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EARLY YEARS: Tightening your belt doesn’t mean missing out on summer family fun

Macaroni Kid Roanoke publisher Beth Bell says look to local libraries, churches and state parks for inexpensive or free activities during summer break
A trip to a local swimming hole, library or state park can help keep kids busy at little to no expense
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 5:40 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -”We all want to keep our kids entertained and educated all summer. One of the things are Vacation Bible Schools. We have those every week, multiple per week are available the next two to three months. A lot of them even serve dinner. But kids love that, you know. And you don’t have to be a member of the church to attend,” says Beth Bell, publisher of Macaroni Kid Roanoke.

That’s just one of many budget-friendly summer ideas from Macaroni Kid Roanoke.

On hot days, she says it’s easy to find a place to cool off.

“Swimming holes and creeks, these are just places that you can go get in and splash, have a picnic and spend the day,” says Bell.

State parks are a great bargain.

Bell points out visitors pay one flat fee per vehicle, and parks typically offer nature walks and crafts for free.

“We also have summer movies available. So, there’s at least three in Franklin County and Salem, as well as a new one at Penn Forest Worship Center, which is near Cave spring High School. They’re all doing movies on the lawn. They’re all free,” says Bell.

And don’t forget museum memberships. Bell says they’re a better deal than you might think.

“By the time you pay admission for a family to visit once, you could pretty much have a membership to go all year,” says Bell.

Libraries also offer plenty of great summer ideas. Click here for details.

Here’s a guide to some great and affordable summer movies.

You’ll find several local swimming holes to enjoy here.

Museum Membership Information from Macaroni Kid Roanoke:

Kids Square $75 for 3 months the summer

Science Museum $123 for the year

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