Make sure you take time to see some of these fun and free places to visit during the Christmas season.
1. That Neighborhood with All the Lights – Some of the best Christmastime entertainment I can offer my two little ones is simply taking the long way home and checking out all of the Christmas lights.
Every town has that neighborhood that goes all out with their Christmas decorations. Hit up your local online forum and find out where the hot spots are. You get bonus points if you can find one of those houses that times the lights to music, like this one:
2. Church Christmas Eve Candlelight Service – Most local churches will be celebrating the real reason for the season, Jesus’ birth, by holding a special Christmas eve service, lit by candlelight.
Visit your local churches online to discover their plans for Christmas eve. Many have musicals or living nativities that are quite impressive. And all are free, just like the gift of Jesus.
3. Your Local “Safety Town” – This is a fairly new deal, but many cities across the U.S. are building cool little miniature towns adjacent to their fire stations to help facilitate the teaching of safety to kids.
Usually these safety towns have an evening or two dedicated to Christmas, where kids can come meet Santa and visit all of the safety stations (i.e. meet friendly firemen, climb into a fire truck, etc.), all free of charge.
4. Santa’s Wonderland at BassPro Shops – Skip the mall and head to just one store, Bass Pro, with slightly better parking. If you’ve got one in your area, the Bass Pro Shops have Santa’s Wonderland that they put on each Christmas season. It’s definitely worth the trip if you’ve got a little one or two who’s ready to visit Santa.
They have free pictures with Santa, coloring stations, remote-controlled cars and trucks, and more games and crafts for the kids. It’s all completely free and like I said, less of a hassle than the mall. Even better if you go during the week.
5. Local Christmas Festival or Tree Lighting – Most communities spend a little of their tax dollars on a year-end community event centered around a city-center Christmas tree lighting. We attend one of these each year and it’s become an annual tradition. Bring your own hot chocolate in a thermos to make it extra frugal.
[Bonus] Your CPAs Office – It may not be free, but it could save you more in taxes than you have to pay in professional fees. Visit your local CPA before the end of the year and see what kind of year-end tax moves you might should make to ensure you don’t pay too many taxes.
Be sure to check out my companion post to this one entitled Creating Holiday Cheer on a Smart Budget, which is on the Betterment Blogging for a Better Holiday site.
What fun and free places will you be visiting this Christmas season?
Image by MSVG