Our favorite(new and free!) entertainment

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This past weekend, we found our new favorite place. Can you guess where this is? No, it’s not down the New Jersey Shore and no, it’s not Florida or California. It actually is a secluded beach about 15 minutes from our home. Who knew?! Well, apparently my Husband did, or had an idea.

A few years ago, my most intelligent husband paid attention to the building of some very expensive but beautiful condos and houses a few towns from us. The plus for the building of these complexes is that they would be giving the public instant access to beaches that were unattainable in the past. The best part is that most of the public still don’t know that these beaches are available to them! We ended up spending most of our day here, with only a few other people “in the know.”

This free find got me thinking: what other free family outdoor entertainment do we have in our area?

Right in our own complex is the complex pool. Since the fee for this is already included in our rent, I see this as an awesome freebie for my family. They provide lifeguards everyday and there is a wonderful little lawn surrounding the pool with plenty of chairs and shade. Sonny Boy and I have been trying to spend a few hours every other day there. Last year, we even had (one of) his birthday parties here and invited the guests to go down to the pool to relax. It did cost us 5 dollars per guest, but it provided them with unlimited pool time until dusk.

One great find is a local, but large, county park right up the highway from us. Roosevelt Park is located near the local mall, and is not only a huge park, but they offer many free activities. They have ice skating, tennis, and musicals (and shakespeare!) in the park at night.

Another is the actual park near our secluded beach. It’s another Middlesex County park that has a full football and baseball field, a large jungle gym play area for the kids, a giant gazebo for parties, clean bathrooms and plenty of parking. All for free. We decided yesterday that this is where we’ll be having Sonny’s party next year.

I also just found out that we have a very large state park right in our county. It’s still a bit of a drive, but because we are a military family, we get into the park for free. There is a lake there for swimming and plenty of places to cook out and chill out.

A few tips to help you take advantage of free entertainment:

1. Be prepared! In the summer, this is an easy thing to do. Make sure you have a blanket, a towel, sunscreen, small first aid kit, and a few extra pieces of clothing for each person in the family. Keep these items right in your trunk. When the daily plan is to conquer the free outdoor park, pack some snacks and lots of water or box juices. Freezing a few of the bottles and putting them all in a re-usable bag will help keep them cold. Since you aren’t going far, this would be a great night to put a slow cooker meal together. By the time you all get back and are super hungry, dinner will be waiting for you.

2. Check for websites and special events. Some local parks sponsor lots of free festivals and shows. Car shows, farmers markets, sports tournaments, are all things that you can do for free in your area. Keep a look-out when you drive through your town for signs for free entertainment. Go online and find the site for your town or county. You’d be surprised at how many events are held every weekend!

3. If you’re not an outdoor person, sign up for indoor clubs. For example, if you’re big on going to the movies, but hate the price, sign up for movie club cards for the theaters in your area. They send out newsletters to let you know when the free movie premieres are. You’ll have to get there early to make sure you get a seat, but it’s free, air conditioned, entertainment. You can’t beat that!

Have you discovered any great, free entertainment right in your area? Ever been to a free movie premiere? Are you lucky enough to have a beach nearby?

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 7.27.09

    Gorgeous pictures! Looks like tons of fun.

  2. 7.27.09
    hitenney said:

    Hi Amiyrah!
    What a lovely post – you are lucky to have to ocean so close. Beautiful pictures! I am lucky, too – and since my Dad was in the Navy, I have a hard time picturing living away from an ocean. My son is working as a Recreation Aide this summer, at Paki Park, which is right behind our Zoo, which is across the street from Waikiki Beach. I told him when he’s 50 years old, he will be nostalgic for the summer he worked in one of the world’s best spots!
    Thanks again for your informative blog, which is my first spot to check, and is my jumping off place to check the other hound blogs!

  3. 7.28.09
    gardengrowsnice said:

    I just found you through Deal Seeking Mom!! We use to live in Jersey until we were stationed to the west coast in Sunny, hot, dry, dehydrating LOL j/k Tucson AZ. I was really pleased to find your site. I’ve created a blog as well (still fairly new of course), but… I can only post SW Grocery Deals in our local region, you know how that goes with the YMMV. But I hope you don’t mind, “I do have family members (that live on the east coast MD & DE) who are not on my list, but do look at my posts daily” that I post you as my tie back to the East Coast Deals,and of couse lot’s of Link Love. BTW!! How is the Jersey Shore! We sure miss the Boardwalks there.

  4. 7.28.09

    We live in a rural part of sussex county, NJ, and the best free entertainment I’ve been able to come up with (for the girls, mostly) is the new playground at the YMCA, which is in walking distance from our house! I might have to get more creative as the girls get older 🙂

  5. 7.28.09
    Lucky said:

    We have a great park near us that is actually an old Civil War fort. It has a playground and nice walking trails, and sometimes in the summer they light torches all around the fort and it looks really nice. They also have band performaces there in the summer. Of course, we also have all of the free monuments, etc in DC. We try to take advantage of those as often as possible!

    Nice pictures!

  6. 7.28.09
    Frances said:

    Excellent post! When the kids were little, we used to go to all kinds of free places. Come to think of it, we did that when I was little.

    Hubby and I need to start going the park and the beach. Just because the kids have grown up is no reason to not go on adventures!

  7. 7.28.09
    Amiyrah said:

    Moia and garden,

    welcome to 4 hats and frugal! hope to see more of you two in the future. Moia, I haven’t done Stop and Shop because they’re deals have been so lackluster. When they are having a really good week, I post the deals. There are many other blogs that do Stop and Shop every week, mostly because thats the only store they have in their area. If you would like the addresses of these sites, e-mail me at 4hatsandfrugal@gmail.com and i’ll pass them along to you.

    But check back here every week for the Shop Rite deals :o)

  8. 7.28.09
    Moia said:

    Found you through deal seeking mom. Nice blog, I see that you do Shoprite matchups and have done Stop and Shop in the past is there a reason why you stop. Just wanted to know if you would consider starting again. Thanks!

  9. 7.28.09
    Precious said:


    Just gorgeous pictures. It made me homesick for the beautiful lake I spent my summers on!

  10. 7.29.09
    JennyMom said:

    Well, we do have the beach about 10 minutes away–which is awesome! Last time we all went, my sister was with Jenny and told her to park at the front of the street leading into the parking lot so we wouldn’t have to pay the $8 fee. (We were in two cars.) Yep, we came back and there was a $84 ticket for impeding traffic. Whaaat??? The back tire was about 1/4″ OVER the white line on the side of the road.
    We even took a cell pic to prove how silly the ticket was, but no luck in getting the ticket dismissed. My sister–being a generous soul–paid the ticket even tho’ it was my car. We still laugh about our “free beach day”.

    Does the nearby Ostrich Farm count in this discussion? Nope,’cuz it isn’t free. Us locals laugh about all the tourists that go. My “nephew” Sonny Boy–who I’ve never met–would probably love it, right?

    PS. Howzit Hitenney! My vote is for Hapuna Beach on the Big Island. So beautiful! We took little Grocery Boy and Jenny there all the time when we lived in Paradise…awesome times and free!

  11. 7.29.09
    gardengrowsnice said:

    Thanks for stopping by! Your already on my list :).

  12. 7.29.09

    Where is this at??? I know I’m close to you and am trying to figure out where this is!