think you are out of luck. I book deals with my mobile app by changing the search terms to the city we are in!

Kids Stuff Booklet

Every year our school sells these as a PTO fundraiser for $20 and they are fabulous! Aside from the hundred you can save on Philly and LV attractions (Crayola, Dutch Wonderland, Dorney, Six Flags, Sesame Street, Knoebels, Franklin Institute, Please Touch, Blue Mountain Ski Area, Camelbeach, Diggerland and so many more), there are hundreds if not thousands of dollars of savings on retail and food establishments.

If you go to the parks, shop with big retailers, and partake in the occasional fast food, you want to invest $20 in one of these bad boys. This year I actually totalled up the savings…. yes I know I’m a math nerd. So far we saved $540 on things we would have normally done or bought anyways and we still have a few months left in the year (and over half of the booklet)!

If you want me to contact you when little man starts the sale in September, please shoot me an email jen (at) jencarl.com and I will contact you when I get the details.

Yearly Memberships

This year we signed up for the season passes at Dorney Park with the Unlimited refill drink cup. We signed up for the payment plan (pay over 6 months with autopay). For the three of us to go for the day (with drinks) it was about $70 a person plus $20 per visit to park. So our season pass paid for itself after two trips. We are on trip #4 so definitely worth the money. You also save on food, locker rentals and you get FREE parking!

Crayola Factory, Davinci Center and the LV Zoo all have season pass options available. You can read more about the options in my Memberships in the LV post {HERE}. The cool thing about the Zoo and Science Center Memberships is they are able to be used by reciprocal agreements at centers across the country. So if you travel, this is a must-have!

Pro Tip: Go together with a friend or two whose kids always hang out with yours. Most of these (with the exception of Dorney) have extended plans where you can invite extra people on one membership (or you and another mom or dad can go together). First, make sure it’s legit, but if it’s acceptable, this way you only have to buy one membership and get the benefits of multiple attractions.

AAA

If you have a AAA membership, it’s so much more valuable than free towing and hotel stays. Stop over at your local AAA branch and you can plan your vacation or get discount passes to many amusement parks and attractions. Call them before you go to any of these places to see if they have discount tickets.

Take Advantage of Free Days

Last year we got to go to the Davinci Center during a community day. We have been to Dorney with our fire department. Crayola has offered first responders discounted and free tickets in the past. We have been able to go some places for free with the boy scouts and the church. Bank of America cardholders can go to certain museums for free the first weekend of the month. Be sure to follow your favorite attractions on FB and check into their events calendars to see if they are having any specials. When we lived in NC, we got into the NC State Fair for free each year by bringing canned goods on certain nights. You never know what specials they have going on for the community unless you check!

Heather and I post these deals on the FACEBOOK page when we hear about them, so be sure to “Like” us and turn on notifications so you see all of our posts.

Do you have any resources to add to this list??

We had to close out comments on the blog because we were being spammed out of control by people offering us everthing from cheap viagra to web design services and a few odd things in between. The cool thing is, they don’t visit us on FB, so if you have any questions, comments or want to share anything about this, just head over there and we’d love to chat. You can always send us an email, too  jen (at) lehighvalleymomma (dot) com.