Waltons Mountain Museum
Waltons Mountain Museum

Children are getting out of school, summer is around the corner and money is tight. What’s a family to do about vacation?

There are many wonderful places with small or no admission fees all over the country. In fact, if you probably take a look, a few are in your own backyard!

The first thing to do is visit an area’s local tourist or visitor center website. Often they will list attractions, recreation and events and have links to other websites that contain more details.
Vikingsholm Castle

Vikingsholm Castle

 

Don’t forget to look for small museums, historical sites and botanical gardens!  Often these places have discounted admissions on families or larger parties, free days or reciprical agreements with other attractions (offering discount rates or free admission). And there are still places that offer free admission, but appreciate donations. Although you should leave an appropriate donation or the suggested donation amount if one is posted.

You may find yourself enjoying the less popular attractions as they are less crowded and their volunteers are eager to share information about the location.

So before you rack up $50-70 a person heading to Disneyland or Six Flags this summer, surf the net! Consider driving to the Waltons Mountain Museum ($6), visiting the International UFO Museum & Research Center ($5), trekking to Vikingsholm Castle ($6.50 to park) or discovering the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit for free on a Tuesday…

If you don’t have a RV or tent, don’t fret! Most campgrounds offer cabins with basic bunks and beds to deluxe cabins completely furnished. Often even deluxe cabins cost less that a hotel stay. Ask if they have discounts, as most campgrounds will offer a free night if you stay longer than 4-5 days or during the weekday.

Vacations don’t have to be expensive to be fun. There is a great deal in this country to see that is educational and fun for the whole family that won’t break your budget!

International UFO Museum and Research Center

International UFO Museum and Research Center

NOTE: Waltons Mountain Museum is in Shuyler, VA (around 160 miles from Washington, DC); the International UFO Museum is located in downtown Roswell, NM; Vikingsholm Castle is located inside Emerald Bay State Park on Lake Tahoe (California side); the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit is located in Fort Pierce, FL on the beautiful Indian River Lagoon. This is just a few of the thousands of attractions across the U.S. that are inexpensive and family friendly.
 
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